Your sixth and seventh paragraphs
by WilfordBrimley (2017-05-03 14:53:43)

In reply to: Did your vision narrow? Did time slow down?  posted by blarneygreen

ring particularly true for me.

I can so vividly remember certain sets and sequences that they might as well have happened yesterday. Yet I can barely remember at all what was probably the worst three or four days of our entire deployment. Complete exhaustion and a bad eye infection will do that, I guess.

I do think back a lot about what I did and what I could have done differently: "If I had done Y instead of X...". We were pretty fortunate with our own guys (with some very notable exceptions - you don't soon forget what a ball-bearing through someone's neck looks like), but not so much with the locals. I'm not sure it mattered all that much in the long run. I keep in touch with my old interpreter, and he told me that most of the locals I knew from the area are dead now, anyway. The Islamic State swept through the area in late 2014 and pretty much cleaned house.

One of the things that struck me then and that I still think about was the lack of music. Growing up, every movie and TV show that I ever saw showing combat had some dramatic music or something in the background. In real life, it just sort of happens. No dramatic music. No build up, climax, and ending. Just crack/boom/echo/incessant radio chatter/lots of screaming over the noise. Again, a very odd thing to think about, but it's noticeable if your mind is conditioned a certain way.

Most of all I remember the heat. The motherfucking heat. And the smell of the place.