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Old 04-03-2010, 07:59 PM   #1
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I miss Iraq, I miss my gun...

An essay.

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Humvees rolled into view and the explosions brought mushroom clouds of dirt and smoke and chunks of metal spinning through the air. Other videos and pictures showed insurgents shot dead while planting roadside bombs or killed in firefights and the remains of suicide bombers, people how they're not meant to be seen, no longer whole. The images sickened me, but their familiarity pulled me in, giving comfort, and I couldn't stop. I clicked through more frames, hungry for it. This must be what a shot of dope feels like after a long stretch of sobriety. Soothing and nauseating and colored by everything that has come before. My body tingled and my stomach ached, hollow.

I Miss Iraq. I Miss My Gun. I Miss My War. - Esquire

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Old 04-03-2010, 08:29 PM   #2
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very interesting read. make ya look at it a little differently

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Old 04-03-2010, 09:30 PM   #3
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thanks tiny.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:28 PM   #4
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Wow...I liked that a lot. It really takes you into the mind of those soldiers. One of my classmates did an 18 month tour in Afghanistan and he reminded me a lot of the soldier who wrote that essay...he always told us it was Hell in Afghanistan, yet he had so many stories you could tell he really did miss it all.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:09 PM   #5
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great read, thanks

i've often wondered this myself. i think a lot about the soldiers in the war. i wanted to be one, but can't. i was standing in line at walmart recently while a certain person held up the entire line for to have some employee to fetch them the right product that they are entitled to for free under their government program, how do you come back from what they do, and stand in line at walmart. or go to a normal job:

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McCarthy misses the war just the same. He saved Wells's life, pressing a bandage over the hole in his head. Now he's delivering construction materials to big hotel projects along the beach in South Carolina, waiting for a police department to process his application. "The monotony is killing me," he told me, en route to deliver some rebar.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:22 PM   #6
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i was standing in line at walmart recently while a certain person held up the entire line for to have some employee to fetch them the right product that they are entitled to for free under their government program, how do you come back from what they do, and stand in line at walmart. or go to a normal job:

Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you go into the woods, retreating from society, hang your POW flag, and just live the best you can. Sometimes you drink yourself numb. Sometimes you put pistol in your mouth and leave it all behind.

Civilians need to know. We need to know so we don't just walk past that old guy in the American Legion hat with all the pins. So we don't avoid the group of guys wearing the Viet Nam patches on their leathers. So we don't look away from the young soldier missing an arm and a leg. So we are more likely to put out our hand and say thank you. Thank you so much for your service to our country.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:31 PM   #7
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for sure. i don't think many people in society ever stop to think about much but themselves, and they definitely have no comprehension of things like this. i try very hard to consider what is going on in my surroundings, and comprehend the people around me. and i hold this country's soldiers in the highest regard, and i try to fathom, but obviously cannot. but that was a very well written essay.

i get a sick feeling when i think about those who have defended our country being mistreated or taken for granted.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:29 AM   #8
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One of my best friends did 2 tours in Iraq, and was in Kuwait when the Army soldier decided he wanted to shoot at other soldiers and toss grenades into tents ... My friend had just left a tent that had a grenade tossed into it. He now works at a gas station ran by an Middle Eastern man who made him work on veterans day. I thought heads were going to roll... he has a Wife and a child and fought for this country, and was forced to work on a day that is set aside to honor our living and dead hero's... he called me from work and asked for advice so I went up there to help him settle down. He misses Iraq and hates it at the same time. He feels strange around most civilians that just go about expecting everything given to them.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:05 AM   #9
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great read, thanks

i've often wondered this myself. i think a lot about the soldiers in the war. i wanted to be one, but can't. i was standing in line at walmart recently while a certain person held up the entire line for to have some employee to fetch them the right product that they are entitled to for free under their government program, how do you come back from what they do, and stand in line at walmart. or go to a normal job:
it's interesting you say that. a friend of mine came back from his tour in afghanistan, and raised literally the same point. he was in line behind some stupid morons at walmart and he just had to sit and bite his tongue. knowing full well he could kill everyone in that store with his bare hands. having to come back and be civilized in situations like that, i can't even imagine how difficult it must be. over there if you have a problem with an enemy, you shoot them and if you have a problem with someone on your side you punch them, fight it out and it's over. can't do that in line at walmart.
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tiny terror View Post
Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you go into the woods, retreating from society, hang your POW flag, and just live the best you can. Sometimes you drink yourself numb. Sometimes you put pistol in your mouth and leave it all behind.

Civilians need to know. We need to know so we don't just walk past that old guy in the American Legion hat with all the pins. So we don't avoid the group of guys wearing the Viet Nam patches on their leathers. So we don't look away from the young soldier missing an arm and a leg. So we are more likely to put out our hand and say thank you. Thank you so much for your service to our country.
The friend I was referring to does just that... he said every one in his group has PTSD and while the doctor says they shouldn't drink because nothing good will come of it with that they've been through, he said that's all they do...drink themselves numb on the weekends. He was recently married so he's cut back a bit...but I think she drinks almost as much as he does so they probably still do it multiple times a week. He ended up getting a job with the city streets department...last I talked to him he liked it. It was similar to the army where he was always being assigned different jobs on different days (one day he's plowing snow, the next he's out digging up a water main break, etc)...but he didn't have to worry about getting shot at with this job.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:51 PM   #11
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The hardest part of coming back to the civilian world is finding work. The ablity to shoot people and blow stuff up doesn't translate well to a resume. The people civilians work with are lazy and snivel all day. Soldiers work hard, do not care if it rains and are happy to work overtime. If you really want to help a vet....hire one. I'm tired of listening to people make excuses for why they don't hire vets (they might get called up, they might have PTSD, blah blah blah). HIRE A VET!
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:19 PM   #12
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The hardest part of coming back to the civilian world is finding work. The ablity to shoot people and blow stuff up doesn't translate well to a resume. The people civilians work with are lazy and snivel all day. Soldiers work hard, do not care if it rains and are happy to work overtime. If you really want to help a vet....hire one. I'm tired of listening to people make excuses for why they don't hire vets (they might get called up, they might have PTSD, blah blah blah). HIRE A VET!
Couldn't agree more here. Took me two months of dozens of interviews to finally find a job. All I know I was qualified for and several I don't see how I didn't get. Butr I knew the look after I told them I was still in the National Guard and still subject to recall. Finally got hired on the spot by a Cuban immigrant was not cioncerned with such a small issue. He wasn't dis-respectful, he just felt I was there to do my job and we'd worry about deployment later. He also gave me 10,000 more per year than I was looking for. Of coourse, we both left that company, I for the VA and he went elsewhere. I love working hard and treat my job as a duty and my current boss knows it. That's the soldier way. So encourage people to hire vets, most of the time they won't regret it.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:23 PM   #13
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I work for the military, and I've spoken with a few guys now who do miss being out there. Great read, good find. Always support our boys even if you don't agree with why they're out there. <3
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:31 PM   #14
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Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you go into the woods, retreating from society, hang your POW flag, and just live the best you can. Sometimes you drink yourself numb. Sometimes you put pistol in your mouth and leave it all behind.

Civilians need to know. We need to know so we don't just walk past that old guy in the American Legion hat with all the pins. So we don't avoid the group of guys wearing the Viet Nam patches on their leathers. So we don't look away from the young soldier missing an arm and a leg. So we are more likely to put out our hand and say thank you. Thank you so much for your service to our country.
One of the reasons I love the Private ambulance I work for is we do a lot of work with the VA so I get to chat it up in the back with a lot of vets.

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