How many ever served in actual combat


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C.S.Powell
October 19, 2005, 10:47 PM
Having read many posts on various discussions I have to ask one question, How many of you actually looked an enemy in the eye, face to face and in the blink of an eye had to flinch or pull the trigger. I know some have just by how they write. What was your life or death experience? I have read the what if's, they are only what if's if not done. Pulling a trigger is a whole different story. Ask a cop or military that had to do it, it's a whole new world that stays with you forever. God bless those that did what they had to do at the time so we could ask these questions today.
Semper Fi to all,
C.S. Powell

God created all men equal, man created equalizers.

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browningguy
October 19, 2005, 10:49 PM
Does running and screaming like a girl while you shoot over your shoulder count?

Just asking, no special reason.

C.S.Powell
October 19, 2005, 10:52 PM
Only if her dad and the wedding party are in persuit!:neener:

TrafficMan
October 19, 2005, 11:15 PM
i personally know three Vietnam veterans...two of which were wounded in action...

My grandfather was a medic in WWII and he has some crazy crazy stories....

oneshooter
October 19, 2005, 11:31 PM
Been there, did that, got the scars and the memories. Can't do anything about the former,trying to forget the latter.

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

Preacherman
October 19, 2005, 11:32 PM
Ditto. You'll find that most of us who are combat veterans won't talk too much about it, except to other vets who understand... it's the nature of the beast, I'm afraid.

Joey2
October 20, 2005, 12:09 AM
What "oneshooter" said.

crashresidue
October 20, 2005, 12:26 AM
Having done it through rifle sights, rocket sights,and turret sights - it's something that I hope to H*LL you never have to do, but I would not change the changes it made in me.

Gentle winds,
cr

el44vaquero
October 20, 2005, 12:28 AM
Majority of those will say, "Yes I served."

Majority doesn't want to go into the details.

It's like asking a woman her weight and/or age.

Jayb
October 20, 2005, 01:15 AM
yep...... what shooter said..... done that


Does running and screaming like a girl while you shoot over your shoulder count?

yep, done that too..... :o

goalie
October 20, 2005, 01:33 AM
It's like asking a woman her weight and/or age.

+1

Mixlesplick
October 20, 2005, 01:34 AM
The few times combat vets have shared their experiences with me I have politely listened and considered myself lucky that they trusted me enough to tell tell me about it. I would never ask someone about it.

I have never had to fire a gun at someone to try to kill them. I hope I never have to.

Detritus
October 20, 2005, 04:00 AM
The few times combat vets have shared their experiences with me I have politely listened and considered myself lucky that they trusted me enough to tell tell me about it. I would never ask someone about it.

I have never had to fire a gun at someone to try to kill them. I hope I never have to.

+1

i was going to put a comment here but it got too long and wordy, think i'll save it for some other time, b/c i think it became something not entirely appropriate for this thread.

Hacker15E
October 20, 2005, 04:52 AM
How many of you actually looked an enemy in the eye, face to face and in the blink of an eye had to flinch or pull the trigger.

You've got two different questions here...one asks who has served in actual combat, and another asks if you've looked the enemy in the eye.

C.S.Powell
October 20, 2005, 07:34 AM
The question is not a trick question.
Firing a 155mm or dropping Iron or Napam from the sky is combat. Being hit on patrol and trying to be over run is up close and personal, you actually see the enemy when you pull the trigger. There is a big difference, you see what your rounds actually have done.

American soldiers never lost a war, American politicians have and are trying to do it again.

db_tanker
October 20, 2005, 07:43 AM
"I have seen the elephant"

that doesn't quite put it into perspective.

I admit I did what I was trained to do, through my TIS, and felt proud of myself.

That morning when we were checking the area for survivors...well...thats when I saw what actually happened to the recieving end when a tank gets dispatched.


I won't say war changed me...but combat did. If I had a novel's worth of words to use, I would still not be able to describe how it made and still makes me feel.

Sounds silly...sorry guys.

Darrell

LeonCarr
October 20, 2005, 08:19 AM
Does rolling up on a fight in progress call involving 300 drunks with weapons count?

Most folks who have been to the circus and seen the elephant won't talk about it. To this day my Dad won't talk about Vietnam with someone unless they themselves had been there.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Waitone
October 20, 2005, 08:46 AM
My dad, long since dead, said precious little about WW II. Only one time in our lives together did he TELL me we were going to a movie. We went together to "The Longest Day" and that was the only time I saw him cry.

I can't imagine and I don't want to imagine what it is like.

mfree
October 20, 2005, 09:42 AM
To this day, all I know about my grandfathers' service is that one was in the navy during WWII, and the other was picking Korean shrapnel out of his shins till the day he passed on and was a POW for a while. Neither would talk about it.

C-grunt
October 20, 2005, 10:09 AM
Combat is an unusual beast. In the few firefights Ive been in I was scared as hell but probably have never been more calm in my life. Gunshots quiet down while footsteps get louder. Its wierd.

Ric
October 20, 2005, 10:57 AM
I had a woman I worked with ask me once if I ever killed anybody.
I explained to her just how personal a question that was. She never asked again.
I am proud of my service.
Grenada, Panama, Gulf War episode 1

Vern Humphrey
October 20, 2005, 11:27 AM
Ditto. You'll find that most of us who are combat veterans won't talk too much about it, except to other vets who understand... it's the nature of the beast, I'm afraid.


+1

It's like Zen -- those who speak do not know, those who know do not speak.

K-Romulus
October 20, 2005, 11:30 AM
I slept though a mortar "attack" in Mogadishu c.1994 (the A/C was too loud) . . . does that count? ;)

Horsesense
October 20, 2005, 01:45 PM
I have worked in elderly housing for the last 20 years and have been honored to know many vets and I have heard a number of stories. Most of the vets have passed on but I will tell my grand kids about the men and what they told me.

I have a good BS meter, the stories that I have confidence in, came after knowing the men for years:

One day I went into the coffee room and got a pot of water. The only person in the room was Joe. I had known Joe for about five years and we talked a lot about the Bible and our experiences living on a farm, I knew that Joe was a WW2 vet but our talks never went passed “I served in Europe” that’s code for that’s not something I’m ready to talk about.

On this particular day, Joe was setting alone (he had recently lost his wife of 55 years) Joe looked at the water and said “many a time I would have loved to of had a drink of water as clear as that” I asked him if he had rusty well water and he said “no, I have drank muddy water out of tank tracts, and wished that I was home and could drink from my fathers well”

Joe went on to tell me that he had walked from the toe of Italy, all the way to the other end and he described how just a few miles from the border, they were ambushed, at a bridge, three of his buddies were hit and laying in the road, while he dove in a ditch, his best friend was one of the ones hit and he was begging Joe to help. Joe just stuck his face in mud and cried, he said that he couldn’t get the thought out of his mind that he wanted to see his daughter again and promised himself that he would help take care of his buddies son.

Joe’s 1st Sargent started scramming FIRE FIRE you #$$#%, that brought him to and he began shooting. About that time he felt a burning sensation in his but (he had been shot) and then someone dropped a mortar on the Germans and it was over. He and his buddy were shipped back to the toe of Italy and his buddy went home with a shattered hip and after a couple of weeks he was well enough to walk all the way back to his unit.

Another time he was behind a small mountain, with a rock cleft on his side, the Germans were walking “88’s” in, by lobbing them over the mountain, a new guy is running around (all the old timers were trying to get inside the rocks for cover) he yelled “get over hear” and made room for the new guy, about that time, a peace of scrap mettle cut the new guy in two.

Joe died about a year later, his wife and kids were already gone and I get the feeling he just wanted someone to know.

I remember trying to calm a WW1 vet who had altimeters,in his mind he was in a trench… the terror in his eyes was unspeakable and he would only calm down after I got may head down. Years later I went threw about the same thing with a WW2 vet, only this time it was Krauts and big dogs chasing him.

On a lghter note, I had a guy tell me that he was on the beach when Mcarthor (SP?) returned to the Philippians. He said that the General stepped out of the boat and went up to his neck in water, and went back to his ship, put on dry cloths and then went back and what you see on the news reels is the 2nd return. I always was leery of his story and didn’t really believe him, until another guy, years later, told me the same story.

May grand dad was a very religious man and he told me that during boot camp, he missed the targets on purpose because he knew that he could not kill, he ended up as a prison guard in Mississippi.

There is a Korean vet hear now and I take him shooting sometimes, he was on a “mortar team” and said that he once had to get a stick and push the dead bodies out of the way for the machine gunner.

We also have a vet who was a Mars Man in Burma, during WW2, he don’t talk about any of the battles but he dose like to tell about working with the mules and his friends, he is the guy who inspired me to get a Kirka. As his stories go, he will get to a place and get a sad look and then start another story, you can tell that some things he don’t want to talk about.

My final tail is of a woman who had been floded. I was helping her salvage some of her personal effects and she was taking everything in stride… until she looked at a picture of a young man in a Green Beret. She broke down and cried, then told me that that was the last picture ever taken of her son. She said that she remembered when her dad went off to WW1 and how she remembered standing on his “fancy boots” while he walked, that was the last time she ever saw him. She lost her 1st husband in WW2, her 2nd husband in Korea and her son and three nephews in Vietnam and now she has a grandson in Iraq and another in Pakistan. I considered it one of the highlights of my career to take the picture to Wal-Mart and after telling the man behind the photo counter what I was doing, he wouldn’t accept my money for making a copy.


If that don’t make you hate war, nothing will!

dasmi
October 20, 2005, 01:49 PM
The few times combat vets have shared their experiences with me I have politely listened and considered myself lucky that they trusted me enough to tell tell me about it. I would never ask someone about it.

I have never had to fire a gun at someone to try to kill them. I hope I never have to.

+1

Vern Humphrey
October 20, 2005, 01:50 PM
Joe looked at the water and said “many a time I would have loved to of had a drink of water as clear as that” I asked him if he had rusty well water and he said “no, I have drank muddy water out of tank tracts, and wished that I was home and could drink from my fathers well”


I can identify with that. I've drunk from bomb craters, and once near Cam Lo drank from a stream, then followed it up a ways and found a body lying in the water -- and not a very fresh one at that.

In retrospect, I think if I knew about the body I would have drunk the water anyway.

atk
October 20, 2005, 02:02 PM
"I have seen the elephant"

that doesn't quite put it into perspective.

I admit I did what I was trained to do, through my TIS, and felt proud of myself.

That morning when we were checking the area for survivors...well...thats when I saw what actually happened to the recieving end when a tank gets dispatched.


I won't say war changed me...but combat did. If I had a novel's worth of words to use, I would still not be able to describe how it made and still makes me feel.

Sounds silly...sorry guys.

Darrell



Darrel,

As one who has never seen combat: nothing sounds silly about what you said. In fact, your words have a very eloquent feel about them.

I suspect that those who have seen combat can empathize.

GILROY
October 20, 2005, 02:41 PM
All I really know about combat is the sounds, sights, and sadness of my aunt that could not be quieted or conforted at the funeral of her only child killed in action in Nam. I was a 14 year old kid at the time, but will NEVER forget the price for my freedoms. All I really have to say is a great THANKS to those who answered the call.

