"You cannot look at someone and decide if they are brave or not. You can only find out if someone is brave by looking backwards, seeing how they have responded."
This is something Lt. Lynden Benshoof often thought about when he was aboard his LST in WWII. He told us he was concerned and worried about his own actions. Would he be brave? Or would he be like his Captain, who after fierce fighting during the Africa and Italy Campaigns, finally couldn't handle any more. One day, Mr. Benshoof had found the Captain of the ship, curled up like a child, grasping tightly to a radio and pretending to be talk into it. Benshoof suggested he go to his cabin for rest. The Captain did, locking himself in and not coming out again.
But if Africa, Sicily, and Salerno were tough, it wasn't the end. On June 6, 1944, Lt. Benshoof's LST took part in the D-Day Operations landing troops onto Omaha Beach. It was horrible work. "We saw all the guys stacked like cardboard on the beach and we could see all the trouble happening... There was so many bodies in the water they couldn't dodge them all." His LST would make 57 trips between England and France carrying causalities and prisoners. "One thing I learned is you can't tell a man's bravery by just looking at him." Only by looking backwards. Looking back on his life, Lt. Benshoof's greatest fear, the fear of failure to do his duty, never became a reality. He served his country well and proudly. But it is a good lesson for all of us to consider: how will *we* respond, when the trouble in our lives becomes too difficult to bear. Quit, like the poor Captain? Or persevere a little longer. Only the future will tell us how we responded to the present crisis. So let's take the example of Lt. Benshoof, and fight a little harder and stick in there a little longer.