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Call Of Apathy:Violent Young Men and Our Place in War (A Must Read)

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posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 08:45 AM
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An article I found just this week regarding the depiction of soldiers in video games, versus the actual truth of the matter.

Source Article


[Editor’s Note: W is an experienced soldier with combat experience in several corners of the world. They are now working as a PMC and cannot reveal their identity due to the possibility of backlash. As they put it, “The military is a very, very tight-knit community.” This article has been edited for style and clarity; no additions or deletions have been made.]

Disclaimer: I am not an academic. I have no education past the age of 16, so my writing may be rough. What I do have is an entire adulthood of military service, which I terminated recently when I decided I wanted more money for doing the same job.

I am a private military contractor, and I have an issue with the depiction of war in videogames — or more specifically, the soldiers in those games.


When I say soldier, let me be clear that I am talking about the Infantryman and the Special Forces operator, as I have next to no knowledge about anything outside of this relatively small percentile of service personnel.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of games featuring the military focus on these frontline combat troops in “realistic” action. And that’s where we get problems.


This article is somewhat startlin, and now as noted this person is just giving you their opinion and their experiences while being a soldier, but now is a private military contractor.

Very interesting things are said regarding how he thinks about 80% of troops are sociopaths and the other 20 are the ones who succumb to PTSD because they are normal regular people.


Next time you watch a military documentary, ask yourself why only 3 or 4 men are ever interviewed from a unit. The answer?

The rest of them are like me.

There’s a reason the new guy always gets put on point and nobody really cares when he gets blown up, that so many incidents of collateral damage go unreported, that failed missions are spun into something positive like gathering “valuable intel,” and why only roughly 20% of combat troops ever get PTSD – when if you think about it, it should affect everyone that ever sees combat.

It’s because the vast majority of us are straight up sociopaths.

Heroes are a myth. Every incident I can recall in war that created a hero was either an accident or ended up with said hero in a body bag.

Which makes the “hero” myth a fight of luck versus stupidity, a roll of the dice.

We all make calculated risks in war. Not one of us would make that risk if we genuinely thought it would get us killed.

I’ll say it again. Heroes in a frontline combat context do not exist.


I have much respect for those in the military, I do not respect their goals ( as they are not my own, or theirs, or the people's) but I do respect their willingness to go out and defend our rights, even if that willingness is misplaced in these times.

But this is something that needs to be addressed and talked about. This culture of war mongers that probably exists within the military that are just oh so happy to use their trained skills to murder and kill people, without a second thought to the consequences.

In any case, regardless of how much weight you put into this man's theory and story, it certainly should make you think as this is a VERY different perspective than the cookie cutter one we are given by the media.

Thoughts?

~Tenth




posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 09:27 AM
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It is an all volunteer system so it is by choice that these kids join.They choose to take a career of obedience to authority and the main job of killing other people. Only two kinds of people take a job like this. The brainwashed or the psychopath.
I find it very interesting this society has taken the psychopath and given them such power. it is also known that Wall St. is populated with "psychopaths" (used in a strictly objective psychological definition). The result, a ruined financial system. Aren't we seeing a ruined and tarnished military? Then how about them domestic police? Or those politicians?
does it not seem the inmates are running the asylum?
APB



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by AmericanPitBull
 



It is an all volunteer system so it is by choice that these kids join.They choose to take a career of obedience to authority and the main job of killing other people. Only two kinds of people take a job like this. The brainwashed or the psychopath.
I find it very interesting this society has taken the psychopath and given them such power.


Excuse me…wasn’t it you just a few weeks ago telling me that you are a former Navy SEAL?
(If I'm wrong then I apologize but I don't think I am)

So I must ask the obvious question, which category do you fit in to? Brainwashed or psychopath?


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edit to add: Yup, it was you.


Hey you are welcome happy to bolster your ego. Glad you found a group that could make you feel good about yourself. And you are sooo right not everyone can be a marine some of us were too good and became seals.


edit on 3-3-2012 by seabag because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 



But this is something that needs to be addressed and talked about. This culture of war mongers that probably exists within the military that are just oh so happy to use their trained skills to murder and kill people, without a second thought to the consequences.

In any case, regardless of how much weight you put into this man's theory and story, it certainly should make you think as this is a VERY different perspective than the cookie cutter one we are given by the media.

Thoughts?


Interesting read!

I think the most important thing this guy did was out himself as a psychopath.


There’s a reason the new guy always gets put on point and nobody really cares when he gets blown up, It’s because the vast majority of us are straight up sociopaths.