Leatherneck
October 20, 2005, 02:48 PM
I think the distinction is whether your target is actively trying to kill you, as you are trying to kill him. e.g., muzzle-to-muzzle shooting. That's when time compresses and your blood cools off.

Regrets? Only for comrades who didn't make it and most of all, for their loved ones.

TC

wingnutx
October 20, 2005, 03:05 PM
I got mortared and IED'd a bunch.

Never had anybody to shoot back at.

nvrquit
October 20, 2005, 03:12 PM
... but a number of family and friends have.

Father in Korea
Two uncles in Korea
One uncle in WWII(and a POW in that one)
One uncle in Vietnam
Four friends(older than me) in Vietnam
Son of a friend in the latest sandbox with the Marines into Baghdad

Various branches of service among them. Dad and the uncles would occasionally talk about it amongst themselves, but never knowingly around us kids. The uncle that went to Vietnam was there during Tet and he wasn't "right" until he came home from doing a stint with the Peace Corp(somewhere in Africa if memory serves). Friend's son was definitely changed in attitude after his experience.

I've never understood how some can not appreciate what we have, owing to the price that others have paid. When I think upon it, it moves me in ways I can't manage to set in either print or speech. Thanks to you all, each and every one.


Frank

orangeninja
October 20, 2005, 03:17 PM
I've never been in the military....everyone in my family before me has though including my brother. I will say that I have been shot at once...had a gun waved in my face once. I have fired back once only hitting a vehicle and I have been a bystander in a gangland shootout, within a few feet. I will say this....I don't think that anything a police officer will ever encounter will look anything like WW2 WW1 Vietnam or Korea. The closest police work has come is Katrina, but then they weren't charging machine guns there either.

That being said I can share a story briefly.

My uncle Joe, we used to go see him when I was a child, about 7 years old. My uncle Joe was strange to me because he was missing 3 fingers on one of his hands. He was a WW1 infantryman. I remember him telling us about how in the trench, the shelling and gas were bad, but the thing that really got to him was the rats, they were so used to humans and eating dead humans, that some would work up the nerve to try and eat you while you were asleep. That really bothered him. He didn't sleep for 3 solid days after that and told me that the best thing to kill a rat with was a helmet...see a rat, take off your helmet and wham! Dead rat. Another thing that bothered him were the guys in "no mans" land. Occasionally a medic or soldier would loose it and run out there to try and pull someone that had screamed for 2 or three days straight back to a trench...only to be shot by a sniper. Then of course there was chow.....he said the Brits would stack the dead in the trench and sit on them to keep from sitting in the mud, while they were eating chow. That never left him. Lastly he said that he and some of his friends would make an oath that when the whistle blew, they wouldn't go over the wall, they'd stay behind, they couldn't make all of them fight....but when it blew...he wen't, they all did. He would think about how he was too much of a coward to stay in the trench....all the while he said he ran through a mist. He was the first to the wire in his section so he dove on it while guys ran over his back and tried to take the trench. He eventually got in the trench where he said a rifle would loose to a spade, so he used his trenching tool as a weapon instead....the rifle was too clumsy. Later on after his story he said he discovered he was covered in blood from head to foot, everyone was, all you could see where eyeballs underneath the gore on their faces....he kind of chuckled and said that the mist that they were running through was blood from all the men being hit by shells and machine guns while they charged....he never talked about losing friends and oddly enough, he went through WW1 unscathed save minor injurys...then he got home to Louisiana and blew 3 of his fingers off with a 1/4 stick of dynamite trying to get a tree stump out of the ground. I couldn't begin to make this stuff up.

I never got to know my Uncle Joe, he lived in a really rundown house on a 10 acre plot in the woods in Jackson Louisiana. He kept to himself and lived a long long time. He outlived his wife and I don't think he ever had kids. He eventually died, and now that I am older and the house is gone, I think of him everytime I go down there....and everytime people start mouthing off about war stories. I didn't know it then, but Uncle Joe had a big enough impact on me that I remember him.....and I don't remember much from those years. Sometimes I wish I could go back and talk to him some more. I don't think the world will ever know the horror of WW1....or of Korea...because Hollywood has apparantly forgothese heros.

OH25shooter
October 20, 2005, 04:21 PM
This is ironic. I just watched "We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson. On the special feature selection, the actual commander during the battle, Col. Hal Moore was interviewed. At the end he said, their is a saying: "hate war, love the warrior." We should all feel like that.

Vern Humphrey
October 20, 2005, 04:24 PM
This is ironic. I just watched "We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson. On the special feature selection, the actual commander during the battle, Col. Hal Moore was interviewed. At the end he said, their is a saying: "hate war, love the warrior." We should all feel like that.


Or, as Robert E. Lee said, "It is good that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it."

enfield
October 20, 2005, 04:36 PM
I tried to be a neutral observer during the Battle of Grumbein's Island in '70 or '71, but the State Police were one side and they regarded everyone not wearing a uniform as a member of the other side, so I boogied when the teargas canisters came across the street. :D

AirForceShooter
October 20, 2005, 05:10 PM
Yes
Afs

Edgeofthewoods
October 20, 2005, 05:15 PM
Yup

Moondoggie
October 20, 2005, 06:07 PM
Never did the face-to-face thing in the military. Came within a couple of feet of taking hits from several heavy MG rounds once. Went into a riot situation aboard a ship once on the winning side..we had the big batons. The other side required a lot more medical attention when it was all said and done. No remorse over that situation...they started it, we finished it.

I also served 2 yrs as a reserve LEO. Two times the other guy decided not to make me shoot him with a second or two to spare...claw hammer vs. 38 special and frying pan full of hot oil vs. 38 special. Domestic disturbances, gotta love 'em. I was glad we took these folks to jail instead of the emergency room.

So, am I an actual combat vet? No.

psyopspec
October 20, 2005, 06:53 PM
No. Six months in OIF in 2003. Drive-by shootings on my camp with RPG and small arms, but they always shot from over 400m out. Almost shot someone during a riot, had my safety off and finger on the trigger, but he started to comply.

I feel lucky I didn't have to kill - I saw what it did to many who had to. However, it was comforting to know that if push came to shove I could. I'd feel more than happy to go the rest of my career without so much as another close call though.

Thanks to all who have, and to those who have shared the stories of others. This is truly a worthwhile thread.

C.S.Powell
October 20, 2005, 08:55 PM
I posted this thread in remberance of April and May 1967, KheSanh Vietnam hills 881n and 861. For the brave Marines of Bravo 1/9,aka. The Walking Dead and Fox 2/3 my brothers. If the discussion never happens their memory will fade and die. Freedom has a high price, but the price paid in blood, sweat and tears allows free people to voice their opinion without fear. To those that paid the ultimate sacrifice I pray:

WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER TO ST. PETER I WILL TELL
ONE MORE MARINE REPORTING SIR
I SERVED MY TIME IN HELL

To all that participated in this thread, thank you. For all that served, God Bless You. For those on active duty and our Law Enforcement, may God protect you and keep you safe. Freedom isn't FREE!

Respect to all and I hope I offended no one.
C.S. Powell

SatCong
October 20, 2005, 09:13 PM
Yes, between 1967 & 1968, big time 68 TET. Over 1911, Mod12 and twin 50's,River Boats, USN.That's about as far I want to go with it.

Stand_Watie
October 20, 2005, 09:37 PM
I've spoken with probably hundreds of men who claimed combat experience, and only 2 of them did I take their word for it firmly enough (I'm not calling anyone a liar though) that I'd stake anything of serious value on it being the truth. Those two had the least exciting stories and were the most reluctant to talk about them.

I did know one man (served with him) who didn't claim combat experience, but the most incredible and hilarious stories ever, that I believed explicitly. Some of his boozing experiences were almost insane enough to be considered combat:D He was formerly Marine Recon. Apparently those guys play really hard.

p.s. Yeah, actually I will say an awful lot of those guys were for sure liars of the highest order.

DorGunR
October 20, 2005, 09:47 PM
To all that participated in this thread, thank you. For all that served, God Bless You. For those on active duty and our Law Enforcement, may God protect you and keep you safe. Freedom isn't FREE!

Respect to all and I hope I offended no one.
C.S. Powell
I wasn't offended Mr Powell.......it's just that I'd rather tell stories about the wild things we did while on R&R.;)

Jayb
October 20, 2005, 09:50 PM
(I'm not calling anyone a liar though)

then

p.s. Yeah, actually I will say an awful lot of those guys were for sure liars of the highest order.

You need to make up your mind. And yes, Recon DOES play hard. If your second quote refers to Marine Recon, it could make things interesting for you if you voice it face-to-face.

not worth it.......

KriegHund
October 20, 2005, 10:05 PM
Thanks to all who have, and to those who have shared the stories of others.

Indeed.

Stand_Watie
October 20, 2005, 10:12 PM
then



You need to make up your mind. And yes, Recon DOES play hard. If your second quote refers to Marine Recon, it could make things interesting for you if you voice it face-to-face.

not worth it.......

Absolutely not. To start with the Recon guy I know was truthful - how? I was there for a the making of some of the stories and there several years later at the recounting, and they were totally factual, if seeming far funnier from the way he told them than they actually seemed at the time. I actually featured in at least one. Secondly, no matter how wild a story being told is, I'm not going to challenge it to a person's face, because I wasn't there - perhaps the most braggadocious and self glamorizing of the stories I heard were true - some heroes are braggarts I presume, just like some aren't - but as a composite of all of them, I can say that I'm sure many of those stories weren't, and I noticed a specific pattern of evasiveness of details from an awful lot of them - you know "I was special forces" without saying who they were assigned to etc. Volunteering to people you don't know very well how funny is to mow down "slopes" in a rice paddy. The a-hole liars out there I'm pretty sure give genuine combat veterans (of which I'm not (did I mention that above) and even only ever served active duty on training assignment for my guard unit) a bad name.

Mastersergeant Petruk (the Recon guy) was very detailed. If you wanted to check up on his (funny, rather than self-aggrandizing) stories you could actually look up the people he referred to by name and unit. He also lacked the denigration of other military services that I noted amongst all the other "special forces without saying what unit they were in" types of guys that I met. He'd be the first guy to say that Navy Seals or Army Airborne were badasses

He is a heck of a good guy, even if he couldn't beat me to a pulp I wouldn't insult him.

P.s JayB, I just read your signature, I know it's a slim shot and the USMC was a particularly large organization in that time period, but did you ever run into a Fidel Ramirez from Bakersfield CA? He was over there I think 65 -67 (two tours) in an EOD unit. He was one of the two guys I mentioned in my first post. I worked with him in close proximity (civilian) for five years and never got anything more than extremely concise answers regarding combat from him, despite him being what I considered a pretty decent work friend and sort of a mentor. He retired as a gunny sometime in the 80's.

C.S.Powell
October 20, 2005, 10:34 PM
A person that has been there can tell if someone "Walked the Walk" or just "Talks the Talk".
Respect,
C.S. Powell

bowkill12004
October 20, 2005, 11:11 PM
3rd battalion 11th marines hotel co.1990-1994,caught the end of desert shield and then went to the mog for 6 months we were next to the bakata market sp is wrong on the market it was right on the hot zone. We got there in the middle dec. it was plenty hot still. I remember the difference when you hear a gun shoot and being shoot at are two differnt sounds and how quickly you can become part of the ground. And then we were on red alert like 5 times to go to kosavo shortly after africa but as fate would have it we never went. The only thing that i dont agree with is that war-conflict-humanitarian aid whatever they call it, its all the same all politics, like i had friends that could have shoot sadam i could have killed general adid many times we would give security for him and other local leaders for meetings. That is what makes it so difficult to understand!!!!!

