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GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

COMBAT |

November 13, 2006

COMBAT
Name: Army Girl
Posting date: 11/13/06
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog url:
http://desertphoenix.blogspot.com/

How did I feel when I was in combat? It was scary. I was afraid. I wouldn't be telling the truth if I didn't put that out there first. After you go outside the wire so many times you start to feel comfortable or complacent. That will get you killed, and it almost got us killed. So, no more complacency. Every time I'm out, my mind runs through the hundreds of possible ways we could be hit; from that building over there, from that rooftop on that side, from the mountains/hills on both sides, from that car driving up to us, or that person lurking around our group. I look for kids. I look for things in the road. I watch for motorcycles with people wearing things that look too baggy, because the only fat Afghan is a wealthy one, and he's not going to be blowing himself up.Your senses become heightened and you're ready at any given moment for something to happen. You expect it. You think of countless ways the enemy could ambush, attack or approach you.

After we got hit, I was furious. Rage and anger were the only things that I could feel. It was as real and solid as the blood in my veins, and it was unlike anything I'd ever felt before, and ever hope to feel again. It got me through and helped me do what I needed to do. I pulled security and administered first aid to my buddy. I got inside the gate, jumped out of my truck and cleared my weapon. Training is what got me going. I have no idea what made me jump out of the truck, instead of riding it into the aid station, but all I could think about was following procedure and clearing my locked and loaded weapon. It was on burst and the safety was off, so it was the safest thing to do. I walked to the aid station, and was stopped on my way there by a soldier who was far smarter than I. He treated me for shock and forced me to calm down and lay down. I got to the aid station, was checked out and treated for minor injuries and spent the rest of the day and many hours into the night working. I had so much adrenaline pumping through me that I felt little pain till the following day, when I felt like I'd been run over by a five ton truck.

Comments

How do you bridge the gap between caution and paranoia?
Thanks for your courage.
chriso

If anything evers happens to your kids, it can trigger a set of equally profound emotions/reactions. I think guys experience this kind of thing more often, but it can happen to women in peacetime when a loved one is threatened. Please be careful, and good luck to you!

I've been reading these posts on Doonesbury.com. Its been really interesting to get a direct perspective of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan (not sure I spelled that right). I've never replied to anything until now. I recently got back in touch with an old friend from high school who joined the Army in 94. He wanted to be a career soldier (unfortunately he couldn't be a ranger because he's color blind). After two deployments in Iraq he's back home and in one piece. He left me a message on my myspace page and one of the things he said is, "Yes, Iraq really is as bad as you might think"... I'm just glad you made it out of that situation alive and in one piece. Hope you're able to come home soon.

An old VN vet remembers feeling the same way. Thanks for your service to our country and may God bless and keep you safe until your return home.

From a OEF vet to a VN vet.. "No, no my friend.. thank YOU."

Army Girl

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