Thursday, November 12, 2009

"The Good War": Alvin (Tommy) Bridges

As I was reading Studs Terkel's "The Good War", I enjoyed reading the chapter about crime and punishment. What really caught my eye was Alvin (Tommy) Bridges.

Bridges was a Bay City policemen for thirty-one years, and he was also a police chief. Bridges was an MP during World War II. He feels that the war was an useless war, he also feels that every war is. He also feels that this world won't last long if we have nuclear weapons around.

He goes into saying how he became an MP. He said that it wasn't because of his skills or knowledge he was just told he was going to be an MP. That kind of struck me as odd, wouldn't you place people in fields that they are strong, I felt by doing this they didn't care and it wasn't making the army strong.
Bridges talks about how dumb the officers were, and he couldn't believe thy actually made in through their assignment, and as he was talking about this he kept on laughing which was funny. Bridges describes his title as policemen "A lot of the GI's had respect for the MP and a lot of 'em hated our guts. Just like policemen. Worse, because we were the only ones who bothered 'em. The policemen in Paris didn't bother the GI's at all. If they were tearin' the place apart, they'd call us. We'd arrest 'em for anything from murder of another GI or civilian to sellin' one of those trucks."

Bridges also talks about when they got colored soldiers to their outfit, he said this was a first for the MP to have blacks and whites together.

Bridges talks about how they would shoot people violating the code of conduct. Bridges says "They shoot you in wartime for nothing...the Articles of War book looks like a bible..." Bridges never liked to stay and watch the shootings as some other MP's did. "I never liked to see anybody executed or anybody shot."

In closing Bridges talks about his feelings towards this war and war in general. He says this war was foolish, he also said that there is no war worth fighting for. Bridges feels the reason for war is money. I will end with a another quote from Bridges "But the airplane has come in its own, nuclear weapons...We don't be in this world for long."

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