Stand_Watie
October 20, 2005, 11:48 PM
A person that has been there can tell if someone "Walked the Walk" or just "Talks the Talk".
Respect,
C.S. Powell

Well never having "walked the walk" I don't know how it is, but I imagine it to be angering and insulting to meet imposters in your course of life. That said, if it makes you feel any better, many people who have never "walked the walk" have decent bs detectors too, so don't think that too many people get away with that sort of foolishness without just making themselves look kind of silly and self-loathing to a substantial number of the people that they meet. I worked in a profession for ten years that sort of attracts a lot of 'wanabees' so I got to meet perhaps more of those sorts than average, but I think everybody has a sort of mental eye-roll person they think of regarding Walter Mitty types in their life. At least Mitty (who I could in some instances be myself) didn't try to BS other people, he just had his own little fantasy world in his head.

Another thought I just had, along this thread there has been talk of "meeting the elephant". I realize that hunting animals is a totally different thing than killing other humans, but there's a guy over on the hunting forum that goes by H&H hunter - that has really "met the elephant" literally in real life. I know it's not the same emotionally as killing people, but probably more dangerous - and he does a fine job of describing his rather interesting and exciting hunting experiences. Anybody interested in accounts of hunting big game should go over there and read up. Most of us will never find the money or time to really do the serious safari thing, so if anybody's interested in living vicariously through other's experiences, go over there and run a search. There's probably enough material there for a short book.

orangeninja
October 21, 2005, 12:51 AM
We've got our fair share of wannabes at my work...they're all legends in their own minds...and jokes in everyone else's. It's funny, cause for every REAL vet...there's a faker.

1.) We have a little guy who was a Marine in Vietnam during a certain seige that has an interesting story about the worst week of his life. The only story he talks about....He's the real deal.

2.) We have his doppleganger (spell?) who also claims to be a Vietnam vet and talks all the time about his agent orange complications. Turns out he was on a Marine Corp bowling team that toured around....the most action he saw was in a seedy motel after a game.

3.) We have a guy that I work with closely who was in the 1st Cav. right after the whole Battle zone Albany fiasco....he has 2 purple hearts and a big ass scar on his thigh thanks to a punji pit that almost killed him.

4.) His evil twin is a guy who claims to have been a Navy Seal (usually an indicator of a faker) who said he is out due to an underwater demolition that went wrong. Turns out he was a boat mechanic that lifted somthing too heavy.

5.) Then we have a guy who claims to be a weapons expert in all small arms, says he has lethal hands and is a master martial artist then said he got out of the Army cause he got tired of killing people in Iraq. He also claims to have been "nicked" 5 times by AK fire...but no actual wounds. There was an IA investigation on this clown for a negligent discharge of his firearm while charging it before shift...then, he got outshot by a female officer that is one of our notoriously worst shots....I almost peed myself laughing.

6.) I have another guy who I used to partner with who went to Iraq for 18 months and did a lot of house raids, etc. He doesn't talk about it...but Iraq cost him a marriage and a house...and probably more. He hasn't been the same since he got back.

7.) Lastly we have a guy who says he used to be a Marine Recon sniper...probelm is this guy is 5'11 and 300 pounds...I guess he camoed himself as a hill. Anyhow, he told several people that he was hit in the chest in Desert Storm by a .50 cal but his flak vest stopped it.

Yeah...the fakes are pretty easy to spot....and whenever I call their BS they start yelling crap like..."where did you serve, huh?" Rest assure, if I had served clowns like this would have been serving my powdered eggs.:evil:

SatCong
October 21, 2005, 12:52 AM
I posted this thread in remberance of April and May 1967, KheSanh Vietnam hills 881n and 861. For the brave Marines of Bravo 1/9,aka. The Walking Dead and Fox 2/3 my brothers. If the discussion never happens their memory will fade and die. Freedom has a high price, but the price paid in blood, sweat and tears allows free people to voice their opinion without fear. To those that paid the ultimate sacrifice I pray:

WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER TO ST. PETER I WILL TELL
ONE MORE MARINE REPORTING SIR
I SERVED MY TIME IN HELL

To all that participated in this thread, thank you. For all that served, God Bless You. For those on active duty and our Law Enforcement, may God protect you and keep you safe. Freedom isn't FREE!

Respect to all and I hope I offended no one.
C.S. PowellI had a friend at 881, in 1967, don't recall if it was north or south. They killed him over there, but took untill year & half ago to die! He pass a way in 2004. I do know that hill really screwed him up.While you were there, I got to play water Sports on the Cua Viet River, did the same on the Hue River, DaNang and Chu Lai. PS, Glad you made it back.

Byron Quick
October 21, 2005, 01:01 AM
I've known lots of combat veternas. Dr Bentley,B-24 pilot on the Ploestia raid in WWII. Justice of the Peace John Teddy Palmer B-25 pilot and German POW. Mr. Mims, Silver star recipient at Anzio. Went to school with a guy a couple of years older than me-Clyde Saxon, Silver Star-Vietnam-posthumous.
Local UPS driver-Infantry, Ia Drang. Don Thomas, Laos. Jeffrey Stokes, Marine Barracks, Beirut, Lebanon, 1983. Kurt McCray, Marine, Guadalcanal. Patient of mine in the emergency department, tank crewman, 3rd Army with Patton.

I was never mobilized during my Army Reserve enlistment.


From what I've seen of the people that have had the experience, I certainly don't feel as if I missed anything.

You can hear a lot from them over time if you're willing to listen and don't try to start the conversations or steer the conversations. If you start in with the questions, they'll shut up.

The worst things I've ever heard though were from European civilians during WWII. I know a woman who was 18 in Berlin in April, 1945. Her story of that gave me nightmares. I knew her for about fifteen years before she would ever talk about it.

OEF_VET
October 21, 2005, 02:04 AM
I've come close on a couple occasions.

The first time was in Kosovo, when I had a round in the chamber, safety off, sights on a Serb soldier when he decided to scoot back towards the border. Chances are, if my company commander hadn't prematurely launched a flare, I might well have had to shoot that soldier. I'm kind of happy the CO launched it too soon.

The second time, I actually fired some 81mm mortar Illumination rounds above the heads of two Afghani men at Kandahar Airfield, in March '02. I was the Assistant BDE Fire Support NCO during OP Anaconda. If those guys had decided to act squirrely and fire at the Apache I had overwatching them, or at the Canadians observing them, I was fully prepared to fire them up with mortars, the Apache, or with Canadian Infantry dismounts. Luckily, they decided that it was better to run away and fight another day. (If you consider sneaking around at night, emplacing Anti-Tank mines on previously cleared roads fighting.)

Other than those two times, I've never had to face down an enemy or make the decision to end another humans life. I do know that when I was in those situations, I had the full power to kill them, but in neither situation would it have been right. Granted, none of them were likely candidates for sainthood, but they hadn't done anything that warranted me killing them. I believe that's what seperates us from most of our enemies. We know when to kill someone and when it's not necessary, and we act accordingly. Many of our enemies kill indiscriminately, with little or no regard for whether it is morally right or wrong. And THAT is one of the things that makes America great.

HI express
October 21, 2005, 05:08 AM
2 Uncles-Infantrymen at Guadacanal and Iwo Jima.
Dad-Okinawa.
A distant uncle-442nd in Europe.
Youngest uncle-Korea during the "Police Action"
Oldest cousin-Korean DMZ
I was detached from the 1st Cav to "survey" in Cambodia ('66-'68)
Nephew- 101st(1st big push from Kuwait to Baghdad.) Now on his 2nd tour presently in Kirkuk playing in the big sandbox.

Had a co-worker who claimed SF. He said that he was "dropped in" before Desert Storm..He told all the women at work that he was a "specially trained" sniper and that he hunkered down hiding in his spider hole in the desert for some pre-op work. This guy is 6'1" and 300 lbs. Didn't fit the profile of other SF types that I knew.

There's 4 vets in our office. We challenged him on his stories about his combat experiences but the girls ate it up, but you should have seen this guy's face when my nephew showed up on R & R in his Class A's. My nephew was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. They share the camp with SF people and he offered to look up this co-worker's buds and tell them where he was. My nephew offered to look up his service record after listening to this guy for a few minutes...this guy wouldn't talk about his service time after that visit.

Shrug...takes all kinds.

280PLUS
October 21, 2005, 07:32 AM
Closest ever came to combat is when I "procured" a roll of TP for a SEAL team just before they went ashore on Mindinao.

I'm just reading "Marine" about Chesty Puller. He makes the remark that you never know how you'll react under fire until you're under fire. All I can say is I hope I would measure up. I think the REST of the conditions some of you guys had to face were even more demanding than performing under fire. I can't see how some of you did it. Of course I'm a little older now and not as full of the vim and vigor I once was. One WWII vet I talked to was a navigator on a B-17. Imagine you're sitting there getting shot at and you can't even shoot back. All you can do is wait and hope you're number isn't up. What does it take to be able to withstand that?

middy
October 21, 2005, 10:01 AM
Another thought I just had, along this thread there has been talk of "meeting the elephant". I realize that hunting animals is a totally different thing than killing other humans, but there's a guy over on the hunting forum that goes by H&H hunter - that has really "met the elephant" literally in real life. I know it's not the same emotionally as killing people, but probably more dangerous - and he does a fine job of describing his rather interesting and exciting hunting experiences.
Elephants are more dangerous prey than armed men?! :confused:

You're kidding, right?

Sorry, this is an offtopic reply to an offtopic post, but I felt the need to request a clarification of that statement.

To those that have served, especially those in close combat, thank you, and God bless you and your buddies. You make all the difference in a world where liberty is a rare and precious gift.

Vern Humphrey
October 21, 2005, 10:38 AM
Elephants are more dangerous prey than armed men?!

When facing elephants, always shoot the one with the binoculars -- that's the artillery forward observer.:neener:

Horsesense
October 21, 2005, 01:19 PM
Anyone that suspects that someone is faking has an obligation to the ones who did serve, to confront and report them to http://teamhouse.tni.net/sfwanabe.html there are other organizations that investigate this kind of thing and you can search the net to find them…. It’s the least that you can do.

I actually brought up the web page I linked to, right in front of a guy that was telling me that he was in captured in Cuba, during the Bay of Bids Invasion and traded in a prisoner exchange. The guy grabbed his paper work and left my office before I could get his name ss# etc.

I was just a kid, during Veat Nam but our paperboy; Tony was drafted and went to Nam during that time. He use to call me “Yaze” (SP) after his favorite BaseBall Picture, it was cool to have a “big kid” show an interest in a little kid. When Tony came home, he looked 30 years old and he just wasn’t the same.

Stand_Watie
October 21, 2005, 08:48 PM
.but I felt the need to request a clarification of that statement...

Ok, it was overstated, so sue me:neener: If you have a crummy guide and are a bad shot, it might, maybe, possibly, in some infintesimally small way, potentially, in some rare circumstance, once in a blue moon, concievably, imaginably be more dangerous.

