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#161692 - 01/07/05 07:58 PM What is War Like........, Comment by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
Mussman.223 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 212
Loc: Tulsa, Ok
This was posted by a member (doorkicker) of another Forum, which is currently stationed in the "sand box", I found it quite moving.

I wrote, and continue to write this as an account of some of the things I have been through here in Iraq. I wasn't sure if I should post it, but decided what the hell...I can't think of a better group to share it with. It's long, but read it if you give a damn.

Well, I am still here in Iraq, and with reguards to this war, I can say I have seen and done some amazing things.

I've seen both cowards and heroes both young and old
Been both confident and terrified, both at the same time
I've grown to love and hate people with a fierce passion
I've given food to the starving, and water to the thirsty
I've seen the pain and uncertainty in a man, woman, and child's face right before they died
I've seen the terror in a man's face when my weapon was pointed at his head
I've looked a man in the eyes right before I put a sandbag over his head
I've tasted the burn of OC/pepper spray as I sprayed a man in the face
I've learned Arabic from a 12 year old girl who was my friend
I've waved hello back at so many passing cars, I felt like I was famous
I've been on TV 4 times, then watched the media tell lies about us
I've been in 3 papers, and was amazed at the innacuracy of my story
I've seen dozens of marriages fall apart on both ends
I've seen Iraqis cry, they were so happy that we were here
I've had Iraqis swear me up and down because I had to search them
I've heard the launch of mortar rounds as they left the tube
I've seen those same mortar rounds blow up around me and my friends
I had a friend show me pictures of his kids, and get killed the very next day
I've heard the pop-pop-pop of gunfire, and then the ping-ping-ping as it hit around me
I've seen people afraid to pull the trigger, and not kill...and I've seen people kill when they shouldn't have pulled the trigger
I've seen men in the cross hairs of the scope mounted on my rifle and I've pulled the trigger so they will never ever be seen again
I've laid countless hours on my cot trying to sleep but couldn't, because the helicopters were to loud, explosions were to close, their was to much gunfire
I've taken prisoners, guarded prisoners, and released prisoners
I've lost weight because my stomach couldn't handle the food here
I've knocked on people's doors, kicked down people's doors, and almost shot off someone's door
I've sat on a rooftop for 53 days straight looking for bad guys, and learned what patience really is
I've lost all sense of privacy, but grew closer than a brother with my squad and platoon
I've cleaned my weapon more than I have cleaned my clothes, because it was more important
I've learned to appreciate all the things I once took for granted
I've never worked so hard and got paid so little in my life, but even still worked harder
I've watched videos of Nick Berg getting his head sawed off his body while he screamed, and never wanted to kill so bad in my life
I remember when a young kid that called us "sadiq-i" (friend) brought us food each day at a checkpoint, and remember when a suicide bomber killed him and 18 other people days later
I remember a crazy lady telling me lies to waste my time for no reason
I remember a pretty girl secretly waving hello to me so nobody would see, fearing ridicule
I remember the screams of people when a restraunt exploded with innocent people inside
I'll never forget the smell of burning flesh for as long as I live...ever
I've seen Iraqi people fight alongside us one minute, then fight against us the next
I've captured dozens of weapons, some of which were gold plated
I've been in a car accident that would've killed me if I wasn't riding in an armored hummer
I've smiled and scowled, laughed and yelled at different crowds of people
I've seen a 13 year old prostitute bring money home to her father to live
I've smelled the crisp air of a new morning, and the soot and stench of cordite the next morning
I've been so hot, that I stopped sweating and my body started to shut down
I've been so tired and worn out, but still couldn't sleep for days at a time
I've seen people accidently shoot their weapons and almost kill people, and I've seen people intentionally shoot their weapons and kill people
I've never counted or carried so much ammunition in my life, and I've been around the world more than once or twice with the military
I've sat back and enjoyed an ice cold Coke, and other times I've called on the radio begging for a resupply of water and food because we were starving literally
I've seen guys "baby" their weapons, and I've seen guys treat them like hell, fully knowing it was the only thing that might save their lives
I've said "I hate here" a thousand times, and heard it said a million more times
I've seen a platoon leader curl up in the fetal position out of terror during a firefight, and a private in that same platoon fight like a savage for his life
I've seen a medic choke-up and not be able to do his job, and an infantryman next to him bandage up a wounded child
I've had kids throw rocks at me because I didn't have any chocolate candy to give them
I almost shot a 14 year old kid that pulled a gun on another kid, the toys look very real here
I've seen kids play in a virtual minefield of explosives and ordinance like they were at Disneyland
I've heard shots fired and hit the ground, ducked, jumped behind cover, and flat out ignored them
I've seen "new guys" in units come here so scared they point their guns at everything they see
I've been on missions so long, that I've come back to my FOB (base camp) with a full beard
I've sat up late at night waiting for a friend to come back from a patrol that got hit, like a parent waits for their child who's been out all night
I've made best of friends with a 17 year old kid, and a 47 year old man, and talked to both like we were old highschool buddies
I've cleaned my friend's blood off of his equipment, and turned it in because he was killed in an explosion hours before
I've seen enough different people's body parts, that I could put them all together and make a completely new body with them
I've laughed and joked with Australian soldiers, had conversations with British soldiers, and drank chi (tea) with Arab soldiers
I've seen how well our bulletproof vest work, and they do stop bullets
I've read the bible and figured I am in, or near the 'Garden of Eden'; but it hardly looks like paradise to me
I've seen fisherman fishing, kids swimming, boats and dead bodies floating in the Tigris River
I've asked myself dozens of times "Why am I here", but I know the answer, and I know if asked...I'd come back again no question
I've missed my family and still do, and I regret not spending as much time with them as I should've before I left
I've figured out who my real friends are back home, because they have taken the time to write me a letter or an e-mail
I felt sold out by my chain of command because I made a decision to shoot, and sat through an 'inquisition' for making a judgement call that I would again
I've gone on my 2 weeks of R&R and enjoyed the downtime, however was anxious to get back to this strange place
I've been to far too many memorial services of our fallen brothers, and choked up everytime, even if silently so nobody could tell
I've seen an enemy sniper cause so much pandamonia, that without a shot being fired the sniper was winning a psycological victory over us
I've traded 'war stories' with my best friend who worked in the private sector up north through countless e-mails
I've been disgusted by the double standard that I have seen day in and day out
I've lost a friend to an enemy sniper's bullet and felt helpless
I've been given a urinalyses test because people were doing drugs over here
I've seen the Iraqi people respect the military, and I've seen them totally disreguard our presence and "walk all over us"
I've searched a car we stopped in sector and found an Oklahoma license plate in the trunk with '04 tag stickers on it
I've felt my stomach knot and my heart skip a beat when a vehicle speeding by, cut his wheel and came directly at me...I was going to be blown-up for sure I thought
I've been terribly sick, but continued to work and patrol through it...mission first
I've gotten packages and letters from people I don't know, and a smile was brought to my face each time
I've had my comfort zone tested and violated by these people time and time again
I've had Iraqis throw fireworks at me on New Years, thinking it was funny that I couldn't tell it wasn't a gunshot
I've come to the conclusion that some soldiers here will return home by the grace of God, and other soldiers will come home simply because the man to the left or right of him did their job
I've seen lousy soldiers awarded medals for no reason at all, and other soldiers who rightfully deserved recognition for gallantry under fire passed over with not even a pat on the back
I've seen the clear difference between competence and arrogance in my leadership


