Trained Killers

Besides all the innocent people that are losing their lives right now in the middle of the war, one of the things that worries me the most is the generation of young people that are fighting it. I am not talking about just the ones that are losing their lives, or the ones that are going to come back without a limb, I am talking about all of them. War changes people. Boot camp changes people.

Boot camp is a process that is designed to strip you of individuality, make you programmable and able to respond not to your conscious though but to either directions or programmed behavior. The worst part is that it takes away your natural aversion of taking another human life and replaces it with the ability to kill others. People become targets and killing without hesitation is the ultimate goal of your training.

Not only do we have one of the deadliest armies in the world, it is growing every single day. I am guessing that, as much research that is being place into creating the best soldiers in the world is not being balance to reprogramming. I have talked to veterans of the first Golf War as well as some from this one, and let me tell you that I feel really bad for them. While I am extremely proud that they defended our country and did their duty I am sadden by the empty look in their face and the horrid images that they are not even able to share.

One of the first things you learn while in basic training is attention to detail. In the age of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) your survival depends on your attention to detail and changes to your environment. This is all necessary knowledge that will save our soldier’s life, but what happens when they come back home? Do they shed that thought skin? Are they still paranoid about a car backfiring?

I read an article in Rolling Stone about a soldier that came back from the war and ended up dead after taking the life of a cop. The story is not conclusive and does not really point fingers one way or the other. I also watched True Life: I’m coming home from Iraq. It was really sad to not only see the young people there having changed so much that they are even uncomfortable around their own family, but watching their fear build as the shadow of redeployment was cast over them.

The military offers services to help with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), but I believe that is not enough. I am truly afraid of the amount of soldiers that are coming back to our country and their mental state. Are we losing a generation of our young people to this war?

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7 comments on “Trained Killers

  1. After reading your Blog i would like to add a few more points from a Combat Veteran of Operation Just Cause and Desert Storm. As far as paying attention to detail goes…(Its been 14 years since i was Honorably Discharged) I can not help but walk into a room/bar/club scan the entire area and make descisions based on (UNKNOWING why) where i will stand, sit, paths of exit, suspicions, and routes i will take. When i drive my car its like a game with my wife – she will ask me what kind of car got off the expressway 2 exits back. Its scary because i will tell her the make, color, and atleast some of the license plate WITHOUT even knowing i was looking at the car. Good? Bad? i just do it without knowing i am doing it.

    It is entirely true as far as the Military breaking you down and building you up. It is for the better in most all cases. It shaped me and molded me to the person i am today. I would not trade anything for what i have experienced. Sometimes the dreams i have get to me and my wife but you just adjust. My girlfriend i had (when i came back from the Gulf) had a VERY hard time adjusting; as well as I did. The final straw was when i had a bad dream and could not wake up untill the pounding on the door and screaming. The neighbors and the MP’s busted in to see me on top of her choking the life from her. I felt really bad. I had NO IDEA what i was doing! Needless to say we were through! I am not like that anymore but my wife (of 9 years) still knows when she wakes me up or if i fall asleep to poke my legs and stay away from my arms. She taught the kids pretty well too.

    Please do not feel sorry for any Veterans. We volunteered. We did what we wanted to do. Some volunteered to do more and yes some volunteered to GET MORE with DOING less but like i said…..WE ALL VOLUNTEERED!

    We are not losing young men to this war. We are in fact developing more young men into grown men with responsibilities and truth be told……..I am proud of EVERY single Veteran out there.

    Sure my mind drifts when i think back to the unpleasantries i have seen. I do not talk about what i have seen or done very much at all. In fact i prefer NOT to talk about it. I just push it away deep in my memory and think about today, tomorrow, and the tasks at hand with being a father.

    One Shot – One Kill

  2. My brother is living proof you never come back the same way from a war. He was in Desert Storm back in ’91. It’s been 15 years and he’s still trying to get his life manageable.

  3. A soldier is a unique kind of person. You have to respect that fact that they volunteer to do what they do. The desire they have to want to be a soldier and be a part of that life is beyond my comprehension and I recognize that they are on a level of existence beyond that which I can understand. It commands a different level of respect.

    To feel sorry for them for what they do is almost disrespectful.

    It’s like feeling sorry for me when a new version of Windows is released and I am expected to already know everything… all while getting carpal tunnel syndrome. I know what I know and I choose to do what I do.

  4. My uncle was in World War I. My dad was in World War II – he just didn’t like to talk about it. I know he was driving trucks across enemy lines a lot. I know he made friends in Belgium and other countries. When the war ended, what did he do? Worked for the City, driving a truck. That, he talked about.

    My brother was a U.S. Marine; one of my daughters was a U.S. Marine. They were fortunate to be in between any big wars and are stronger people as a result of their training and experiences. You seem to be an intelligent young man so just don’t believe everything you see in the movies or read in novels. Enjoy them for what they are – fiction.

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