Rembrandt
October 21, 2005, 09:21 PM
My son recently returned from serving in Afghanistan, we nearly lost him, by the grace of God he made it back. Recently both he and myself attended a reunion with my brother-in-law. For the first time in nearly 40 years he brought out a display case no one had ever seen....and began sharing with my son his experiences and pain.

Sometimes only a soldier can understand the experiences of another soldier. I've withheld the identity on his name tag for reasons of privacy....for those of you who were there, you'll know what these items represent.

He didn't go see Mel Gibson's movie "We Were Soldiers", saying only that he was there and lived it first hand.

God Bless those of you who have served, Thank you.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Img_3058.jpg

OEF_VET
October 22, 2005, 12:48 AM
When facing elephants, always shoot the one with the binoculars -- that's the artillery forward observer.

Why you wanna shoot me? Besides, a good elephant FO will have you bathed in steel rain long before you see the whites of his tusks.

Walter
October 22, 2005, 02:31 AM
I served with 3rd Bn., 26th Marines in I Corps RVN in '69, and later with
the 1st Marines in late '69 and '70 in I Corps, RVN.
I wonder sometimes how it might have been different, if we had had
the support of the American people, the way our troops in Iraq and
Afghanistan do today.
I'm a "battle-hardened Marine", but it sometimes brings a tear to my eye
when I see "welcome home" parades and celebrations for our soldiers on
the news. And yes, as self-pitying as it may seem, I wonder why we couldn't have been shown a little appreciation for the sacrifices we made.

Come to think of it, maybe the homecoming reception we got then
is one of the reasons we don't talk about the war these days.

Walter

Geno
October 22, 2005, 06:46 AM
I HOPE that no one else gets the chance to experience what I have. Combat? No, terrorism...in a foreign country, disarmed, unable to return fire. Frankly, give me an AR and slap me into combat ANY day over throw me into a foreign land with no means of defense!

I've looked, up-close-and-personal, down the barrel of two shotguns and two pistols, walked within inches of unexploded improvised bombs and had one "detonated" less than 50 yards from me as I was pouring water to make tea...nearly made me pee my pants. Over the course of three months in Chile, I experienced, witnessed and "heard" within blocks 29 terrorist attacks, including bombings and machine-gun drive-by shootings of the <<carabineros>> (military police).

It was the summer from Hell. It taught me that a person can develop PTSD even if they haven't been the one pulling the trigger. Combat? Sort of...I was the one in the middle, kissing by rear-end good-bye.

Sometimes people will not talk about "combat" situations becuase they replay it in their mind, over and over after they have managed to "forget" it...well, at least put it out of mind.

I actually DID see the person set the bomb 50 yards away...with my own eyes! He looked me square in the eyes as I sat on a park bench with my 8-year-old brother-in-law and his puppy--

I finally fell asleep lastnight at about 3:00 after "reliving" this one from reading this thread. Trust me, I SAW EVERYTHING that day! I just thank God no one died...just the building damaged. I can only imagine that combat is no different than surviving terrorist attacks...youlived the violence once, you don't want to relive it.

I'm sorry if theis seems incoherent or rambling, but it's the one set of experiences that I don't usually go into tons of detail. It's just too unnerving!

So, what's my point to all this? Self-pity??? Heck no!!! I am so thankful to live in America, even if at times it seems like Amerika. I'll take it any day over the alternative. My other point, we need to be mindful of our men and women in uniform who keep extactly THIS situation outside of our borders!!! Lest we live here, what I survived there!

Doc2005

PCGS65
October 22, 2005, 07:53 AM
Does when the ex slapped me just to see if I'd hit her back,and I did nothing but tell her to get out..... count?
I have the highest respect for those that served so the rest of us could have a safe place to sleep. My father korea. Myself too young for vietnam but have friends that were there. I also enjoy the stories some of my fathers friends have about WWII. But you guys are right they only like to share stories with fellow servicemen or very close friends. Thanks Guys!

GRB
October 22, 2005, 08:12 AM
Never been in a military conflict but, I have been I close quarters combat more times than I like to remember. Shots fired, attempts to take away my gun (and then I would imagine shoot me), knife attacks, knife disarmings (by me), group attcacks and beatings (when I was on the bottom but usually wound up coming out ok). I always seemed to have the black cloud over my head and had the nickname of Jose Negro (Spanish for Joe Black - this was while I was in the BP). I find it easy to talk about all of these situations, even about how scared to tears I was during some of them. Maybe this is because they did not happen every other day like they may in a war; they have been spread out unevenly over my 26 year career. The first 4 years were the worst - lots of combat situations - most wrestling matches with guys trying to get away but, some where I was very fortunate not to have been more seriously wounded or even killed. I have a few lifelong scars from some of them, including a bite scar on my left bicep, and good stories from all of them. I find relating them to others has helped me cope with the traumatic psychological effects somewhat and has helped me to train others to avoid or at least cope with the same.

280PLUS
October 22, 2005, 10:23 AM
I had another friend once that had no problem talking about his experiences crossing Europe on foot. He was quite matter of fact about it. He was 5th Ranger and I believe 26 when he hit the beach. It was IIRC 20-30 years before he stopped having regular nightmares. I can relate somewhat because it was ~ 20 years before I stopped dreaming about being out to sea.

C.S.Powell
October 22, 2005, 11:02 AM
A WELCOME HOME BROTHER and a crisp Hand Salute for your reply.
I attend many Homecomings for our soldiers returning from their time in harms way for all of us. Our small mid-west town has many serving now in both zones, Iraq and Afganastan and we are proud as @#$& of them.
One Homecoming was a few weeks ago in a little town of Danville Ia. One lone Marine was coming home but the whole town was there to meet him. I happened to know the town Marshall so I called him and asked if he might suprise them with an escort into town. There were two vehicles filled with family and friends bringing him from the airport so we called one that we hoped he wouldn't be in to let them know they were going to have an escort. We were able to plan where the Marshall would intercept the vehicles and the plan started to roll. At the predetermined point the Marshall lit them up and turned on his wale slowing down to wave to the lead vehicle to follow him. As the story was relayed to us waiting, when the Marshall turned on his lights and wale the poor Marine said "Hell I'm not even home what could I have done!". As the procession pulled into the park the crowd roared and the flags waved. He was truly shocked and overwhelmed. His question was answered. He served to protect us by keeping the bad guys at home, that's what he had done and we were proud to have him back. There wasn't a dry eye and from a couple of us old vets the tears could have filled a swimming pool, olympic size.
So Walter you hit the nail right on the head with your reply.
Semper Fi, and never miss a chance to thank a vet or police officer,
C.S. Powell

DorGunR
October 22, 2005, 11:23 AM
There wasn't a dry eye and from a couple of us old vets the tears could have filled a swimming pool, olympic size.
So Walter to hit it right on the head with your reply.
Semper Fi, and never miss a chance to thank a vet or police officer,
C.S. Powell
Mr Powell, from a guy that spent 3 years in Nam (flying) a GREAT BIG THANK YOU.:)

C.S.Powell
October 22, 2005, 02:45 PM
And thank you!!!! I only did 5 months WIA, don't know if I could have done 3 tours in that HELL HOLE! Semper Fi Brother and WELCOME HOME!!!!
C.S. Powell

James T Thomas
October 22, 2005, 03:58 PM
Whenever I tell someone I was in the US Cavalry, they begin to count my gray hairs! The First Air Cavalry Division; of course during Vietnam, we used the Huey for our iron steeds, and I understant that the current Cav has traded in the helicopters for arnored vehicles, and is deployed in Iraq.

My unit was Company D, 2/7 Cav.
Yes, Gen. Custers unit, and on 3 Dec.1968,we too were caught in and ovewhelming ambush. There are a few survivors; we valiantly fought the whole day, and if it wasn't for our air superiority, we too would have been anihilated totaly.

For an account of the battle I mentioned try .military.com>Vietnam>Articles>"No DEROS Delta" by Sgt. Steve Banko, III.
You will have to join, however, it is free -except they require you admit their cookies.

C.S.Powell
October 23, 2005, 01:47 AM
"Wars might be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who leads that gains the victory". You probably know who uttered this quote. General George S. Patton
Semper Fi and welcome home

sandy4570
October 23, 2005, 02:10 AM
I met a Vietnam vet last week when he came to buy a diabetic test strip for $50 . While I looked at his baseball cap and saw Vietnam vet pin so I asked him why don't you get the test strip from the VA hospital and he inform me that it was not for him but for his wife and he thank me for asking. He shake my hand before he left I think that he appreciate that I acknowledge him for serving his country in Vietnam . I was lucky enough not to have to look at the enemy in the eyes and kill him but my MOS would prevented me from looking to anyone eyes before turning him in to taco salad with the 120 mm sabot or Heat round (19K-M1A1 Heavy tank crewman) but I consider a compliment when some vet at the range ask me if I ever serv in the military and I would proundly said " yes "

nyresq
October 23, 2005, 04:20 AM
if combat means getting shot at and returning fire, then yes. If it has to occure while in the military in some foreign country, then no. unless you consider the south bronx in NYC a foreign country. I earned my "CIB" while on the streets as a LEO. I was never in the military, but I have "walked the walk".

Rich K
October 23, 2005, 10:05 AM
As a former Marine,who served in peacetime only,I can only say thank you to those who have been at the point of the sword,and come back alive.I thank you all for your service and sacrifices,and remember always those who paid the ultimate price.My uncle Ralph,who served in Europe during WWII,only told me one thing about his time there.That was that after 40 years,he could still smell the concentration camp he had helped to liberate.He didn't name it,and I didn't press the issue.He and my paternal Grandfather are the men who made me the man I am today.Thank you all once again,and God Bless and keep you all safe.Semper Fi.

mathyoo
October 23, 2005, 07:58 PM
All I can remember is seeing a bunch of giggling midgets with masks coming from every direction and then emerging from the compound wounded and covered in red....yellow....green.....blue.....white.....orange.....:uhoh:

KC&97TA
October 24, 2005, 01:07 PM
I think the distinction is whether your target is actively trying to kill you, as you are trying to kill him. e.g., muzzle-to-muzzle shooting. That's when time compresses and your blood cools off.

Regrets? Only for comrades who didn't make it and most of all, for their loved ones.

TC

The hardest thing I've ever done, was tell a Marines wife he died for honorable reasons, on a black top road in Iraq, so far away from California, where life is sunshine and bad orange juice, taken from this world by an IED god forbid she find out the 'rabbit mission', or he was just an arms length away from myself. The whole time wondering if I shouldn't have come to this massive memorial, wondering if being a coward and takeing the day off would have been better, not haveing make-up and a womans tears all over my shoulder. The men who'll tell you the down side, are the ones that have been there.

Been in the Corps for a bit over 6 years now, I'm an Engineer. On the second tour as we speak, but this time around is different, I'm thankfull for that and I'm irritated about being placed with a unit that doesn't leave the wire much.

