There were lots of things to be afraid of during Desert Storm: Getting gassed, getting hit by a scud, enemy troops—and getting captured.

I watched the very bad Jessica Lynch movie and nearly had a meltdown when the commander of the convoy knew he was lost and kept driving in the same direction anyway, which led to the events that followed. It could have happened to us.  I could see one of our leaders doing that.

But it takes a special of courage to try do something to help yourself even when you are terrified and facing the business end of many rifles.  There was a very public incident where a Navy ship was captured briefly by the Iranians—do to leadership failures, which caused some bad choices.  But the one woman on the mission managed to turn on the beacon while under gunpoint, signaling help.

Courage isn’t racing into a battle foolishly—it’s what you do when you’re scared to death, and you do it anyway.