A Soldier

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by lilcountriegal, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. lilcountriegal
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    lilcountriegal Senior Member

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    I got this in an email today and thought some of you would like to read it.


    The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has
    never collected unemployment either.

    He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howizzitor. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

    He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

    He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

    He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

    He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand,
    remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

    Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

    He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot.. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.
     
  2. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Hey thanks for posting that Lilcountriegal, I have a nephew in the military. He is over in Afghanistan (we think) and haven't been able to communicate much with him, but think of him often. Your article describes him fairly well. He is a good kid (not so much a kid anymore) I sure hope he stays safe and has the best Christmas he can, his first away from home.
     
  3. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    I don't mean to spoil your idealistic overview of what today's soldier really looks like.

    The average age is probably 19, in Viet Nam that was true but I'm not so sure about today's soldiers. There's an awful lot of Reservists and Guardsmen out there and I'll guarantee you their average age doesn't even approach 19. That's another subject. He/she never had a car much less worried about waxing it or even washing their dad's car. This ain't the '60's. He/she never drew unemployment because this is the first job they ever had. If they'd ever had any other that was worth having then they wouldn't be soldiers at all. Mickey D's still doesn't count for teenage career aspirations, but you might disagree. Good grades and minimum wage don't exactly go hand in hand, but that's another long subject. Unemployment checks? What in the good lord's name does that mean to a kid?

    An average student. What does that mean? I think our kids that volunteer are far beyond average. The average kid today goes to work for his parents or through their connections while the exceptional ones volunteer so they have a chance to meet up with average ones after their quaranteed educational benefit is completed. That's just one more long subject. Yeah, his/her jamms are probably contemporary pop, is that exceptional? Actually I think he/she gained weight in basic because of the regular meals. My D.I. buddies confirm that. The fat ones are always a problem. Thank goodness they are a minority in military basic training. I won't even begin to go into the myth of well before dawn to well after dusk theory with you. Military is 24 hours a day. 23 and 3/4 sitting on your ass and 15 minutes taking a shower. OK, I'm exagerating for the most part, don't beat me over the head for that one. His girlfriend, her boyfriend, that's also a myth. Good songs and poems but they are the exception rather than the rule. forgetaboutit. You never get used to listening to heavy artilliary or even small arms fire, but you don't know a damn thing about that, do you?

    I reckon why that kid has such a time "spelling"? Another long subject. Damn right he/she can field strip an M-16 but they don't know a thing about an AK-47. It's only mechanics but the US military teaches specifics. The use of the word nomenclature in your context only reinforces my belief that most Americans don't have a clue as to what our G.I.'s have to deal with. First aid? Even Mickey D troops get first aid training and are not credited often for their heroic use of it. Actually, I would consider, the Mickey D troops use it far more often than "our troops" but they just don't get credit for it.

    Really good troops actually do not follow orders instantly and without hesitation. That's a heartwarming thought but the truth is much different. Really good troops weigh the order and the practical application of the order. OOPS, I'm talking about exceptionals rather than the averages. We sure can't let that little secret out to the "averages" now can we? Can we get off the "wears one" while washing the other one" bull shit? I've seen troops come in wearing the same set of fatigues for a month with fresh clean ones in their knapsack. It's a pretty picture that you paint, just not an accurate one. He'she doesn't ever "forget" to brush their teeth. That was taught without doubt in their basic training. Sometimes they just don't have the time, or facility or the will to "brush their teeth". It's a battlefield thing, a depression thing or maybe just a personal thing. It's not something that you should attach higher meaning to. But that's another long subject. I don't think I ever met a GI that forgot to "clean" his M-16 or a few M-14's. The damned things still misfired or jammed. But faulty cleaning was always the excuse of the higher-ups. Those rifles were and are good equipment. But, they could be better. We've not yet achieved the reliability factors of the AK-47.

    I wish I felt like going on with this response to that fuzzy feely post that you made but it's time for me to clock out for this day and possibly come again tomorrow.

    Tsk, tsk. Don't be led to your destruction by the warm fuzzy invitations from those that don't share your circumstances.
     
  4. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    First off, Psycho, I thought countriegal was quite clear that she didn't write that article, that it had been emailed to her.

    Secondly, this was taken directly from the June edition of the American Legion magazine. If you take issue with it, I suggest you write to the veterans over there and tell them how misguided they are.

    All you did was just try to pick apart a veterans view of our countries soldier. The American Legion is a respectable organization made up of war time veterans. Their credentials are proven and beyond reproach.

    Unless you are willing to provide proof of your credentials, we'll just have to take the word of a respectable military organization that has been around since 1919.

    Your desire to shoot down a poster on this board has just made you look foolish, again. And your contempt for the views of veterans shows your lack of honor and respect, 2 traits that are surely found in almost all veterans. Even if you ever were in the military, you have lost all that you have learned and should be ashamed of yourself.
     
  5. lilcountriegal
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    lilcountriegal Senior Member

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    Ok Listen up Psycho, I dont intend on speaking to you in this regard again.

    Your entire post shows exactly what type of pathetic, aged, wretched, disloyal piece of slime you are. Because I never heard small arms fire makes no difference what-so-ever. I have living family which served in every war since WWII. We discuss, quite often, the current happenings. I have not heard ONE person who previously served in our Armed Forces say one negative thing about the war or our soldiers there. Just because you claim to have been in the mliitary certainly does not make you an expert on all other veterans. On the contrary, I find you the exception to the norm.

    Quite honestly, you sicken me. You sit on your ass and insult men and women fighting for the very freedoms that you are using. Whether or not you actually fought for those same freedoms is debateable. Unlike Jim, I believe you actually did serve in the military. However, I believe your service is a tad less starry eyed than you make it out to be. I believe you probably were reprimanded for some unethical act (hmm, I dunno, groping an underage girl say) and were given a Dishonorable Discharge which caused this hatred for the military at home and abroad.

    My advice to you is to pack your shit and get the hell out of the country Psycho. You obviously dont like it here, and quite honestly, I dont think many want you to stay.
     

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