What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

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Delta1-41
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by Delta1-41 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:15 pm

Thanks man. It's a very tough 19 years.

Right now I am caught between sharing my experiences and not wanting to sound like I'm bragging or whatever.

So many times over the years I would meet someone and the conversation quite often circled back to the military. They'd invariably ask if I deployed anywhere and when I said yes, sometimes they'd say, "No you didn't"!" And act like I was lying or something.

More often than that friends and family would say, "Well you didn't do anything." or "You didn't see anything cuz on TV they were all giving up." And all kinds of shit like that. I've found myself defending myself and my experiences more than anything.

When I was interviewing for my job, the interviewing manager saw that I was in the military and she asked about it and then that a friend of hers told her that we never entered Iraq. There are people convinced, today, that we never even entered Iraq during the Gulf War.

And then there are the idiots who try to compare the current "wars" to the Gulf War and they simply don't compare. They'd usually say, "Well your war was nothing like it is now."

At that I would usually agree and say, " If you wanna compare them, then the Gulf War was worse. Shorter, but worse."

So, when I get to a forum like this I want to start screaming because I don't feel justified.
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Dagger X-Ray
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by Dagger X-Ray » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:55 pm

You're preaching to the choir brother. We all have endured that same kind of crap over the years. I hear it hear at work sometimes from recent vets coming in for assitance, I kinda blow some of them off by just shaking their hands and thanking them for what they have done to kinda just end it and get them out. But when the retired vets that come in who were Gulf War vets themselves, we sit back and share war stories and the rest of my day is perfect...because of those 5-10 minutes of BS'ing with someone who knows what I am talkig about.
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tricky89
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by tricky89 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:45 pm

I dont even bother, most civilians live their life though a Tv screen. Today from what iv seen the youth think war is going to be like their play station, then when it goes bad.... well you know the story. But yes every civillan knows better than us, theyll tell you all about the war. I love to listen to non vets BABLE on like a bunch of raven idiots, i get a kick out of. And they love to wave the flag, But the minute a homeless vet needs a hand, they run for the hills. You could write books on these hipocrits, we see them every day in our work places, schools and all walks of life of America. Everybodys brother, uncle father or cousin is RAMBO, John J, My advice is the best way not to get your feelings hurt on this topic is dont even tell them.
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redfish
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by redfish » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:31 pm

I had a rough time re-entering the world. I got back from the war and something inside was broken. Nightmares, flashbacks, hallucinations, anger and shame.

I did not feel that I deserved to have PTSD. It was only four days of combat. 50% of us did not get killed or injured. My in-laws told people "he don't have PTSD. My father is a nam vet times 2 along with all his brothers. I felt less than. I had terrible nightmares. I drank heavily. I COULD NOT talk about it so I didn't. I went to the VA in Atlanta and got blown off. Blah..blah..blah..PTSD....blah blah sure yeah ok right. I went to the VA in Tuskeegee AL. Never got seen. I was there 9 hours. They said come back tomorrow and you may can get in then. I went to the VA in Waco TX. Hey give him a bunch of XANAX. Well, that is a benzodiazapene. Might as well give me free beer. It has the same effect on vets.

I got in trouble. Tried to kill myself. went to the penitentiary. Got out and started a new career and began to work 80 to 100 hours a week night shift and drank on the day or so a month I was off or not at all. Never spoke of it. Got a shadow box from my father with medals and stuff. It stayed in the closet because I could not look at it. Threw away all my pictures. I never watched or listened to the news and I would not watch action or war movies.

Life moved on. I mellowed out. Nightmares stopped. I worked 10 or 11 12 hour shifts in a two week pay period. 15 years went by. Had more kids.

BAM! Work cut my hours. 6 shifts in two weeks. My wife notcied a change, so did work and so did kids and family. Still no talking unless I was drunk. A rage built. I had nightmares. I had a flashback. I started hearing voices. Slowy it all started over. I had to fight to control it my rage. It grew and grew and... it got out. I tried to kill some one.

I went emergently to the VA in Ashville NC. Know what? They were awesome!! They hand carried me where I needed to be. Psych doc came in and he treated me with respect and understanding. He knew what was wrong. He is the reason I am here today. We hug when I go to see him.

I am in group now and on 3 meds (no benzo's). Therapists goal is to break down avoidance to our traumas and to deal with them so we can heal and move on.

I have squashed all my emotions into myself for 20 years and I can not advocate any one doing that. If it is working for you then maybe you have dealt with your emotions but I did not. Mine got infected and cost me most of my life. Now I have started to get the infection out. I will always have the scars but the open wounds in my soul can some day heal.

If you need help, GET IT. If you need to talk, DO IT. Do not stop like I did. I lost 20 damn years to this bitch. You have complete autonomy on this web site if you need it. You can let it out. I have found the men on this site know how you feel and they listen and they know how to help and who you can see to get help. This is about the only place I can go and share thoughts and comments without judgement or fear. And when someone else comes in and says " I am lost" I can say, I have walked in your shoes brother. Take my hand and let me help you up. You are amongst your brothers and we care about you. Welcome home.

