Many people know a lot more about Jim Webb today more than they did yesterday, mostly because they hadn't really heard of him until yesterday. Of all the non-Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton candidates, Webb made the most of an impression, particularly because of his answer to one of Anderson Cooper's question, in which he managed to sneak in a story about the time he killed someone.
To the question, "Which enemy that you made during your political career are you most proud of?" Webb answered:
I’d have to say the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but he’s not around right now to talk to...
A look into Webb's military background shows that there's more to the story, and it's worthy of a Stephen Spielberg movie. Webb received the Navy Cross medal for his particularly heroic actions during the Vietnam War, and the citation tells the story:
On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb's platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex which appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade which detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search which yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
That's a very powerful story, but no word yet on whether Donald Trump agrees that he's a war hero.