Edited by Michael J. McCasland (01/09/06 03:47 PM)
Lets Play Cowboys and Liberals

#161693 - 01/07/05 10:35 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
Michael J. McCasland Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 9470
Loc: Tucson,Az
--- ThankYou! ---

#161694 - 01/08/05 01:45 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
Jeff Mock Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 09/01/01
Posts: 11081
Loc: Manchester, MI
Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid! - JOHN WAYNE

"Predator calling has produced some of the most spectacular misses I have ever witnessed." ---- Fred Cronk

#161695 - 01/09/05 04:25 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
SavTxCajun Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 02/10/03
Posts: 900
Loc: West of Target 4, TX
Dear Doorkicker and those that have stood by you,

this one's for you,

"Ya thou I walk through the vally of Death
I shall fear no evel
For I am the eveliest S.B. in the vally."

What you and the rest of the members have gone through allows you to be that S.B. by merit of deeds done.

God Bless, come home safe if you all can.
MSG (Ret.), NRA Life Member "No Fear On Earth" - 1/27th Wolfhounds Kick the U.N. out of U.S. NOW! "Socialism" I wont stand for it! "For those who have fought for it, Freedom has a taste the protected will never know"

#161696 - 01/09/05 09:25 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
lwmabra Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Lewisville, Texas
Doorkicker, you have my undying respect and admiration. God Bless You!
What we do for ouselves, dies with us. What we do for others, remains and is immortal.-"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." Ronald Reagan

#161697 - 01/10/05 08:10 AM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
mooseman Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Maine
Kick ass and you and your buddies come home safe.

