Afghanistan, Iraq (insert any shit hole here) Would you do it again? Absofreakinlutley…..
Deployments suck. In the Marine Marine Corps, Okinawa is often a spectacular visit for seven months (not) it sucks. Combat deployments suck as well. Despite you are away from your family and every awesome thing America has to offer, you are also in harms way. In the infantry, you usually are in the shittiest of places. My luxurious bombed out vet hospital we called a FOB (Forward Operating Base) was a shit hole. Another Major and I shared a mud wall horse pen with the floor of dirt,hay and horse shit and who knows what other diseases lurked in the dust and let’s not forget all of the other little critters that come along with sleeping in a barn….without a roof. But hey, we are Marines (improvise,adapt,overcome)and after a couple drug deals with the logo we had some cami net roofing, and pallets as a floor. Bam! Instant pimp my crib!
There is a unique bond developed between servicemembers regardless of rank, color, race, age, sex or for that matter if you’re an American or Australian when you do a seven month work up together then deploy for another seven or more months in a worldwide shit hole. A bond that never goes away.
You know the warrior next to you has earned the right to be next to you and has sacrificed the same as you to be there. They have can almost read your mind as you can theirs you have trained so much together. You know who your young Marines are that are scared shitless and you match them up with the salty Sergeants. I’ve seen boys turn into men, truly transform from innocent pale, clean mouthed gentle boys writing their moms ever week to war fighters with tattoos that don’t hesitate and surprise the shit out of you when things get really ugly and usually develop a colorful vocabulary and creative imagination when they get bored. Key is, don’t let them get bored.
If you happen to see two veterans meet that have chewed the same dirt from the same shit hole country, don’t interrupt, let them sniff each other out because there are a bunch of frauds out there and frauds get found out after about two questions then punked quickly. No, don’t interrupt, just watch the brotherhood of Americas warriors trade stories and laugh at the shit hole and the crappy experiences because if you don’t know it or not, it’s a conversation those can have if and only if you were there and embraced the suck. It’s almost a healing type of conversation of sort. Regardless if they suffer from PTSD or wounds, they bond and God help you if you piss one of them off because now you have three problems, 1)the one you pissed him off, 2) the fact that you have a trained individual on your shit and 3)don’t forget about the other one because regardless of the issue, he’s on the other veterans side of the argument regardless and as a reminder, they have been and lived through combat.
Never underestimate an old guy in a profession where men die young.
Would I do it again? Yup. Would it suck? Yup, (FYI, that’s why I did five combat deployments) and another dozen deployments to non-hostile borderline shit hole countries. However, there is no greater experience than to live, train, change boys to men, take them to a hostile environment see the greatness they can do. Do some die? Yes. Thus, there is no greater loss I have felt than writing mothers back home about their sons death. I have written 13 hand written multiple page long gut wrenching letters in my Marine Corps career. I hated to seal each one knowing the next person to open that envelope would be crushed. A part of me left with each one of them. Those that get torn up and mangled are equally as tough as you sit and watch their update like it was your own kid. How proud I am of all of them.
All due respect to Kendra. I can give two shits she’s a female (so don’t go there) she served her country honorably and paid with flesh. Unless you have done the same shut your pie hole before you start critiquing. Semper Fi Kendra. We are proud of you!
Time for a C-Gar
“I stayed really calm and didn’t freak out. The medic that saved me, he’s having PTSD issues. He said I was one of the most calm casualties he’s ever treated. I thought ‘Oh my God, what if I don’t make it out of here?’ I couldn’t let myself continue to think about it or I’d go into a state of panic.” Read more here