Smith spent several months in the UK recuperating from his burns before returning to the war. Like the mechanics Burns and Miller, his courage under fire was unsung. As for recognition at home, the British soldiers say that it rarely happens, but they did tell me about one lady who gives them great moral support. They say she writes a handwritten letter to every wounded soldier in 4 Rifles. She writes a handwritten letter to every family of a soldier who is lost. She writes letters to the battalion often.
She is a wealthy woman who sends hundred-dollar bottles of scotch to wounded soldiers in 4 Rifles, and she will even present their medals on 14 December 2007 in the U.K. Who is this lady? She is Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, wife to the Prince of Wales, the future King of England, and she supports 4 Rifles as their Royal Colonel. One soldier expressed the sentiment of many when he told me, "she’s so busy, yet finds time to handwrite all those letters to our wounded and families." Another soldier told me that she even invited the families to her home.
It is a timely reminder that some of our Royal Family—whether you believe that they should exist or not—take their duties as seriously as do our soldiers in Iraq, and that those duties—even something as small as writing a letter—often give a great deal of pleasure to people who are in, quite frankly, a crappy position.
A starker contrast with the dismissive and cavalier attitude of the fucking grand-standing politico shits who sent them there in the first place I can scarcely imagine.