Posted on Aug 20, 2015
CPT Company Commander
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This is a really good piece about the realities of war. I think so many have this preconceived notion what war is. They think they know it but they don't.

This reminds me when I was a young SPC in formation at Fort Bragg. My company was getting to deploy to Kuwait in January of 2003. This would be the build up of what would be OIF. So I was there and our CSM spoke to us. He told us to look around. Some of you are not going to make it back. I thought he was foolish for saying that. I didn't realize at that time he knew what he was talking about.

In the article it read of the reality of war. The reality of it is that you might not make it back but more so than that you know one of you buddy's won't make it back. It didn't strike me until the Chaplain came to see me and tell me that my old roommate PFC Tim Brown, was killed in a convoy on Aug 12, 2003. I didn't even know what to think. I didn't think it could happen. But the CSM was right. We also lost SPC Kyle Griffen, SPC Zachary Long, and SPC Michael Gleeson. That was the reality of war. We were going to lose someone. It is a dark truth that we can't avoid. That is the reality of War. On my second tour we also suffered much the same way. We lost soldiers within the first month in country. For me this is what war means. It is something that is very solemn. The ones in war know what I am talking about. Some won't. But the worst thing you can do is to question one's reality of their war. To be honest some will never understand.
Posted in these groups: 577963 465023533533674 1675317474 n ServiceAir combat art 0134 CombatIraq war Warfare
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SPC(P) Jay Heenan
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No one can understand the "reality of war" unless they lived it. Also, no two SMs will have the same "reality of war". It just is what is it to each of us, regardless of branch, MOS/job, age, etc.
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MSgt Brian Welch
MSgt Brian Welch
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I couldn't say it better. We didn't grow up in Beruit. We didn't fear things as children. Your experience in the military, though different for everyone to a degree, taught us all the reality of LIFE not just war. What we learned is that if freedom meant anything to us we'd have to make sacrifices. We all learned different sacrifices, some gave all, some were scarred for life and some go on. No one can understand the reality of war. One can come to terms with it within themselves, within their experience or not. It's why I'm am just as eternally indebted to the cook or motor pool guy as I am the green beret.
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PO2 Brian Rhodes
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Unless they have actually experience the loss, you can't explain it to them and they don't have the capacity to grasp it. I have experienced it to a point. on cruise we lost several aircraft and air crew. When an aircraft goes down it effects the whole ship, but even I can grasp it, because I wasn't there. That's what set us apart from the civilian population. As I have said before once you raised your right hand you were forever changed.
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CPT Company Commander
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very true. It is something that you can't explain. I kills me when some try to say "I did the same thing." No, you didn't. You have no clue what it feels like and if you knew you wouldn't say that.
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SGM Steve Wettstein
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CPT (Join to see) (LONG READ) LT you don't get the realities of war until you get into a fight. My platoon's first big fight was the night before the second Thunder Run made by my 2BCT 3ID SPARTANS. We were helping the S4 look for CCPs for the next days battle. Well he neglected to inform anyone in the BCT TOC how far we were going to go, which was past a tank platoon that was screening the Northern most boundary of the BCT. This guy was an INF MAJ. I think he was medal hunting and didn't tell my squad + that I took on the patrol with his element of 3 1025/1026 HHWVs. I always had my trucks loaded for a good ass kick. Because in a fight, you either we kick their asses or you get yours kicked and that wasn't going to happen. First we had to bypass a AT minefield on the route just after we passed the tank platoon. I got a good look at it and the G2 would help 2BCT the following morning. After we bypassed the mine field, we continued to to proposed CCP sites. In the field where he wanted the CCPs, we observed numerous bunkers in the field. I was getting a very bad feeling at this time. We continued on for about a mile and observed heavy lift trucks with heavy engineer equipment. At this time we were on a 4-6 lane MSR. When we were about 500m from a traffic circle and they had some technicals in the immediate area. We started laying into them with the M2 and MK-19. It ended up that we were going to engage an engineer company. So it was 3 light skinned HMMWVs and my 4 1114s out on a main road with no cover. We initiated contact and commenced to laying waste on the Iraqis. When you are relatively close to you target and killing them with a M2 it becomes very personal. One of the S4 HMWWVs go stuck in the mud in a ditch so we had to continue fighting until they were recovered. I get fried in your brain the picture of what a .50 cal round does to a humans head. We had to fight for almost an hour because of this fucked up plan by a glory hound.We took mortars, RPGs, DSHKs, and AK fire. We won that day because of our training and leadership from my squad+. We got back to the BCT TOC and the S3 and BCT Commander ripped the S4 in front of me because of the dumb ass shit he pulled (they pulled me asside after and thank me and my squad for pull his ass out. Another thing that sticks in my mind is the smell of death and dogs eating the dead. That, for my crews, was seeing the realities of war. We were just so damn lucky that the only injury was to the S4. An RPG reached it's max range and detonated over his truck. He got a few scratches and tried to dictate to me what to write on his causality feeder-card so he could get a PH. I just thank God that none of my Soldiers were injured on this guys escapade into an area that we were not cleared to go into. The only really good news was that I was able to identify the AT mines. This enabled the BCT to prepared to reduce the mine field and not slow the attack. This was the night before 2BCT took the Palace Compounds in what is now the Green Zone.
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CPT Manager
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Welcome Home SGM, and thank you for your service. Hooah.
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CPT Company Commander
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True. I was in a bad gun fight just outside of Mesul. My scout team of 6 got in contact with somewhere between 12-15 guys. We were a LRS so we had no heavy weapons or body armor. We tried to break contact. They followed for about a KM in contact. We finally put enough of them down to where they stopped chasing us. I will never forget looking my NVGs and seeing my peq laser on the guys chest and just unloading. He just tumbled. For him the war was over, mine continued. None of us were hit and we recovered all of our equipment. We had to ditch rucks half way through it. After all of this and these images it upsets me to hear a guy tell me he is a combat vet when he event was in any combat.
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CPT Company Commander
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CPT L S - By doctrine we don't use it. It changed after a while. We were in some bad spots and later in our deployment we got some. I love my body armor. I know what it was like to need it and not have it.
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