November 28, 2004

True Life

You want to know what the life of a combat soldier is like?

Go read this first person account of a platoon leader in Iraq. These men do what they do because of their devotion to their fellow soldiers, that is the one enduring truth in war.

You might take note of the fact that the war experience is not the same for all soldiers in Iraq. It makes a difference on where you are and what your job specialty is.

That does not denigrate anyone's experience, but it does show that war is like the parable of the elephant and the blind men; each man's description is dependent on what part of the elephant he happened to feel.

I once related to a friend some of my experiences in Cold War Germany, he told me that he had other friends there at the same time who refuted that what I had experienced was what it was "really like". All I can say is that was their tale and I stand by mine. I'm sure that if I had spent all my tour at Ramstein AB, my experiences there would have been vastly different than they were.

In the end, the only thing that truly matters is that you are there for your fellows when the going gets rough, and you do what needs to be done despite the fear, exhaustion, frustration and discomfort, and remembering that while those in the rear may not have experienced the same things you have, you could not have done your job without them.


Posted by Delftsman3 at November 28, 2004 05:50 PM

Great post Delftsman, the farther from the PX the broader the experience I suppose. It's relative to where you are in the chain, front, rear or somewhere in-between and what your're exposed to. I am so grateful I'm not involved in this one. The one constant is that wounds heal, memories don't. It would be wonderful if there were some way to turn off and erase the sights, sounds and smells of war from memory. Those that don't have those memories are the lucky ones.

Posted by: Jack at November 28, 2004 11:37 PM
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