I was in Iraq from March 8 to Sept 20 2004, was there in Fallujah in April 1 to 13 2004, when they made us come back out of the city, only to make it home and watch it on TV the following November. I was with Regimental Combat Team - ONE. For the most part, I've seen things I wouldn't talk about with anyone in detail, unless they were there and even then under extream restraint, somethings are better left on the battle field. I don't talk to my wife about most of the things I've been through. I've been blown up by 2 IED's and 1 RPG and I've had to close the eyes of two of my own and felt it my personal responsibility to zip the bag shut when the last one was taken away from us. When I got back to the states, I ended up getting Purple Heart licence plates, but I'm asked alot about what happened to me, I walk normal, talk normal, not missing any body parts? Frag, in 6 areas of my body, little bit of nerve damage in my arm, shoulder & leg. Not much, but I was lucky.

I've never claimed to walk the walk or talk the talk, but I have the 1000 yard stare, I have the nightmares, I've seen the working end of an AK-47 from 20' away and yes, murder is the most spiritual thing you can do to a man, you take away all he had or was ever going to have. It's suprizeing, the first several really good fire fights you get into, your ears don't ring, the adrenaline is just pumping too hard.

After several continuous days, it becomes a game, the longest shot, the longest gernade launch, you get board shooting people after a week, you get sick of squad rushes & patrols, you get sick of kicking in doors, blowing things up, you get sick of haveing your butt on the line 24/7 and you just want to call in Artillery on the entire city, or the Air Force to bring a MOAB. After the first few times you've lived up to the Title, you've lived up to "The Mission of a Marine Corps Rifle Squad", then the shooting starts up again and all you're doing is looking for more people to shoot at, mussel flashes, movement, things out of place. But the funny thing is, you miss those times, banged up, bloody, scared, excited, tired beyond words, with a smile on your face and jokeing about everything still, dirrect combat is something sacred and holly, amongst anarchy. I quite thinking of my nightmares as night mares and started to think that they are really were I belong, the perfect vacation, shiny new brass everywere, big bang fire works, air shows and the MRE's tasted so good then.

everyone copes differently with the issue... this took me a while to write, or even to respond.

Berek
October 24, 2005, 03:03 PM
Been there, did that, got the scars and the memories. Can't do anything about the former,trying to forget the latter.

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

+1

Still... never mind....

SatCong
October 24, 2005, 03:25 PM
The hardest thing I've ever done, was tell a Marines wife he died for honorable reasons, on a black top road in Iraq, so far away from California, where life is sunshine and bad orange juice, taken from this world by an IED god forbid she find out the 'rabbit mission', or he was just an arms length away from myself. The whole time wondering if I shouldn't have come to this massive memorial, wondering if being a coward and takeing the day off would have been better, not haveing make-up and a womans tears all over my shoulder. The men who'll tell you the down side, are the ones that have been there.

Been in the Corps for a bit over 6 years now, I'm an Engineer. On the second tour as we speak, but this time around is different, I'm thankfull for that and I'm irritated about being placed with a unit that doesn't leave the wire much.

I was in Iraq from March 8 to Sept 20 2004, was there in Fallujah in April 1 to 13 2004, when they made us come back out of the city, only to make it home and watch it on TV the following November. I was with Regimental Combat Team - ONE. For the most part, I've seen things I wouldn't talk about with anyone in detail, unless they were there and even then under extream restraint, somethings are better left on the battle field. I don't talk to my wife about most of the things I've been through. I've been blown up by 2 IED's and 1 RPG and I've had to close the eyes of two of my own and felt it my personal responsibility to zip the bag shut when the last one was taken away from us. When I got back to the states, I ended up getting Purple Heart licence plates, but I'm asked alot about what happened to me, I walk normal, talk normal, not missing any body parts? Frag, in 6 areas of my body, little bit of nerve damage in my arm, shoulder & leg. Not much, but I was lucky.

I've never claimed to walk the walk or talk the talk, but I have the 1000 yard stare, I have the nightmares, I've seen the working end of an AK-47 from 20' away and yes, murder is the most spiritual thing you can do to a man, you take away all he had or was ever going to have. It's suprizeing, the first several really good fire fights you get into, your ears don't ring, the adrenaline is just pumping too hard.

After several continuous days, it becomes a game, the longest shot, the longest gernade launch, you get board shooting people after a week, you get sick of squad rushes & patrols, you get sick of kicking in doors, blowing things up, you get sick of haveing your butt on the line 24/7 and you just want to call in Artillery on the entire city, or the Air Force to bring a MOAB. After the first few times you've lived up to the Title, you've lived up to "The Mission of a Marine Corps Rifle Squad", then the shooting starts up again and all you're doing is looking for more people to shoot at, mussel flashes, movement, things out of place. But the funny thing is, you miss those times, banged up, bloody, scared, excited, tired beyond words, with a smile on your face and jokeing about everything still, dirrect combat is something sacred and holly, amongst anarchy. I quite thinking of my nightmares as night mares and started to think that they are really were I belong, the perfect vacation, shiny new brass everywere, big bang fire works, air shows and the MRE's tasted so good then.
everyone copes differently with the issue... this took me a while to write, or even to respond.Thankyou for being there. It well get better but you never forget just learn to handle it. Some 38 years later it's like yesterday.

Scarface
October 24, 2005, 04:26 PM
Walter, +1

Satcong, haven't heard that in many years

Middy, During the Civil War, having "Seen the elphant" referred to not being able to describe an elephant to someone who had not seen one personally. Like an elephant, war cannot be adequately described to anyone who has not seen it.

946 missions, only walked back twice

Be Well,

Scarface

C.S.Powell
October 24, 2005, 05:42 PM
From an old KheSanh "67" 0311/51 Thank you for a job well done. Welcome home to the land of the free, because of the BRAVE.

"SOME PEOPLE SPEND AN ENTIRE LIFETIME WONDERING IF THEY MADE A DIFFERENCE, MARINES DON'T HAVE THAT PROBLEM".
President Ronald Reagan

Respect and Semper Fi
C.S. Powell

Vern Humphrey
October 24, 2005, 07:33 PM
Middy, During the Civil War, having "Seen the elphant" referred to not being able to describe an elephant to someone who had not seen one personally. Like an elephant, war cannot be adequately described to anyone who has not seen it.


The elephant was a mammoth. In Virginia, a mammoth had been excacated around 1800 -- Jefferson and a few friends paid for digging it up. Having found a dead elephant, they expected Lewis and Clark to find live ones. Later on, it got to be a joke among the Mountain Men, who claimed to have seen the elephant.

People setting out to on the Oregon Trail said they were going to "see the elephant." Some people broke down under the strain, and those people were said to have "seen the elephant."

During the Civil War, people with combat psychosis were said to have "seen the elephant" and eventually it came to mean anyone who saw heavy combat.

Atticus
October 24, 2005, 08:51 PM
I'm a "battle-hardened Marine", but it sometimes brings a tear to my eye
when I see "welcome home" parades and celebrations for our soldiers on
the news. And yes, as self-pitying as it may seem, I wonder why we couldn't have been shown a little appreciation for the sacrifices we made.


Walter, you have my support and appreciation...always did...always will.

The VN war ended when I was 16. Our family had several relatives over there and a ton of acquaintances. I can't say that they talked much about it...but then neither did my Dad (WW11) or Grandpas (WW1). Some things are just better left unsaid I guess. People tended to look for positive things to talk about back then...cause Lord knows the bad was overwhelming. Seems today that people just want to wallow in it.

oneshooter
October 24, 2005, 08:59 PM
kc&97ta, I have also had to write the letters, I still have copies of them, 20 in all. It was not my assigned duty to write them, I was a E-5, but They were from MY platoon, They were MY Marines, and I felt that I owed that much to those who were left alone.
It still bothers me to this day, I will overcome and survive.

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

jaysouth
October 24, 2005, 10:31 PM
From an old KheSanh "67" 0311/51 Thank you for a job well done. Welcome home to the land of the free, because of the BRAVE.

"SOME PEOPLE SPEND AN ENTIRE LIFETIME WONDERING IF THEY MADE A DIFFERENCE, MARINES DON'T HAVE THAT PROBLEM".
President Ronald Reagan

Respect and Semper Fi
C.S. Powell

You folks were the scroungiest looking and smelly bunch I ever did see. I was in the Cav and in the first wave of operation Pegasus when we 'relieved' you folks at Khe Sahn.

I spent a year as a grunt in a parachute infantry company in Viet Nam in 66-67. To avoid going back to the 82d ABN at Ft. Bragg, I extended my tour four times, six months each. The second year I spend in the Intel and Operations section of my battation, then the third year, I was a glorified clerk in An Khe and Tan Son Nhut AFB in Saigon.

As a child, I had heard so many war stories from my father and his brothers about their exploits as infantrymen and paratroopers in WWII, that I concluded that VN was not ever going to amount to much as wars go. Later, it dawned on me that grunts in VN spent more time 'on line' than any unit during the whole of WWII and units suffered many more casualties in VN than in WWII. (1st Cav lost 953 KIA in WWII, over 5,000 KIA in VN. 101st ABN had 1600+ KIA in WWII, 82d ABN had 1500+ KIA in WWII.)

To anyone who will listen or share a drink, I tell incredible tales about heroic amounts of alcohol consumed, prostitutes chased, practical jokes played, incredible black market deals and how I 'got over' on the system using stealth and cunning. Some of my friends comment that some of these stories get better each time I tell them. Except for a couple of eyewittness accounts of combat actions that defy logic or invoke the absurd, I am not comfortable telling just anyone about what I've seen or experienced.

At reunions, with my mates that slept, ate, deficated and bled in the mud and jungle floor, we seldom talk about such things. The emphasis now seems to be on our aging and failing bodies and trying to remember someone's name in a long ago and far off place.

I just spent a month in Germany with my daughter and her husband. He just got back from Iraq. One night after a couple of drinks, I asked "how was it"?
He just shrugged and said "it was O.K.". We exchanged short knowing looks and changed the subject.

Like most veterans of the era, I am disgusted with the professional "vietnam veteran' who is still looking for sympathy or a handout. I have not yet been to the VN memorial in D.C. Despite walking, jogging and driving past it on Constiution Avenue many thousands of times, I have not yet been. Everytime I get the urge to go, I see those bearded losers wearing parts of uniforms with some medals attached to their hats and get over the urge. I fear that someone will associate me with those losers and crybabies. People have been coming back from wars for thousands of years. They shed their uniforms and get on with their lives without looking for pity.

For any veteran who thinks that he had a hard time or a raw deal, I recommend that you real "Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer. This book may not be true word for word or the actual experinces of the author, but it did chronicle the reality that hundreds of thousands of German soldiers suffered on the Eastern Front in WWII.

C.S.Powell
October 24, 2005, 11:30 PM
Pegasus? Had my ticket punched to the USNH Guam May 9th 67, We were doing Op Beacon Star April and May 67. One question: What The HELL Took You Guys So Long!!!! I'm sure alot of Marines were happy to see you, was Pegasus 68 during the siege. Our little op cost us 160 kia and over 700 wia, it was known as The Hill Fights, 881 north, south and 861 first battle of KheSanh.

"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945

Welcome Home and Thanks for the help!
Semper Fi,
C.S.Powell

TrafficMan
October 25, 2005, 01:24 AM
i posted earlier in this thread, but i would like to share a few stories that my grandfather shared with me. He was in a medical outfit, Eurpoean theatre of operations...WWII.