#161698 - 01/11/05 03:15 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
Mark W Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 61
Loc: N. of Green Bay Wisconsin
First, I say thank you to you and all who are serving. Second, I really think you should have that published. No joke! I felt the hair on my neck raise while i was reading that. I have been feeling bad for some time now because I am not there with you guys. I was seriously considering going into the military when i graduated H.S in 1991 but as you know, that was during the first gulf war and i didnt have the balls.I have regretted it since and for some reason, i feel worse about it now during this second campaign. Sorry for not being there for you and thanks for being what I could not and being there for me.
To all our soldiers in harms way -"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil. For I am the eviliest S.O.B in the valley".

#161699 - 01/13/05 07:31 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
Iron Worker Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 04/04/04
Posts: 79
Loc: Castro Valley California
I pray frequently for you brave men.I have the greatest respect for you.In my trade a lot of guys think they're tough.But you brave warriors are authenticly tough.Thanks for that good read write some more.Battle must be soooo loud I can't imagin what it would be like.

#161700 - 01/18/05 10:43 AM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
nightowl Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 65
Loc: Thorsby, AL

I don't know your name or where you are from but I can't thank you enough for what you and your brothers are doing. I feel a huge amount of pride that you are representing our country. I feel guilty for not having served my country and shamefully, relief that I am not there alongside you. I have friends that have been in Iraq for a little over a year now and hope to see them soon.

Thank you for making the sacrifices and for the honor that you bring to your country, your family, your unit and yourself.

My daughter turns 2 yrs old this month and I look at her and know why brave men go to horrible places and fight like hell to protect us. It is so that some radical Islamist might not have the opportunity to blow himself up in a shopping mall or set off a dirty bomb and then rejoice to Allah that he has killed another American man woman or child. It is not only to protect us today, but so that her son or husband might not have to die in some godforsaken place because of the actions of brave men like yourself.

Only Americans have proved that it is worth standing up and fighting for those who are powerless to do so for themselves.
It is proven everyday that Americans will do such a thing for their fellow man in places that might not directly impact his own homeland.

Godspeed and our prayers will be with all of you guys.

#161701 - 01/18/05 03:07 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
Quackerbox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/09/02
Posts: 207
Loc: Texas
LIke everone else I would like to thank you for all that you and your fellow soilders are doing...If you ever think you are going to make it to Texas your more than welcome at my house for a Cold beer or what ever else makes you happy
I'm not a hunter...........I'm a wildlife population control specialist.

"Too close for missle's....switching to guns"

#161702 - 01/18/05 07:45 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
kyray Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 1022
Loc: irvine, ky.
This letter from a true American should be required reading for all Americans. Persavier, doorkicker, There are those here that care. My family thanks you. kyray.
"You gotta stand for something, or you'll fall for anything."

#161703 - 01/31/05 05:56 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
Joe Bradshaw Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 10/08/04
Posts: 4837
Loc: Ozark, Arkansas
I pray for you and your kind every day....Thank God for you and God Bless....


If I build them...they will come.

FOXPRO Field Staff - Mossy Oak Field Staff

#161704 - 02/03/05 07:21 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
Jarhead Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 154
Loc: Utah
Amen Brother!!

You have put to words what I think about after being in Iraq.

Task Force Tarawa
1st MEF
The round that hits is the only one that counts.

#161705 - 02/11/05 08:09 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
creek chub Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/06/05
Posts: 105

Well written article.

You not only have the gift of sacrifice but you have the gift of literacy as well.

Thousands of soilders, have given time, blood, and life for causes the average civilian could never comprehend.

Yet we, as soilders, and veterans, wear the courage of our convictions on our shirt sleeves.
We damn the consequences of our actions.

God Bless and God Speed.

#161706 - 02/13/05 06:38 PM Re: What is War Like........, Edit by moderator, a truly GREAT post!!!
colesy64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 25
Loc: bolivar ny
First of all, Thank you and everyone else that serves our great country. You are all heroes and I would like to buy you all a beer someday.

Secondly, you are the reason that our country is what it is, the greatest country on earth.

Lastly, come home safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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