Chapter 11 Reading : Article regarding Lieutenant Withers

November 2, 2009

Wow, what an amazing article. Reading about the relationship between Lt. Withers and Peewee and how the bond that formed between them after Peewee was rescued from the concentration camps lasted for decades even though the two of them were out of touch for many years was truly inspiring. It was really amazing to me that although Peewee had been unable to open up to his family regarding his experiences in the concentration camps in the past, when he was reunited with Lt. Withers he felt comfortable enough opening up about his experiences and letting his family hear what he had gone through that he could finally share those intimate and terrible details with them. It really is a great story that truly demonstrates the impact one person can have on another person’s life.

I also think that, in addition to showing the impact one person can make on others’ lives, there is another important message for leaders in this article. Here, Lt. Withers made sure that Peewee and Salomon were taken care of once they were freed from the concentration camps despite the great personal risk his actions posed to his future and career. As the article notes, Withers had big educational dreams that he hoped to pursue once he got back home and he was willing to risk losing all of it so that Peewee and Salomon could remain amongst his unit. To me, this is an important point that is often lost on many leaders—sometimes, you have to be willing to take a risk and make the right decision, even if doing so could create difficulties for you personally. You have to be willing to take a stand and do what is right, even if it may make your life more difficult.

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