Luckily, my grandad didn't serve in frontline combat, but he did come under fire on more than one occasion.

He told me that him and his buddy were shooting a Grease Gun at tin cans around a "dirt mound" when a German Fighter, which apparently spotted the muzzle flash, started straffing at them. He said he was scared chitless and him and his buddy started running from one side of the mound to the other to escape the attack. Fortunately, AAA got the dude and he bailed out. Grandpa said the Luftwaffe pilot was young, probably in his teens. Grandpa and his buddy ventured off to find the guy and they did. As his buddy held the guy at gunpoint, he stripped him of his (as he puts it) a brand new P-38 pistol. Grandpa brought the pistol back as a trophy, but ended up selling it in the 1950's when he was hard up for money. My dad has memories of shooting the pistol when he was a kid, I really wish it was still in the family. They turned the POW into the MP's.

Story 2
Lieutenant, which he refers to as the dumbest SOB alive, marched him and a group of other soldiers down some RR tracks right into the middle of some entrenched Germans. They started taking heavy machine gun and rifle fire...he said one guy in the group got shot in the foot, but managed to provide cover fire with his M1 Garand so "We could get the hell out there" -- he said the really scary part about that was that he could here Germans talking before the you know what hit the fan. That's all he will elaborate on that one.

that's really all he has told me about the great war...i have asked about other stuff, but he keeps his mouth shut about it. with the exception of a few other funny non combat related stuff. Outside of that, he just said he was scared a lot. I couldn't even imagine.

My good friend Jack was in the Air Cav in vietnam. Two tours total. He has also told me some stuff. I even had the great pleasure of viewing some films he shot over there with a little movie cam. He was wounded in action twice and has shown me the scars (on his back) where he got hit with shrapnel or something. One of the coolest, most humble guys I have ever known.

jaysouth
October 25, 2005, 09:17 AM
Pegasus? Had my ticket punched to the USNH Guam May 9th 67, We were doing Op Beacon Star April and May 67. One question: What The HELL Took You Guys So Long!!!! I'm sure alot of Marines were happy to see you, was Pegasus 68 during the siege. Our little op cost us 160 kia and over 700 wia, it was known as The Hill Fights, 881 north, south and 861 first battle of KheSanh.

"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945

Welcome Home and Thanks for the help!
Semper Fi,
C.S.Powell

Operaton Pegasus ENDED the siege of Khe Sahn. The rational behind hanging a regiment of Marines out in a fixed outpost within artillery range of Laos always evaded my mental processes.

Two days after the Cav and its 400 helicopters staged the operation, we were pissed that the NVA ran. We went spoiling for a serious fight and couldnt find anyone to fight after the 2d day. I was the 83(air operations officer) for an infantry battalion. The planning that went into the operation went day and night for 8 weeks. After the initial meedinngs, we dialed the Marines out of the planning. They did not want a relief operation that would appear to rescue the Marines Their mindset was that hey were Marines and could take care of themselves very well without any help from the army. We had every rotary asset in VN diverted to cover our lift of 18,000 troops in two days.

I was on the first wave with two radio operators and a mapboard to set up an advanced command post. We were on an air farce CH-53 based somewhere way down south. About half way, a warning light went off on the Cockpit dash. The AC started a turn away to get back and fix his bird on solid ground. Our OPS officer, a crusty young major went to consult with the AC. The AC was adamant, THIS bird was going home.

Our OPS officer pulled out a .38 and started banging it on the ACs helmet. Apparently this argument got the zoomies attention and convinced him that a little blinking red light was not critical to the mission.

When asked later about the incident, the OPS officer merely said that a chicken???? airfarce zoomie helo driver was not going to deny our unit's 'rendezvous with destiny', a phrase made famous by the 101st CG in WWII.

A week later we were back at our base in Quang Tri. Disappointed that we didnt get to save the USMC in a more spectacular way. A day or two later, a bunch of trucks pulled behing our battalion area and unloaded a battalion of the 26th Marines(the unit on Khe Sahn). Those troops were the smelliest, dirtiest, and begraggled bunch of humans I have ever seen. A couple of days went by, the only supply that the marines were providing these troops was C rations and water. We built a couple of extra latrines and opened our chow line up to them(we normally fed 100 men per day in the rear, this jumped to 500 with the Marines coming as dinner guests).

Our brigade commander felt so sorry for them that he had a shower point built near by and get them clean clothes and new boots. As much as we liked to rag on 'jarheads', we really felt bad that a bunch of guys who had endured six months of daily shelling and meager rations and water were treated like offcasts by their own Marines (five miles away at 3d MARDIV Hq, Marine officers were eating meals off china served by whitecoated mess attendants). After a week, they started doing PT and patrols around the firebase. After another week, they marched off the firebase on an operation looking for their next rendizvous with destiny.

.45-70TC
October 25, 2005, 06:04 PM
C.S.Powell & jaysouth;

Just seeing that word prompted me to reply. First off....WELCOME HOME, Gents!!! I was a driver with 9th MT Bn. and we referred to Pegasus as 'The Relief of Khe Sahn'. My heart goes out to ALL who were in that 'hole'. I drove the point truck on the convoys from Dong Ha to Camp Carrol and Cam Lo during that Op. Lost a good friend, WIA myself, nite of 4 Apr '68 at Carrol when a round of H&I from a 75 pack howie was lobbed in on us. Anyway, to the thread, NO, came close, pulled a patrol So. of Dong Ha and was assigned as MG'er, spotted a few NVA about 500-700 yds out, Sgt. pulled me up and said 'set a bead'! I thought...'YEAH, RIGHT!!!' One was peein' on a tree, he said 'don't shoot though, we gotta call in and see what to do. Was told to leave 'em and head back. On the way back heard Hueys headed back that way. One nerve wracking moment for me. I was there but still can't imagine what went through you boys minds who did.

Again...........Welcome Home and Semper Fi and to the Boys in and over 'there'...........BLESS YOU ALL!!

3rd Gen/Marine and proud as hell! G'pa started it all in WWI

280PLUS
October 25, 2005, 08:24 PM
"There I was" Sea Stories of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1965. Compiled by Richard Zimmerman

The class of 1965 was the first to graduate into Viet Nam. "Dick" was among them. I think he's got a basement full of these books, or he did at one time anyways. I've helped him whittle the pile down a little over the years.

One thing I learned from the book was that the Academy also trained Marine officers, so there's a few Marine stories in there too. There's a LOT of good stuff in this book.

You can get them directly from him:

Richard Zimmerman
2000 S. Eads #329
Arlington, Va 22202

I think $20 covers the book and shipping

This is one of the best threads I've ever seen and if I didn't do it earlier I want to thank each and every one of you for what you've done for the rest of us.

Incidentally, my reading now has me with Chesty at a little place called Chosin, again I remain in awe of the conditions some have had to contend with when at war and their ability to survive.

SatCong
October 25, 2005, 09:12 PM
The one thing I have found is that a man under very stressful situation well do things that they would never thought they could do. Once in combat big or little you well take that with you for the rest of your life. War is such a waste of people, but if you don't fight to defend our country we are done for!We have a lot a young men & women coming back with your problems, and they well need help and understanding

Walter
October 25, 2005, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the "Welcome Home", and all the kind words, C.S. and All.
It only took me about 30 years to tame the demons I brought home with
me from that war, but I've got them under my bootheel now. :cool:

Semper Fi, Brothers!

Walter

jaysouth
October 26, 2005, 07:34 PM
Walter,

I tamed my demons breaking nightsticks and riot batons over maggot infested war protester hippie heads.

Within a year of leaving VN and getting separated, I was a member of MPDC, the D.C. police. I looked forward to anti-war protests. My finest day was may day 71 when the police staged their own riot. There was a large antiwar demo going on all over the city. The word got out that an MPDC officer got killed by some protestors near Dupont circle. This turned out to be erronious. But before that word could get out, MPDC, the Capitol Police and Park Police went on a rampage. Every emergency room was overflowing with beaten war protestors. I watched four officers drag a bunch of hippies out of a VW minivan. They beat the crap out of the occupants and set the van on fire. Newsmen with cameras got beaten and their cameras broken. I saw an LT from another precinct mace three nuns sitting on the ground up near GW hospital. They were sitting on the ground waving signs until they got their sinuses cleaned out.

This changed the whole tenor of the protests. Until then, the hippies and hard corp troublemakers and nhilests could get by with anything. That changed on May Day 71. After that day, it was kick ass and take names. If someone got out of line, they got a beating and trip to Central Cell Block. The black criminals locked up there got a kick out of terrorizing, beating and sodomizing the war protestors who they called punks. Word got out real quick to do anything to keep their lilly while little behinds out of D.C. Jail or central cell block.

There is a misconception to this day that the protests were staged by college students. There were some and it was a socially acceptable thing to do, but the students never got violent like the communists and trotskyites and Students for a Democratic Society.

C.S.Powell
October 26, 2005, 07:53 PM
:) Swating a fly with a sledghammer, BRILLIANT!!!!
S.F.
C.S.Powell:) :fire:

GRB
October 27, 2005, 11:07 AM
jaysouth,

Take the following as you will but, please note it is not meant as a commentary on you. It is meant as a friendly observation based upon your recent post above.

You seem as if you possibly are proud that others and maybe even you lost your tempers and then quite possibly violated the law and beat people with no apparent legal justification but just out of anger. I note though, you only to mention you broke nightsticks over heads and do not to mention if you did it with or without justification, legal justification that is.

I am a pretty conservative guy and, I was pretty conservative even in my long hair days when I thought that the returning vets deserved a lot better. I never attended an anti-war protest, I went to church and prayed for those overseas fighting the war, I proudly wore the MIA bracelet that I purchased to support the search for those who were still missing. I flew the American flag. I was not out trying to bring the US down but trying to support her, I was ready to join the military back then if needed (but will admit I was happy the war ended before that became necessary). I went to college and majored in police science anticipating a career as an LEO and; I have spent 26 years plus as an LEO. I addition to all of that I thought Richard M. Nixon was one heck of a darned good president; not quite as good as Ronald W. Reagan but pretty darned good.

I also can say without a doubt that even though I have had to kick some ass in my duties as an LEO, I have never beaten (or even hit just once) anyone without legal justification. While I have been quite happy to have survived and won situations (and celebrated wildly afterward) where physical force was required to win (even where extreme physical force was necessary to survive) I have never thought or told others that beating someone tamed anything, especially 'my demons'. Well maybe it tamed the guy who tried to do me harm. Beating people as described in a post above does not seem to me to be a demon tamer, just an unleashing of the demons. Where do you think those demons went after those beatings were given out? In all likelihood they went right back home to you.