That’s just sick, really. This guy is obviously a psychopath to say something like that. I’ve never met someone who thinks that way. Then he said:



We all make calculated risks in war. Not one of us would make that risk if we genuinely thought it would get us killed.


This is completely ridiculous. As a matter of fact, there have been dozens of men awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for selfless acts in combat and thousands more recognized in other ways. There was recently a thread about such an act.

There are some psychopaths in the military just as there are throughout society. I think this is a disgusting portrayal of military personnel by a guy who has serious mental problems…nothing more IMO.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:11 AM
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I don't think the author of this article is a sociopath. If that was true, he wouldn't think that the civilian public needed to be warned about him or others like him, at all. Sociopaths also don't exhibit self-hatred, which this guy does, in spades.

There are plenty of troops who post on this site who are a lot closer to real sociopathy than this guy. Most of the military posters I see on ATS, are people who think that soldiers should be revered as the epitome of the human race.

I also don't think most troops in general are psychopaths, at least from what I've seen. I think they are people, who to a certain extent may have more innately violent tendencies than most, yes; but I think that in order to survive, they try and reach a point where a lot of it simply becomes routine, or is seen that way.

It becomes a lifestyle, as sick as that sounds. If it does traumatise them, that can become addictive, which is even worse. Soldiers generally view themselves as being better than everyone else in society, and they think their experiences in war are what justify that view. So they can become addicted to war, from the point of view that it enables them to see themselves as being "hardcore," and do things that civilians don't, and that civilians wouldn't be able to survive or handle. The Marines in particular seem to hold that mentality very strongly.

But it also becomes a job. War for war's sake, as the article's author described it. Patton and Mussolini both said that they thought war was the highest form of human activity, and the only one which led to real development or progress. Napoleon also only really fought, in the end, because he loved it. Not about fighting for freedom; not about any other objective higher than getting out of every situation that you can alive, and ultimately doing it for the same reason that somebody else drives a bus. For money, for livelyhood, and because it's what they do.

Contemporary military sims exist for the purpose of conditioning kids and teenagers into wanting to enlist. They glorify the whole thing. Some of the more recent games like Black Ops make things look very rapid and chaotic, but you don't need to have actually been to war yourself to know that they are obviously still extremely sterile and unrealistic, compared with how it really is. I've also seen leaked videos concerning some of the attrocities in Iraq; the American kids you can hear in those videos laughed and joked with each other while killing or torturing civilians, as if they were still at home, and had just scored a head shot in Unreal Tournament.

War needs to end now, and the single main reason why, is because it is never fought for a justifiable reason any more. Add to that, that modern weaponry and technology means that there is never honour in it, either. There would virtually never be the sort of scenario that the ancient Greeks or Romans had, where there were two people, one on one, and it was an honest contest of comparitive ability. American troops in particular don't go looking for that, even if soldiers from any other country on the planet do. For them it's all about air support, and doing as much damage to the enemy as you can, while minimising his opportunity to defend himself as much as possible.

If there still was a remote degree of honour in it, then someone might be able to remotely justify it; but it's all just shredded bodies by daisy cutters (or whatever other new horror the weapons developers dream up) from however many thousand feet up, and psychopaths, and corporate profit now. It needs to end.
edit on 3-3-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by tothetenthpower
An article I found just this week regarding the depiction of soldiers in video games, versus the actual truth of the matter.


While it is fairly obvious even to the casual observer and even more so to those of us who have served that the portrayal of combat in video games is farcical in nature; I for one would not equate this guy’s article as the "truth of the mater".

Quick analysis of his writing and the terms and scenarios he uses to illustrate his point are clearly taken from popular culture - the FNG walking point and getting killed, for example is from the movie Platoon. This does not happen in modern warfare for two reasons:

1: Units train and deploy as units now unlike during Vietnam and when combat casualties are incurred individuals are not replaced piecemeal. Thus there are no FNG's (other than say those on their first rotation) in a unit that no one cares about these units train for up to a year before they deploy with stop losses preventing any veterans from leaving and new guys from arriving near the deployment date.

2. Inexperienced Soldiers do not "walk point" (another old term) veteran Soldiers do because we no longer blunder around aimlessly hoping to draw the enemy out in that manner. We run focused operations with objectives.

If the opinion of a career officer with more than 17 years in Special Operations is wanted for what it is worth here is mine.. This article was written by a “wanna-be” who may have some combat experience but certainly not by a professional Soldier with as he put it “experience with Infantry and Special Forces”.

That said I do agree that there are a portion of individuals in the profession who have some anti-social personality traits. I would even agree that the possession of some of these traits tends to benefit one in a career in the profession. They tend to go into Special Operations because having a certain disregard for the rules is appreciated there while in the regular units it is frowned upon.

