Skip to comments.I Miss Iraq. I Miss My Gun. I Miss My War.
Posted on 03/21/2007 3:05:06 PM PDT by Number57
A few months ago, I found a Web site loaded with pictures and videos from Iraq, the sort that usually aren't seen on the news. I watched insurgent snipers shoot American soldiers and car bombs disintegrate markets, accompanied by tinny music and loud, rhythmic chanting, the soundtrack of the propaganda campaigns. Video cameras focused on empty stretches of road, building anticipation. Humvees rolled into view and the explosions brought mushroom clouds of dirt and smoke and chunks of metal spinning through the air. Other videos and pictures showed insurgents shot dead while planting roadside bombs or killed in firefights and the remains of suicide bombers, people how they're not meant to be seen, no longer whole. The images sickened me, but their familiarity pulled me in, giving comfort, and I couldn't stop. I clicked through more frames, hungry for it. This must be what a shot of dope feels like after a long stretch of sobriety. Soothing and nauseating and colored by everything that has come before. My body tingled and my stomach ached, hollow. I stood on weak legs and walked into the kitchen to make dinner. I sliced half an onion before putting the knife down and watching slight tremors run through my hand. The shakiness lingered. I drank a beer. And as I leaned against this kitchen counter, in this house, in America, my life felt very foreign.
(Excerpt) Read more at men.msn.com ...
And as I leaned against this kitchen counter, in this house, in America, my life felt very foreign.
It feels like that after 38 years too.
Must read ping.
It is an exalted fraternity, like no other. That's why those of us who stand and wait say, "Thank you, more than we can say."
Ping for later read.
marking place. Thanks for posting.
print and bump
Life was never the same for us. When you have friends that will always be 19-years old because of a gernade or an AK round; life has a whole different feeling.
Hard to describe...even the feeling of guilt for coming back in one piece.
It was 'a buzz.' It was a 'high.' Sad...
I don't think that feeling he has is limited to war (although war probably produces the strongest examples). It's about when you are doing something "adventurous" whether war, a foriegn work assignment or perhaps even the Peace Corps. When you are doing adventurous you miss the routine, the access to hot showers, the inability to see a concert, etc, but once you get back you miss the adventure whether its haggling with local vendors or kicking down doors with your M4.
I think a lot of guys feel like they are "doing something that matters" when they are travelling. They are a part of something grand. War is just the ultimate example because they face they widest swings when they are there and when they get back. 20 year old soldiers have a lot of responsibility in Iraq. They might be in charge of several men. Then they get back and are delievering construction materials and they are the bottom rung on unimportant totem poll. It's a huge let down. You find yourself bored.
That's why Indiana Jones is having a 4th movie. His missed the adventure.
No, WWI won't be over until all of us who listened to our grandfathers' stories about Bloody Belleau Wood and the Argonne Forest are gone . . .
That was one of the most powerful things I've ever read...
They look like boys, but they are men. They all served together through two tours in Iraq. They wanted to be up there with their Vietnam War era bretheren, and make no mistake, they WERE brothers, even though they were separated by nearly forty years, their kinship with those bearded men in leather was clearly evident to me. And their respect for those men bordered shone through in their voices and facial expressions.
What was also evident to me was their kinship with each other. They have lived more in their young lives than many of us do in a lifetime.
Reading this article, I see themes that I have heard before from Vietnam era vets, nearly word for word, about walking down the road in full kit, armed to the teeth, feeling like God.
They talked about how they came back home, and everything seemed so...petty and unimportant. People getting pissed about their car payment or a missed airplane flight.
But the most powerful and touching thing that soldier wrote was something like this:
"I hated Vietnam. I hated it with every fiber of my being, I hated being there. But sometimes...I wish I could go back. If for nothing else, just to remember how badly I wanted to be back here in the United States."
I thanked these men in the picture above, and I told them to be proud of what they were doing. They have my respect, and I know they are good at what they do. They aren't lifers, more than a few were getting out. I told them that someday, they will be able to look back on it and realize it was the most important time of their lives, and they WILL be proud of it.
Just as the Vietnam Vets were.
God bless and watch over those men.
still does for me too