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I Miss Iraq. I Miss My Gun. I Miss My War.
MSN ^ | Brian Mockenhaupt

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: grunts; iraq; iraqwar; partner; patriot; veterans; wot
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(excerpt)

Powerful stuff...

1 posted on 03/21/2007 3:05:07 PM PDT by Number57
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To: Number57
(should he read this)
Well done, good and faithful servant. You've given us more than we can ever repay. It's normal to miss your brothers and want to help them. God protect your brothers (our keepers) and deliver them home safely. As for you, have a nice life, knowing that it has been one well lived.
2 posted on 03/21/2007 3:14:01 PM PDT by Jaysun (I took one look at her unfashionable eyebrows and thought to myself, "she's literally crazy.")
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To: Number57

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.


3 posted on 03/21/2007 3:21:49 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: SandRat

Must read ping.


4 posted on 03/21/2007 3:28:19 PM PDT by Issaquahking (Duncan Hunter for president!)
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To: Number57
I think it's the camaraderie and the fight against evil. I know that I would join in a heartbeat if I wasn't old. I could think of nothing I'd rather do than kill those SOB's and I'm a girl. Maybe that's why my son joined? I'm just glad he wanted to do something for his country and not the other way around.
5 posted on 03/21/2007 3:29:58 PM PDT by flynmudd (Proud Navy Mom to OSSA Blalock)
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To: tet68
And it was the same for my dad (83 this year) in WWII (and Bill Mauldin, who was in his theater - read Back Home if you haven't already), and for my late father in law on Iwo, and for my grandfather in WWI, and for my 2 gg grandfathers and my cousins in the WBTS . . . and for Winston Churchill in the Sudan " . . . there is nothing so exhilarating as to be shot at without result . . . "

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."

6 posted on 03/21/2007 3:31:21 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: Number57

Ping for later read.


7 posted on 03/21/2007 3:32:35 PM PDT by Robert DeLong
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To: Number57

WOW!
BTTT!


8 posted on 03/21/2007 3:35:52 PM PDT by The Mayor ( http://albanysinsanity.com/)
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To: Number57

marking place. Thanks for posting.


9 posted on 03/21/2007 3:37:32 PM PDT by daybreakcoming
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To: Number57

print and bump


10 posted on 03/21/2007 3:43:06 PM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways Guero >>> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona....)
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To: Number57
Great stuff. Before I was in the military I could never understand all those old guys sitting at the VFW bar - most of them didn't serve in the same theater and some not even in the same war, but it was obvious they were sharing something no non-vet could quite understand. What the author details was at least part of that.
11 posted on 03/21/2007 3:45:48 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Number57; flynmudd
WOW, great post!

My deepest appreciation to all who have served in order to protect my freedom. May God richly bless you all!!

I feel the same way, flynmudd. It sounds like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as far as your son is concerned. Give him my thanks for his service.
12 posted on 03/21/2007 3:46:19 PM PDT by AprilfromTexas
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To: Number57
...we used to call the first firefight 'losing your cherry.'

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...

13 posted on 03/21/2007 3:52:09 PM PDT by Van Jenerette (U.S.Army, 1967-1991, Infantry OCS Hall of Fame, Ft. Benning)
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To: Number57

Good read.

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.


14 posted on 03/21/2007 3:57:19 PM PDT by Barney Gumble (A liberal is someone too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel - Robert Frost)
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To: Number57; Liberty Valance
A war is never over until the last man (or woman) that was there goes to Heaven. WW1 is almost over.
15 posted on 03/21/2007 3:59:46 PM PDT by Brucifer (JF'n Kerry- "That's not just a paper cut, it's a Purple Heart!")
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To: Number57

bttt


16 posted on 03/21/2007 4:03:10 PM PDT by aShepard (Oh little Mohammad, kouchy, kouchy, koo, Your momma is so proud,you'll be the cutest suicide bomber!)
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To: Brucifer

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 . . .


17 posted on 03/21/2007 4:17:32 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: Number57

That was one of the most powerful things I've ever read...


18 posted on 03/21/2007 4:21:33 PM PDT by IYAAYAS (Live free or die trying)
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To: Number57; All
Look at this picture of these young men who came up from Camp Lejune to be with the Gathering of Eagles counter-protesters.

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.

19 posted on 03/21/2007 4:39:35 PM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: tet68

still does for me too


20 posted on 03/21/2007 4:39:55 PM PDT by alfie (peace through superior firepower)
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