However, I take exception to the use of the terms Sociopath and Psychopath as anyone who would qualify for a true diagnosis of either would not last long in any of the services. I’m not going to lengthen the thread with the DSVM guide criteria it is easily googled for anyone who cares.


Originally posted by tothetenthpower
This culture of war mongers that probably exists within the military that are just oh so happy to use their trained skills to murder and kill people, without a second thought to the consequences.


Negative, again these individuals would not last for they are a danger to themselves and more importantly to their units and when your life is on the line you don’t want loose cannon near you.

There are indeed some who compartmentalize the indignity and horror of combat better than others.

There are a good many more who so act outwardly by making light of horrible things like death when around their buddies or being interviewed by a reporter.

The truth is that much like a child might giggle when confronted with something scary – an extreme opposite of the expected reaction is as much of a tell as too much of the expected reaction.

Once the cameras are off (the show is over) and they are alone with their thoughts many turn to alcohol, prescriptions, and even suicide because they just can’t cope.


Originally posted by tothetenthpower
In any case, regardless of how much weight you put into this man's theory and story, it certainly should make you think as this is a VERY different perspective than the cookie cutter one we are given by the media.


Like I said before there are some Soldiers and likely many very successful career ones who have many anti-social personality traits the numbers are nowhere near this guy’s estimates. I would say that more like 10% of the Soldiers fall into this category.

Sorry to say most Soldiers want to live regardless of their anti-social traits and having a “warmonger” around will get you killed.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by seabag
reply to post by AmericanPitBull
 



It is an all volunteer system so it is by choice that these kids join.They choose to take a career of obedience to authority and the main job of killing other people. Only two kinds of people take a job like this. The brainwashed or the psychopath.
I find it very interesting this society has taken the psychopath and given them such power.


Excuse me…wasn’t it you just a few weeks ago telling me that you are a former Navy SEAL?
(If I'm wrong then I apologize but I don't think I am)

So I must ask the obvious question, which category do you fit in to? Brainwashed or psychopath?


I was the first but became the second. Do not presume I do not recognize the reality of this. How about you? are you unscathed by what doing your duty requires? If so you must be the same. See my realizations came while dealing with a wrecked body that was cast aside by those I served. So I admit I am damaged goods and I recognize it. What are we now? The "global force for good" is it? Any hoo not an attack on you just wondered if you have given it any thought? As I have had many sleepless nights over it myself.

BTW I am not in the habit of playing into an obvious trolling post but am giving you the benefit of doubt you are not just a troll.

Do you have anything to add to the Op or are you gonna make me wrong?
APB



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by AmericanPitBull
Only two kinds of people take a job like this. The brainwashed or the psychopath.


I see the only real fitting response to this being -

Only one kind of person would make a comment like that...uninformed.

It is clear we share no frame of reference on military - how much experience exactly do you have in the practice of the profession?



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by AmericanPitBull
Only two kinds of people take a job like this. The brainwashed or the psychopath.


I disagree. I see lots of evidence of military brainwashing on ATS, but they don't start out that way. There are a lot of different motivations to do it initially. Governments (not just the American) try to make enlistment look as appealing as possible, so they offer all sorts of incentives. Free/cheap education, health care, etc.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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reply to post by AmericanPitBull
 



I was the first but became the second. Do not presume I do not recognize the reality of this. How about you? are you unscathed by what doing your duty requires? If so you must be the same.


I disagree with the entire premise. You don’t have to be either a psychopath OR brainwashed to serve in the military and perform your duties. I find it very hard to believe that people fall for that trap (False Choice).


See my realizations came while dealing with a wrecked body that was cast aside by those I served. So I admit I am damaged goods and I recognize it. What are we now? The "global force for good" is it? Any hoo not an attack on you just wondered if you have given it any thought? As I have had many sleepless nights over it myself.


I think you are being too hard on yourself. Everyone deals with things in their own way but I don’t think you have to be so negative about your service.

Sometimes in society we have to kill people and break things for the greater good. Evil must be killed and killing evil does not make a person evil IMO. I’ve NEVER met a person who cherished or enjoyed time in war…that would be a true psychopath or sociopath.


BTW I am not in the habit of playing into an obvious trolling post but am giving you the benefit of doubt you are not just a troll.

Do you have anything to add to the Op or are you gonna make me wrong?


I did respond to the OP right after I responded to you.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by seabag
Sometimes in society we have to kill people and break things for the greater good. Evil must be killed and killing evil does not make a person evil IMO. I’ve NEVER met a person who cherished or enjoyed time in war…that would be a true psychopath or sociopath.


