When James Mattis Gave Away His Dinner | The Weekly Standard:
"Character is often revealed in seemingly small gestures.
Amid all the speculation about how retired Marine general James Mattis will manage to lead the behemoth called the Department of Defense, one personal experience I had a decade ago as a young staffer in the office of the Secretary of Defense sticks in my mind as a demonstration of Mattis's natural leadership ability.
It was also an act of pure kindness I have never forgotten.
After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, as large numbers of wounded warriors started to come home to the United States to recuperate at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, my boss, Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy secretary of Defense, wanted the wounded service members and their families to know how much their sacrifices were appreciated.
...A small Army band played at the top of the stairs and my Army friend—who years later became my husband—helped his fellow officers bring service members no longer able to use their legs up the stairs.
It may sound like a surprisingly festive occasion for a group of people who had little to be thankful for—except that they were still alive.
But it was indeed festive.
Then-Lieutenant General Mattis—who, as a two-star, had commanded the First Marine Division during the invasion of Iraq— was there among the senior military leaders, incredibly gracious spending time with all the young men (there were no women yet among the wounded at that point) and kneeling down to hear their stories..."
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