You may have gone through some form of terrible hell in Vietnam to arrive at the point where you see such as taming demons. Yet what you may actually have arrived at was PTSD. It is a normal reaction for people who are truly traumitized by a traumatic experience or multiple traumatic experiences (the trauma causing agent can be quite varied). It is also a normal reaction for the traumatically stressed person to keep looking for the fight, or the stressor throughout many years of their lives after the initial traumatic event(s). This is often brought on by the feeling of helplessness that sufferers feel during the initial traumatic event just as you described not being able to get the bad guys for 2 days in nam in an earlier post. This continuance of the seeking stress usually just feeds the fire - more and more traumas to live with and, the PTSD just keeps on going as the sufferer tries to compensate for the initial feeling of helplessness by doing something they believe is noble and helpful in future stressful siituations. Many who suffer from PTSD go into law enforcement, firefighting, para-medic or other high risk jobs or jobs that bring them into contact with risk, violence or, the after effects of violence. In other words they seek contact with traumatic stressors. While it is true, people who suffer from PTSD often do a lot of good as LEOs or in other high risk professions; their lives and their families often suffer because of it. They not only seek the stress at work but in all aspects of their lives. They many times get an us against them attitude (us being other PTSD sufferers or at least others at work, or in veterans groups, or in boards like this one, with whom they can empathize). I am not saying this is necessarily you, just maybe there was some PTSD in your life at that time, the time you just described above. It maybe something to consider if you are still taming demons today because if untreated, PTSD can literally last a lifetime. Hopefully you are over it if that was the case. if not, then it is failry easy to overcome with some assistance. It is time consuming sometimes but, definitely a mountain that you or anyone can climb with the right guide.

Thanks for your service, welcome home.

best regards,
Glenn B

mcg-doc
October 27, 2005, 03:09 PM
1986 - 1988 Red Army during the war in Afganistan. No real combat though.:)

James T Thomas
October 27, 2005, 06:17 PM
I must add to my post, after re-reading the forum.

I had a "combat medic" who must be honored. This man was called on the battlefield, when the bullets were flying, and was afraid. However, he had such courage as to sprint through the firestorm to go to the aid of his wounded friends, and did so, battle after battle. It eventally cost him his life.
I say he was afraid (we all were), but I say courage; because if you are not in fear, then there is no courage involved.

His name was Danny Maudsley. Read my previous post to understand all the battle we experienced. It became evident, that if a man was not killed outright, then his death might ensue from blood loss -unless we could get him "medevaced" quickly. So I suggested to Danny to carry plasma; the clear liquid blood product that can be used reguardless of blood type. It would keep for awhile in the heat. Danny carried several plastic bags of it, and if he could get the needle inserted before the vessels would collapse from no pressure, then you had a chance.

I last saw him, running in front of me to answer some anguished cry for help, the plasma bags streaming out liquid where the bullets had hit his backpack!
The young man was a consciensious objector, and for humor, carried a plastic squirt gun in a holster. It's a heart rendering memory.
Having since then spoken with the last few survivors of my unit, they agree..

You men who are now serving under "live fire" conditions. Please consider,
do not call for the medic, even though the wounded are in pain, and fear, unless it is life or death situation.
Administer the first aid you have been taught, and only require those brave men to risk their lives for just that; to save another life. Nothing else.

Today, when I see a man in uniform, and he is wearing the "Combat Medic's Badge," I render a respectful salute, similar to the C.M.H.
Bravery walking.

Not exactly topical, but these men faced death in the eyes so nobely.

C.S.Powell
October 27, 2005, 07:02 PM
J.T., the most unsung hero's of any war/conflict is the Medic/Corpman, when the scream of Medic/Corpman up is made you know a house call is on the way. They are a special breed, courage beyond belief, covering a downed soldier with their own body to try and save a life. Hats off to all Medics and Corpman you deserve a special spot in Heaven.
That was a great remembrance of a commrad and friend, and how true, how true.
Semper Fi,
C.S. Powell

jaysouth
October 28, 2005, 12:01 AM
Mr. Bartley,

Your comments are taken without offense and I appreciate the time that you took to make them.

The first time that I had ever applied stick to skull(during a war protest) was after being hit in the face and having my nose and two fingers broken by a rock an antiwar protestor was wielding. I was told by an AUSA(Asssistant U.S. Attorney, yes it was on tape) that I probably should not have hit him in the head but my restraint was duly noted, not only by not shooting the ??????? myself but restraining a fellow officer from hitting the perp after he went to ground. By the way, Department policy at the time prohibited striking anyone above the shoulders for ANY reason. This was understood by all and observed on the street. The perp was charged with felony assault on an officer and aggrivated assault. He was allowed to plead simple assault and went away with a fine and suspended sentance.

By May Day 71, we had worked several months without a day off and many days did double shifts(no, we did not get overtime). Protesters were emboldened by judges throwing unlawful assembly and participating in riot charges out. One judge ruled that a protester throwing a bottle at officers was 'exercising free speech'.

Yes, frustration level was running high, but morale was good and relations between the department and normal everyday citizens(including street people) was the same as ever. The demonstrators however were disrupting everyone's life. It should be noted that the bulk of the demonstrators were hard core troublemakers and not college students as the media projected.

On May day, when word got around that an officer had been killed by protestors, the cops went on their own riot. As I have thought about this for over 30 years, it is clear in my mind that not a single innnocent bystander got any notice from the police. However, if you were wearing a T shirt that said "off the pigs" or "death to cops" and you needed a haircut and bath, you got hurt if you chose to stand and resist. If you chose to throw a rock or bottle, you got the crap beat out of you. After a couple of hours, we took back the streets and kept them for the duration of the protest days. After that day, if you refused to follow simple instrutions, it was a dose of mace and a trip to central cell block. If you threw a rock or bottle, you got a beating and a trip to central cell block. At that point, what the courts did afterwards was pointless. The lesson was quickly absorbed on the street and the tenor of protest took a civil turn. Up to that time protest leaders with a microphone were exhorting the mob to 'off the pigs'. After May day, the message was, 'do not interfere with the police, they are just doing their job'. The whole debacle could have been avoided in the first place if police leadership and the politicians had simply observed longstanding policy and law and taken a firmer stance when the protests started.

Anyhow, a couple of years later I knew that I was not supposed to be a cop. Not because of protests, but because I did not want to spend the rest of my life in the ghetto dealing with that pathology. I got a degree in accounting and battled the demons of extraordiary loss carryover gains and the subtle nuances of generally accepted accounting principles. Until I moved last year to TN, I was a volunteer at the local VA. I worked several hours every week in the spinal cord injury wing.

Walter
October 28, 2005, 12:52 AM
You may have gone through some form of terrible hell in Vietnam to arrive at the point where you see such as taming demons. Yet what you may actually have arrived at was PTSD. It is a normal reaction for people who are truly traumitized by a traumatic experience or multiple traumatic experiences (the trauma causing agent can be quite varied). It is also a normal reaction for the traumatically stressed person to keep looking for the fight, or the stressor throughout many years of their lives after the initial traumatic event(s). This is often brought on by the feeling of helplessness that sufferers feel during the initial traumatic event just as you described not being able to get the bad guys for 2 days in nam in an earlier post. This continuance of the seeking stress usually just feeds the fire - more and more traumas to live with and, the PTSD just keeps on going as the sufferer tries to compensate for the initial feeling of helplessness by doing something they believe is noble and helpful in future stressful siituations. Many who suffer from PTSD go into law enforcement, firefighting, para-medic or other high risk jobs or jobs that bring them into contact with risk, violence or, the after effects of violence. In other words they seek contact with traumatic stressors. While it is true, people who suffer from PTSD often do a lot of good as LEOs or in other high risk professions; their lives and their families often suffer because of it. They not only seek the stress at work but in all aspects of their lives. They many times get an us against them attitude (us being other PTSD sufferers or at least others at work, or in veterans groups, or in boards like this one, with whom they can empathize). I am not saying this is necessarily you, just maybe there was some PTSD in your life at that time, the time you just described above. It maybe something to consider if you are still taming demons today because if untreated, PTSD can literally last a lifetime. Hopefully you are over it if that was the case. if not, then it is failry easy to overcome with some assistance. It is time consuming sometimes but, definitely a mountain that you or anyone can climb with the right guide.



I am amazed that someone who was not THERE, and therefore has no rational
point of reference, can diagnose a psychiatric disorder and suggest a
method of treatment for symptoms perceived in an internet post.

I believe I have PTSD. It took me about 25 years to come to that realization.
And another five years to figure out how to get it under control. But in my
opinion, I now have my "DEMONS" under control. It doesn't necessarily take
an army of pshrinks and a bundle of cash to clear one's mind. Sometimes
a person can work their own way out of the minefield.

Walter

docgbrown
October 28, 2005, 02:53 AM
You've got two different questions here...one asks who has served in actual combat, and another asks if you've looked the enemy in the eye.


I concur with the aforementioned statement in that I believe that you are asking two different questions and perhaps not asking the right questions. After spending over five hours trying to compose a more explanatory reply, I give up. A sufficient reply would be too long, emotionally painful and potentially hazardous to my freedom.

Unfortunately, due to our current political mindset and methods, I should not risk incriminating myself or those that were there with me by divulging too much. I was in a comparatively unique unit. It was a unit that I did not expect to be thrown in to. I never had any training with a unit of this type. Despite many, many years in service, little of what I experienced there I had anticipated. For a long time life in the sand box really sucked. At my pay grade and position I don’t know how I could have done anything significantly different.

My memories still bother me. Although less often, sometimes my dreams are much worse. The face of death can be awful up close. For me it has been worse in hindsight. Every life is precious. Perhaps I was too busy then to feel the pain I feel now. Perhaps the more austere conditions kept me stoic and optimistic. Being a health care provider, it is my job to try to help my patient as best I can. It really sucks when the best thing I can do for someone is to help someone expire. ...I can’t change the past or erase these memories. I don't know if I want to forget.

I have seen our friends, civilians and the enemy like most do not. I have seen a lot of sick, wounded and broken bodies. I've smelt, touched and dealt with death and dying up close, and...Well worse. Almost my entire unit wears the combat action ribbon. I do not. Most of my unit was shot at several times. During most of the time I was there it was my job to select which of our Corpsmen and Marines would be at increased risk for each new evolution.

My base was sniped at daily and mortared at least monthly, but no one shot at me personally, not even when one had a clear shot at me in close range. When this man had the drop on me, from a car pulled next to the civilian one I was in while traveling off base with Iraqis, he smirked instead of killing me. Neither of us said anything. His eyes told me that he knew that he could have killed me without anything I could have done about it. Yet, he let me continue on my way and live. That was the closest I brushed with my death.

I don’t want to go back to Iraq. Since I am currently applying to medical school, it would mess up my educational plans if I returned to Iraq. I might not return to my wife and young children if I go to Iraq again. These things not withstanding, I have volunteered to go back. I can’t explain it. It just is.

I don't know if you count me as one who saw "actual combat" or having "looked the enemy in the eye" in what ever manner you intended. My experiences there sucked then and haunt me now. I have many strong opinions about my experiences but I mostly try not to think about it or them. Unlike before I went, I now avoid emotional movies and realistic war movies or programs. It is amazing what horrible memories something trivial or simple can trigger. I apologize for my inability or unwillingness to include more details but I hope this blurb helps and doesn’t get anyone in trouble.




Semper Fidelis,

“Doc” G. Brown

HI express
October 28, 2005, 04:58 AM
J.T. and DocG,
I salute you and others like you. We speak generally of people who have been in combat and we mostly speak of men and women who carried weapons and fought in combat, but many people wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the special breed of people in the medical field who were right alongside of us who carried a weapon into battle.

What you spoke of in this thread reminded me of a man who was a conscientientious objector, refused to carry a weapon but served in the Pacific Theatre in WW2 as a corpsman. My dad was in the same unit and said it was one of the most awesome sights that he had ever seen.

