Military thread

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Postby NR Pax on Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:46 pm

Bravo, Llewellian. A lot of us are taught "When in doubt, salute." The story cracked me up.

Hmm...memories. As a Reservist, my time was a bit more mundane but I have a few fond ones.

  • Being threatened by three Marines at the same time and making them back down. Apparently, word got out about that incident and I was treated rather cautiously the rest of my time at MOS school.
  • Terrorizing a new join who had the last name of Faust (And he was surprised that I knew who Marlowe was).
  • The gleam in my eye as we were told that we had to burn through 600 rounds in ten minutes with two machine guns.
  • Staying up all night to dig tank trenches and seeing one young Marine tip a D7 dozer (For the benefit of those who don't know, this is a BIG piece of gear that is tough to flip. Looks like this.
  • Having a Korean War veteran tell us what life was like in combat back then.
  • The first Marine Corps ball where I took my then-fiance.
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Postby Elliot on Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:52 pm

WARNING!This story is gruesome! You have been warned.

This is why I will not be posting in this thread, or at least don't want to that often. Because when I think military these are the sort of things that come to mind.

I've been to Iraq twice. Once living out of a tent, once working out of a palace. While serving in Iraq I never, ever, ever saw as much blood on a guy that up close as I did tonight. It's rearing around 1 am here. And this happened about an hour to an hour and a half ago. I'm picking up my room and stuff getting ready for an inspection, stuffing clothes whether they be clean or dirty into duffle bags and then stuffing the duffles under my bed, surely not the cleanest resolution, but it will pass for inspection. While I was taking a short break this guy that lives across the hall comes into my room, stripped down to his boxers and blood drippingfrom his nose, a huge lump on the side of his head where his temple is. He can barely stand up and can't talk at all. I called around for a vehicle and his section sergeant. It's rearing around two am now and the Military Police just stopped by to ask if I knew anything, but I really don't. He couldn't really say anything. I hope he's OK. I'm waiting up until he gets back just to make sure.
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Postby kinako mochi on Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:40 am

You know, I completely sympathize with where you are, and I'll relate my own story kinda similar, and where it's taken me.

I never grew up with a religious tradition, so I never had the life teachings (or at least the framework for experience to make useful later) to prepare me for what I was to experience as a soldier. I mean, I grew up in HI, spearing my Sunday dinner spearfishing with my Dad, seeing the blood and gore and harsh realities of hunting, but nothing so ugly as the underbelly of people and the things they can do to each other and themselves in the military. Without a tradition to refer to and faith to treasure and focus it, I was really adrift, and predictably wobbled to the downward spiral eventually.

I had no idea how a suicide would affect me, as a bystander. I knew a bit about how the surviving family and friends feel when a person takes their own life, and it really saddened me that I inflicted this confusion, this frustration and sorrow and guilt on my own family. Not knowing how to deal with this, though, just made it worse later.

My new traditions (about 10 yrs so far) allow me to put these ambiguous, dark, powerful fears, remorses, guilts, and anger into the light for me to see and deal with. That darkness, that ignorance is what makes your inner monster powerful, and allows it power over you. I wish I had not been such a cocky little bastard and thought I was too intelligent to need such 'fluff', in the early years. It would have saved a lot of work as an adult.

I hope that your chosen traditions help you too. I am not some Buddha. I am only a struggling deluded dude, trying to keep out of trouble and make a few friends. But I already see how shining a light in my own brambles has helped me, and maybe going back to basics with the ugliness and pain you choked down to get by in the past, may help you a bit. Don't wait as long as I did. :)
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Postby luchog on Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:59 am

NR Pax wrote:Hmm...memories. As a Reservist, my time was a bit more mundane but I have a few fond ones.

  • Being threatened by three Marines at the same time and making them back down. Apparently, word got out about that incident and I was treated rather cautiously the rest of my time at MOS school.


Reminds me of a time in AIT when one of my roommates (huge ex-biker guy) beat up 5 jarheads at a topless bar off post.

  • The gleam in my eye as we were told that we had to burn through 600 rounds in ten minutes with two machine guns.

  • Was on range detail with three other grunts once in BT, for M-16 night-fire training. During cleanup, rather than haul the leftover ammo back to base, they made us burn it off. We had the old M16A1s, with full auto. Not much, only about 100 rounds each, but almost all of that was tracer rounds. That was fun. Cleaning the rifle afterwards was not.

  • Staying up all night to dig tank trenches and seeing one young Marine tip a D7 dozer (For the benefit of those who don't know, this is a BIG piece of gear that is tough to flip. Looks like this.

  • Had one TC (track commander, armour unit) in an M60A3 blunder into a poorly-dug tank trap while on training maneuvers in Yakima Training Center. Buried the main gun in the dirt, and popped the entire turret off the tank. They had to call out a crane, 'cause the recovery vehicle couldn't get it out.
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    Postby NR Pax on Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:32 am

    With the Marine that rolled the D7, we had to call in a 70K. It was called that because it could tow up to 70K. Thankfully, the kid had the foresight to wear his seat belt.

    There are times when I have some mild regrets about not going Active Duty though. I think my stories would be a bit less mundane. 8)

    Although there was the incident at Boot when the cast from the show Road Rules and Real Life showed up while I was on Crucible. After watching the show, all I can say is that it was very fortunate for those whining kids that they were kept far away from my Company.
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    Postby Mravac Kid on Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:28 pm

    My army life stories are quite uneventful. The most entartaining ones are a colleague hitting a seagull in flight in the head with a thrown rock at some 30-50 meters distance, and another one smacking a squirrel off a tree with a thrown broom after said squirrel and its companions kept dropping down needles and pines from the trees to the ground which we were supposed to keep clean. :)
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    Postby NR Pax on Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:02 am

    Something just occurred to me and I figured that I would post the question here. For those of you who were on the IRR* and have gotten out, what were your obligations? Did you have to report in to a unit once a year or did you just receive mail to find out where you were?

    *(for the benefit of those who don't speak acronym, IRR is Individual Ready Reserve. This is the point where a serviceman has fulfilled the active part of their obligation)
    Only a fool sees hardship as just wages for being different.
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    Postby kinako mochi on Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:04 am

    My IRR obligation consisted of nearly nothing. My signup was for six years active, then two years IRR, which was basically inactive then, but subject to Reserve status muster if so decided by the DoD and DoA. I just lived and worked and reported my address changes to the Fed until March 1997, when my eight-year commitment was officially over. I filled out maybe one questionnaire as to my readiness status, but that was all.

    Nowadays, though, with the New World Order, anything could change concerning the military. :(
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    Postby NR Pax on Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:56 am

    The impression I was getting from a few places (And one or two Reservists) is that I would have to show up in person during a Drill weekend, confirm my address and deal with folks trying to get me to sign up again.

    But hey; at least I made Sergeant so I have some power if I have to go back.
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    Postby kinako mochi on Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:38 am

    Hehe
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    Postby NR Pax on Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:56 pm

    Personally, I am hoping to never use my rank before my commitment is up. I am keeping a very low profile, thank you very much.
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