One of my main motivations for starting to become a regular on ATS, was because I wanted to try and become more open minded towards the political/economic Right, seabag. I've seen a few other posts from you around the place which to me at least, identify you as a conservative, but I am not saying that is a bad thing.

I find your posts interesting, because even though we think in very different ways, you do offer me insight into some of the psychology that exists behind conservative thinking. It is very educational, and helps me at least try to understand it. So thank you.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by petrus4
 


Errrrr…you’re welcome?


2nd…



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 11:08 AM
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My entire families history is war for America since WWII. We have sent and lost at least one member in each major action since (note I did not say war as we have not actually declared war since WWII, right) I am not the last body we are throwing at the war machine either as my nephew is in Afghanistan right now. See I am not freaking threatened by the fact that we all have a strong protective spirit of America mixed with an unhealthy dose of " will to violence"
BTW the term psychopath is hardly a real slam. Look into the how many folks fall into the category and lead normal lives. Until you really understand what is being said when saying psychopath, that it does not mean raving lunatic, we can't discuss this more in depth.

My history is one of seeing my family come back from Viet Nam and be spit on( my two cousins of six who went,volunteered.) I thought Viet Nam was BS because we weren't allowed to actually win because it was not a real war (declared). I was recruited out of HS during operations post Nam in SE Asia in the late seventies.and served till the early eighties when I was made disabled due to a broken back during Caribbean operations. I am still in touch with many of my brothers from the old days but am a different guy now than when a kid almost 40 yrs ago. So if I don't get pissing on dead enemies, flying nazi symbols and naming bases after the " Aryan" nation is today's military. At least accept it was not part of mine and my experience is my own do not presume to judge where my boots have been.
APB



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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litigate school now face burns respectively give me a better perspective phone signals from the next careers even a bit of a cough and tell the teacher wasn't even close ashby visconti a number 1 with the most amazing thing this with


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 11:15 AM
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Reply to post by Bun-G
 


My phone is playing up. ignore the last post.

Im on my phone so cannot edit or delete


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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There are other reason to join the military..not just infantry, many jobs and specialties.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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First of all the term "psychopath" is often misused by the public and the layman.

Dr. Robert D. Hare's "Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R)" is the psycho-diagnostic tool most commonly used to assess psychopaths. On this checklist, psychopaths have the majority of the following traits:


Selfish, callous and remorseless use of others:
Glibness/superficial charm (smooth-talking, engaging and slick)
Grandiose sense of self-worth (greatly inflated idea of one's abilities and self-esteem, arrogance and a sense of superiority)
Pathological lying

Conning/manipulative (uses deceit to cheat others for personal gain)
Lack of remorse or guilt (no feelings or concern for losses, pain and suffering of others)
Emotional poverty (limited range or depth of feelings)
Callous/lack of empathy (a lack of feelings toward others; cold, contemptuous and inconsiderate)
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions (continued)


However, it is in a clinical sense a "slam dunk" as far as a diagnosis is concerned. While the tool above is the most commonly used is mostly used incorrectly even by doctors. (I doubt you have a firm handle on it either.) It is more commonly a miss or over diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder.


Originally posted by AmericanPitBullBTW the term psychopath is hardly a real slam.



About 80-85% of incarcerated criminals have Antisocial Personality Disorder. However, only about 20% of these criminals would qualify for a diagnosis of being a psychopath. Most psychopaths meet the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder, but most individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder are not psychopaths. Psychopaths account for 50 percent of all the most serious crimes committed, including half of all serial killers and repeat rapists.


See that part about Psychopaths accounting for 50% of all the most serious crime committed - I'd call lumping one in with that group a slam but that's me....


Originally posted by AmericanPitBullLook into the how many folks fall into the category and lead normal lives. Until you really understand what is being said when saying psychopath, that it does not mean raving lunatic, we can't discuss this more in depth.


Actually, based on our post it's clear to me you have no idea what you are talking about in terms of psychology.

While many people may indeed have some of the traits on that scale they need to have most of them and unless either you are a career criminal in which case you won't be in the military.

Or...perhaps very, very smart, so smart you can hide your criminal activities from all around you. Besides, career wise you can't display those (non-criminal) dysfunctional traits in the military and succeed.

I don't see an over abundance of intellect in the military either so I doubt there are more "hidden psychopaths" than in the general public at large. There are most likely a few in there...

