Comment: I served two combat tours in

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I served two combat tours in

I served two combat tours in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division. It's been a long time since I've chimed in on this website, though I read it frequently. I read comments frequently as well. I have not taken the time to post in a long time.

I was very active while deployed on this site and on Campaign for liberty on my first 2008 deployment, which was during the presidential run by Ron Paul. He's what opened my eyes to what I was doing.

Do I believe I am a murderer? Yes, in some ways I do. I hadn't had to directly kill someone, who was unarmed, but I still feel the guilt of what I've done. Which is where a theory of mine is about PTSD and soldiers. Most people, when taking another's life, no matter how justified, will feel guilt. It's in our nature (unless your a Sociopath) but then you return home and you're called a hero and praised for your service. This conflicts with our internal subconscious that knows deep down inside the horrors we've had to do and see.

I'm remembered every day of the moment in my military career that may have made me more damaged then I believe I am today. So far, I am able to justify what I've done and gone through as survival, self defense in a way. I just wanted to go home, keep my friends alive, and see my kids again. I didn't want to be there anymore and many other felt the same.

One day, while my SAW gunner was on R&R, I took out the SAW myself. I usually have my M4 and usually maintained inner security. This day, we raided a few villages in search for multiple dead bodies (up to 40) that should have been killed by an overnight bombing campaign by the Air Force for a "training camp". Since we weren't able to locate any bodies in the training camp, we were sent out to search all the nearby village for proof of the kills, as well as capture those responsible for "tampering with evidence / hiding the bodies."

So I have the SAW and we're in this village. I posted up in a corridor and told to shot anything that comes towards us. This old man turned the corner and began to walk towards me. I yell for him to stop, did everything I could to yell at him to stop but he was getting danger close. Hands behind his back, bulky clothing, he was getting danger close if he had a vest on. I made the choice to pull the trigger, I had depressed it slightly when a 10 year old child darted across into the corridor, tackled the old man and dragged him away.

The man was mostly blind and deaf. And I nearly took this mans life. I thank that brave child every day for saving that old man, I've been able to manage my guilt of my actions in Afghanistan thus far, but I don't know if I could have handled that.

Just felt like sharing my thoughts.

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Finally HOME! For Good!
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I am an Oath Keeper
I am an Agnostic
I am a father and I want my children to know true freedom in their lifetime.