Don't let it or them win. We are the ones that lose.
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Redmaxx
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by Redmaxx » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:22 am

Well said. We are all brothers and sisters here.
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redfish
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by redfish » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:47 am

It seems to have a healing quality for me being able to express on here. I have the blessing of my wife. But, this does feel like another outlet. I am certainly no other help right now other than offering understanding. I can do that much though and I feel a kinship.
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Assault and Barrier Pltn
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RedRaiderFan2010
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by RedRaiderFan2010 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:36 pm

My unit was a "rear support company", but some idiot threw live rounds into the fire pit behind our birm. Dumb ass, our Commander came unglued.
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redfish
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by redfish » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:44 pm

There is always some idiot ain't there. Welcome home brother. Welcome to the forum. Look forward to seeing you around on here.
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24th Infantry Division
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Assault and Barrier Pltn
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Jetmech
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by Jetmech » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:42 am

I have a few stories, but one that sticks out in my mind right now is when I ran over a mine. Let me tell you the pucker factor was in full swing that day.

I was a gun driver on a M109A4 for gun #2 in C BTRY 4/5th FA, I always drove in the "heads up" position with my flack jacket wrapped around behind my head when we would travel long distances so that I could watch for mines and crap. Plus, the wind in my face kept me awake (I got about 4 hours of sleep plus a few "cat naps" the full 5 day war). On a M109A4 155MM Howitzer the drivers seat would move up and down so that during full combat the driver could put his seat down and he could drive looking through 3 angle 2" X 10" mirror sights, close the hatch, and be slightly protected from enemy small arms fire. When we would pull into a placement I was supposed to put my seat in the down position and climb back to get to my #1 man position (Loader/lanyard puller) and get ready for FIRE MISSIONS. I was always looking for ways to multi-task to get the mission done fastest. So I would do little things to try to save time and be more efficient. Later found this to possibly save my life.

My Battalion was all in "Diamond formation" and my gun, as always, was in front of the whole Battalion. We were on course to get picked up by our advanced party and were supposed to put the pedal to the metal when we, my section chief, or I saw our guy. I can remember my Section Chief yelling in his southern accent “Keeper, les go!! See’m?!?!” I floored it and chose the general path I was going to take to get to my position. I turned my gun in the direction of my advanced party man that was still about 400 meters away. Well we all know that the desert didn’t have much for terrain, so the path was pretty clear. I was thinking I would go ahead and drop my seat and drive the rest of the way via sights. I tossed my flack jacket behind my seat and then I reached down pulled the lever with my hand to put the seat down and down I went HARD!!! I was thinking “F@*K!!! I JUST HIT SOMETHING BIG!! LIKE A CAR!!” I caught out of the top of my eye through the still opened hatch sand, debris, S#!t going straight up all over the place. It felt like I was kidney punched. Crap was still flying, but this time there was less and it was coming down and time just seemed to stand still. Training just took over and I kept my foot HARD on that pedal. It seemed to clear up instantly and drive just fine, so I kept on going and pulled into my position. Stopped the gun and took inventory of myself and my surroundings. Besides painful kidneys and confusion I was just fine.

I then could feel a hand grab my LBE and my gunner was asking if I was OK. I told him I was fine and I needed a sec to get my head straight. I then rolled over in my seat and crawled back to get out of the gun. I asked if everyone was OK, they were, and I just stepped out onto the sand to see the combat lifesavers from gun #1, who was off 100 meters to the left of us, running full speed to our position. I can’t remember their names but they were VERY concerned. They made me lay down and began asking all the questions you would expect from someone who thought I was dying. I insisted that I was fine and got up to check the damages on my track. They then went back to their gun. I only found 3 missing track pads, some missing paint, and the coolest burnt looking design right by my driver’s hatch on the side of the gun. Then the section chief and driver from gun #1 came over and told us, “THAT was the coolest thing they had ever seen!” They said all of the sudden, it looked as though my entire gun just blew up. Then out of the explosion my gun just popped out of the other side like it was a movie. They said that they were saying when they pulled into their position that someone has got to be hurt and sent his lifesavers over.

That wasn’t the only time I was scared, but it was the most hurt I got in the war. If I were in a wheeled vehicle, I am sure it would have probably killed someone.
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Redleg13f2h
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by Redleg13f2h » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:20 am

Good story! I remember puckering a few times myself, straddling CBU's you don't see until the last second. Also crossing the border and straddling what looked like unexploded mines in the path the plows mad through the mine fields. Your mine probably would've done more of a number on our FISTV.
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by FA1SGret » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:53 am

The M109 chasis is a pretty good weapon platform ... been around since the '60s. The mine probably wasn't anti-armor ... luckily.

We usually travelled in the desert wedge formation, and didn't use advance parties.
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by Jetmech » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:59 am

Yea, our Advanced party guy was just there to make sure that if there was any enemy action, they would get it before we got there. They were also used as our reactionary force, I have a story about that as well. Though not as scary for us as it was for them.
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by FA1SGret » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:31 am

I guess in that regard we had it pretty good. We were just a klock or two behind the Bradleys, so we had pretty secure positions ... except for a few indirect fire attacks.
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by FA1SGret » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:32 am

And a couple of encounters with armor ... can't believe I forgot that.
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Re: What was the scariest thing you did or seen in the war?

Post by redfish » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:46 pm

You guys remember being told to go fill out your will before we left? Oh to be young and indestructible.

"We Were Soldiers Once...And Young"
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197th Infantry 72 ENGR CO
Assault and Barrier Pltn
"Sledgehammer"
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