They were caught in a fearsome battle on Iwo Jima where their platoon was taking what little cover that they could on a hill They were taking many casualties and my dad said they could barely lift their heads to return fire when their forward observer was wounded. No one said anything because they knew that anyone that tried to cross that bare ground to help him was probably going to get killed. My dad said that the corpsmman next to him without saying a word stood up and ran to the wounded soldier. He put on what field dressings that he had left and then an artillery barrage hit their position. The corpsman yelled for them to give him covering fire and when there was a lull picked up the wounded soldier and carried him in a fireman's carry across the open ground.

The awesome sight that my dad said happened at that moment was that the corpsman had dark black hair when he crossed that field under fire and as he returned under even more intense fire, his hair color changed to grey, then to white.

In my time in country, we saw many similar acts of bravery by medics. Some of those guys did things that guys with guns wouldn't do...I salute you guys... you guys are special to many of us who returned home from combat. Thank you and welcome home.

AirForceShooter
October 28, 2005, 09:35 AM
Medics are your best friend.
NEVER let a medic buy his own drinks. EVER.

AFS

DigitalWarrior
October 28, 2005, 09:55 AM
The question is not a trick question.
Firing a 155mm or dropping Iron or Napam from the sky is combat. Being hit on patrol and trying to be over run is up close and personal, you actually see the enemy when you pull the trigger. There is a big difference, you see what your rounds actually have done.

American soldiers never lost a war, American politicians have and are trying to do it again.
On behalf of friends who have rained hell from the sky, please be aware that those comments can get you badly messed up in a bar. Being in the sky is not to be invincible. MANPADs and all kinds of other things can ruin your day.

KC&97TA
October 28, 2005, 02:58 PM
The book "Generation Kill" is a good book, by Even Wright, I believe.

It's about 1st Recon BN spear heading the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The author tell's it how it went, even down to the enlisted personel busting on the officers and the shooting of a little girl. I read it 4x now, I can never put it down.

C.S.Powell
October 28, 2005, 03:03 PM
Best reread my comment before making a statement like you did.
C.S.Powell

GRB
October 28, 2005, 04:07 PM
Walter,

I am amazed that someone who was not THERE, and therefore has no rational point of reference, can diagnose a psychiatric disorder and suggest a method of treatment for symptoms perceived in an internet post.

What surprises me is that someone who read my post would say that I have diagnossed anyone with PTSD. That would be rather foolhardy of me to do without seeing the person (and without being either a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist) just as; it is incorrect for someone to say I made such a diagnosis. Yet one can make conjecture and develop of hypothesis based upon just the information that was given in the post in question. However, I did not even make a hypothesis. The bottom line of what I said was this:

I am not saying this is necessarily you, just maybe there was some PTSD in your life at that time, the time you just described above. It maybe something to consider if you are still taming demons today because if untreated, PTSD can literally last a lifetime. Hopefully you are over it if that was the case. If not, then it is failry easy to overcome with some assistance. It is time consuming sometimes but, definitely a mountain that you or anyone can climb with the right guide.

PLEASE NOTICE THE WORDS MAY AND IF IN THE ABOVE QUOTE, I meant them literally. I merely pointed out some things about PTSD of which someone may have not been aware in relation to the so called taming of demons by use of force, since a use of force, like was described, sometimes is a classic example of the reaction of someone suffering from PTSD (it does not take a doctor of any sort to realize what are the symptoms of PTSD but if you wonder how I know it is because I majored in Forensic Psychology for my Master's program).

As for the part of your comment that there is no rational point of reference, come now and be realistic. Do you really believe that in order for someone to determine that another is suffering from PTSD, the person making the determination has to have actually suffered through the same trauma. That is pretty far fetched but; it often one of the reasons a PTSD sufferer will give to avoid treatment. They say, no one else can know what it was like unless they were there, therefore noe one but another sufferer can help me and even then that person does not know exactly what I am suffering. This is, in part, the isolation that a PTSD sufferer creates for himself. Sure while I, or anyone else who was not there, can not know first hand what it was like in Vietnam or in any other situation in which we were not present, I can know exactly what it is like to suffer from PTSD and; I can no about the symptoms of PTSD. I do not even have to suffer from it to understand it.

You see while the cause of the trauma is somewhat important to understand so that it can be addressed specifically; what is more important is to understand that there was a trauma, and the normal reactions to such, and how to overcome those reactions and, that those reactions within certain parameters are quite common among PTSD sufferers no matter what was the trauma that set them off. One need not ever suffer from PTSD, or from the same trauma as a person afflicted with PTSD, in order to make a diagnosis or to understand PTSD or the suffering caused by it, nor to help alleviate it.

As far as working out of PTSD on your own, I think you possibly are fooling yourself if in fact you diagnossed your self correctly. Maybe you did, and I hope so but; I would tend to doubt you have completely overcome PTSD on your own. One of the classic symptoms is isolationism. This does not have to be on the surface either but can show up in such things as a refusal to seek counseling and other more subtle things than becoming a hermit. Thinking you can go it all on your own, that lone American hero type thing, is sometimes one of the most self defeating things a PTSD sufferer can attempt.

PTSD is not some strange or incurable mental disorder, it is often an overpowering set of normal reactions or defense mechanisms to conditions that create mental trauma. There should be no shame in being a PTSD sufferer; as a matter of fact I think just the opposite, there often is probably some cause to believe the person so afflicted was a survivor (and maybe even rather heroic) at some point in the face of overwhelming danger.

Please don't get my reasosn for bringing this out wrong. I have been there and done that as far as PTSD goes, probably for much more time in my life than I want to imagine and, due to many more traumatic events than I would like to believe were traumatic. I am not certain I am over it all yet, but I am getting there. As I think I said earlier, the actual source of the trauma does not matter all that much in the development or even treatment of PTSD; the fact is that certain aspects of any mental trauma can cause someone to suffer post traumatic stress and in some people that leads to PTSD. Many times people are not aware they are suffering from it if for no other reason than they think the things they are doing are helping them to cope, when it truth the things they do often perpetuate the PTSD. Thats why, after reading the post about taming demons by either beating or witnessing beatings, I made my earlier post. It was only the the sense of hey, think about this if you have not already. No diagnosis offered at all.

Again, I am not diagnossing anyone, nor am I making a commentary about you or your mental health. I am just putting some information out there so folks, who have been affected by some bad things to the possible point of being traumitized, can take them into consider. I apologize if anyone thought otherwise.

On that note I will shut up.

All the best,
Glenn B

Leadbutt
October 28, 2005, 05:53 PM
Interesting thread,

Simple answer

4th ID LRRP 68-69

possum
October 28, 2005, 07:30 PM
B co, 1-41 Infantry , !st AD
oct. 05 2003- present
OIF June- 12- 04 to June -10- 05
Baghdad, Iraq / Abu- Ghraib/ Biap area
Bradley Gunner

Horsesense
November 2, 2005, 08:20 PM
Siberian POW
http://www.alpharubicon.com/survpage/siberianpow.htm

HSMITH
November 3, 2005, 12:27 AM
After some of the previous posts my contribution was small. I drew combat pay and was in harms way, but here I am whole in mind and body. I thank God alone for that. Lots were not as fortunate as I..........

1911Tuner
November 3, 2005, 06:01 AM
On the Navy Corpsman/Objector who served...That's a typical Navy Corpsman. If a Marine is down, the Corpsman is GONNA go. Doesn't matter if a One-Star orders him to stay put, he'll ignore it and go.

On the relating of combat experience...You'll find that only rarely will anyone who'd seen it will be willing to talk about it in anything other than general terms. "Yeah...I was there. It was bad." Press for details, and he'll change the subject. 99% of the "war stories" that you hear are told by the ones who were in the rear with the gear and the beer.

Them that talk didn't do. Them that did don't talk.

SatCong
November 3, 2005, 09:06 AM
On the Navy Corpsman/Objector who served...That's a typical Navy Corpsman. If a Marine is down, the Corpsman is GONNA go. Doesn't matter if a One-Star orders him to stay put, he'll ignore it and go.

On the relating of combat experience...You'll find that only rarely will anyone who'd seen it will be willing to talk about it in anything other than general terms. "Yeah...I was there. It was bad." Press for details, and he'll change the subject. 99% of the "war stories" that you hear are told by the ones who were in the rear with the gear and the beer.

Them that talk didn't do. Them that did don't talk. People in the rear where REMF"S, don'ts ask for the real meaning, you should know it.;)

Moondoggie
November 3, 2005, 09:17 AM
As far as the idea goes that "raining death from the sky" isn't actual combat, I offer the following fact:

During WWII the 8th Air Force in Europe suffered more casualties than the entire Marine Corps did in the Pacific. Saw this on a program aired on the History Channel about the air war in Europe.

depicts
November 3, 2005, 11:56 AM
When I first saw C.S. Powell's question starting this thread, I thought, oh here we go, Rambo time again. (I use that word a lot in my two weeks on this forum)

Turns out I was wrong for the most part. My cheek is wet, and some of the posts bring back memories that really don't matter to anyone but me.

To my Brother Vietnam Vets who are still struggling with the reception we got when we came home, I advise you to look for some help. We didn't do anything wrong. Be brave again and help yourself to understand that we can be proud of our service, even if not proud of individual events or circumstances.

I really tried NOT to post a reply, but I had to recognize and thank those members here who I would proudly walk with. You all know who you are.

Thank You, and Welcome Home Brothers (and Sisters), from all conflicts, who have paid the price for our Freedom.

4th Infantry Division, Central Highlands, 69-69

(Nothing is foolproof for a determined fool)

mons meg
November 3, 2005, 08:05 PM
Thought about posting, then didn't, but then Moondoggie inspired me, that ol' Master Gunny. :) (the coolest rank in all the Marine Corps, IMO)

So now I guess I'll post briefly about my experience. USMC-R 0844 Field Artillery fire control, our reserve 155mm battery was attached to 3/10, 2nd MEF during Desert Shield/Storm.

Lord knows I didn't see the worst danger there, but being an artillery unit, we don't expect to take small arms fire. Iraqi counter battery fire did try to find us several times, but our radar units picked them up pretty quick and we were able to "turn them off" in short order. Actually, we did take small arms fire briefly, from a Marine infantry company doing some "clearing by fire" of a bunker complex that was between our units. (Nobody was hit, fortunately). Know your target and what is beyond it...in their defense, you couldn't see your hand six inches from your face that night after the oil fires were in full swing.

Did we see our targets? Did they see us? No, but they were trying to kill us and we were trying to kill them right back. Just because we didn't see them doesn't mean they're not still dead. Doesn't mean that trying to fight and do your job in pitch black doesn't take a bit of a toll, doesn't mean there weren't times I wanted to dig a hole with my e-tool and crawl inside. At the time, we didn't know the battle was so one-sided in our favor.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I saw enough of the elephant to know what it looks like, even if I didn't crawl up on its back and go for a ride. My wife's great uncle did that in the Pacific as a rubber boat recon Marine when he was 19...his lamest stories make my best ones sound sad, but he never tries to make me feel like he's any more of a combat vet because he got to/had to watch his foes perish.

So there you go...

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