I agree we shan’t debate this further you are clearly not equipped to do so…

edit on 3/3/2012 by Golf66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by Golf66
 


Oh I don't pretend to know the military I just have opinions. I do have military family, grand father and uncles etc..

But otherwise no ties. For my statement " The truth of the matter", was more opnion as I know that war video games such as Call Of Duty are propaganda.

Or better termed "Gamaganda".

It clearly does not represent any real state of affairs or what goes on in real combat situation etc.

~Tenth



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by AmericanPitBull
My entire families history is war for America since WWII. We have sent and lost at least one member in each major action since (note I did not say war as we have not actually declared war since WWII, right) I am not the last body we are throwing at the war machine either as my nephew is in Afghanistan right now.


The problem is that Americans think they're protecting their country by going to Afghanistan. They aren't. They're doing the opposite. The Taliban and various other people in that country are nuts, so unless you literally kill every person there, (which you can't, feasibly, either morally or logistically) all you're really likely to do is set yourselves up for more problems down the line. I also think it's sad that a lot of American soldiers believe that it was Muslims who blew up the World Trade Center, when it's fairly obvious to a lot of the rest of us that your own government did it.

One other thing that I don't think Americans understand about Muslims, is that a lot of Muslims in any country think of themselves as Muslims first, and nationals of a given single country second. So if Americans kill Muslims in Afghanistan or Iraq, it's going to make Muslims in virtually every other Islamic country on the planet mad, even if American occupation doesn't exist in their actual country.

They have something like a gang mentality. If you attack any of them, in any country, then others among them in another country, will feel as though they've been attacked as well.


See I am not freaking threatened by the fact that we all have a strong protective spirit of America mixed with an unhealthy dose of " will to violence"


The only real problem with it is that it is ultimately self-defeating. There are a lot more other people out there than you in the world. So if you go around killing people, eventually you're going to upset someone else, who is going to be able to do it back. It's not a good way to think or live, if long term survival is your goal.

That's the only real problem that some of us in other (Western, non-Muslim) countries have with Americans. There is an American tendency to engage in extremely self-defeating and self-abusive behaviour. Some Americans do bad things for short term gains, but they don't understand the amount that it is going to hurt them in the long term, and so they think they've gotten away with something.

BTW the term psychopath is hardly a real slam. Look into the how many folks fall into the category and lead normal lives. Until you really understand what is being said when saying psychopath, that it does not mean raving lunatic, we can't discuss this more in depth.


So if I don't get pissing on dead enemies, flying nazi symbols and naming bases after the " Aryan" nation is today's military.


A lot of Nazi scientists ended up in America after WW2. You probably already know about that. They've apparently had a strong influence on the government in various ways. WW2 is also almost out of living memory now as well, so there are a lot of young boys in both America and other countries, who tend to think these days that Hitler and Nazism were really cool. They like using Nazi imagery in their avatars when playing COD online, and stuff like that. It didn't surprise me when the Sniper Squad used the SS flag, drawn in the same manner really. They would have known what the significance was, and privately they would have thought it was awesome.



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 

Good question 10th power. I want to know too. Somebody has to go around that corner first, or stick their head up to determine where the fire is coming from. If you talk to vets they say they are not the heroes, that their fallen comrades are. Why is that? Is it because the survivors look back and are afraid to admit that they generally tried not to be the first one over the top? That they let others do the dying for them? That maybe that is why they survived and others didn't? Dunno. The ones that do don't like to talk about it much.

That would be embarrassing to admit wouldn't it? I made it out of there because I kept my head down and followed everyone else when I could. Kind of smart? Or kinda cowardly? After all they survived when many others didn't. I know of the hero stories like falling on a grenade or rushing a machine gun nest. I am not talking about selfless sacrifice here. That happens. But is it wise? Is it heroic? Or dumb?

In Hollywood we are influenced by Movies like "Platoon" where our hero walks in front of bunker after bunker to earn a right to survive and let someone else do that. In "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Big Red One" the newest member of the squad gets to go first, thus producing a better than normal chance for others to stay alive thru the entire conflict. Is that how it works? I don't know because other movies like "Apocalypse Now" teach us about psycho killers like Sheen and Brando, while at the same time reminding us to "Never get out of the boat".

So which is it? Personally, I never joined the Military. Way back something kept me from it and I am glad for it. If I had enlisted (for what reason I can never fathom) and I had gone to "War", then I would probably be more like "stayed in boat". I would not bunch up, keep my head down, and never volunteer. If somebody had to die I would say better them than me. I would survive and come home, maybe. That isn't cowardly or heroic, neither is it dumb. Once home I would hang my head and deny any hero ship for I was just trying to survive.



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