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How do you judge yourself?

RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
Last night, First Warrior and I set up a trade in which I would receive a copy of his book. I read the first few pages on Amazon and felt compelled to read the rest of it. The thing that struck me was that his war experience was nothing like my own. Recently, I met a Spanish linguist whom had a Combat Action Badge. You get a CAB for being in a gunfight with the enemy. He's done three months total. THREE!The average person thanks me for my service, thinking they could not do it themselves.I think that Rangers and Special Forces are BAMFs, because I could not do what they do.Rangers and SOF know that there are people who faster, smarter and a better shot.I have 24 months deployed and have never fired my weapon at an enemy. I've done convoys, cleared neighborhoods, been mortared and interrogated people that you would not want within 100 miles of your family. But deep down, a part of me feels like a failure because I don't have a CAB. I've not shirked my duties, but chance has dictated my circumstances. My question is, how harshly do you judge yourself? Is it possible that the moment you are content you have ceased bettering yourself?

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    0patience0patience Posts: 10,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rain:
    Last night, First Warrior and I set up a trade in which I would receive a copy of his book. I read the first few pages on Amazon and felt compelled to read the rest of it. The thing that struck me was that his war experience was nothing like my own. Recently, I met a Spanish linguist whom had a Combat Action Badge. You get a CAB for being in a gunfight with the enemy. He's done three months total. THREE!The average person thanks me for my service, thinking they could not do it themselves.I think that Rangers and Special Forces are BAMFs, because I could not do what they do.Rangers and SOF know that there are people who faster, smart and a better shot.I have 24 months deployed and have never fired my weapon at an enemy. I've done convoys, cleared neighborhoods, been mortared and interrogated people that you would not want within 100 miles of your family. But deep down, a part of me feels like a failure because I don't have a CAB. I've not shirked my duties, but chance has dictated my circumstances. My question is, how harshly do you judge yourself? Is it possible that the moment you are content you have ceased bettering yourself?
    Never underestimate or undervalue medics/corpsman or what ever they call it now.
    Ever.
    I know many that had never fired a shot that were under fire dozens of times.
    I'd rather have a corpsman by my side, than any other when taking fire.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
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    jd50aejd50ae Posts: 7,900 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I enlisted, sure I was going to Nam. But I did not. Some of my friends did, and I always felt bad because I didn't, and they did. Was never sure how to talk to them but we remained solid friends until they finally died form their injury's. One was a Marine, one a Grunt, and I wish I was good enough with words to write their story's. To this day I wonder how I would have "behaved" if I had gone there. I started to go to "The Wall" more then once but couldn't do it.
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    Puff_DougiePuff_Dougie Posts: 4,599 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As someone who never had the honor or the opportunity of serving, I can only say that I am deeply grateful to every one of our uniformed men and women who put themselves in harm's way to defend our rights and freedoms. Every role is important, and every effort is appreciated. It saddens me to think that any soldier in any branch of the armed forces would think that they haven't "done enough." To me you are all heroes, and your willingness to sacrifice is worthy of the highest respect regardless of the specific role you may have played. That may not mean much coming from a civilian. I know I can't relate to your experiences and I haven't seen what you've seen. But the simple fact that you signed up to defend our country, not knowing if or when you might be called into the line of fire, and did what you were asked to do in order to keep us free, however dangerous or mundane it may have been, earns you my sincere respect and my deepest gratitude.
    "When I have found intense pain relieved, a weary brain soothed, and calm, refreshing sleep obtained by a cigar, I have felt grateful to God, and have blessed His name." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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    CharlieHeisCharlieHeis Posts: 8,298 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I tested well on an aptitude test (that's what the recruiter told me anyway) and could have joined a well respected branch of the military when I was in high school. I chickened out. One of my greatest regrets in life is not serving my country. That's how I judge myself. Thank you for your service.
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    jbohonjbohon Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rain:
    Last night, First Warrior and I set up a trade in which I would receive a copy of his book. I read the first few pages on Amazon and felt compelled to read the rest of it. The thing that struck me was that his war experience was nothing like my own. Recently, I met a Spanish linguist whom had a Combat Action Badge. You get a CAB for being in a gunfight with the enemy. He's done three months total. THREE!The average person thanks me for my service, thinking they could not do it themselves.I think that Rangers and Special Forces are BAMFs, because I could not do what they do.Rangers and SOF know that there are people who faster, smarter and a better shot.I have 24 months deployed and have never fired my weapon at an enemy. I've done convoys, cleared neighborhoods, been mortared and interrogated people that you would not want within 100 miles of your family. But deep down, a part of me feels like a failure because I don't have a CAB. I've not shirked my duties, but chance has dictated my circumstances. My question is, how harshly do you judge yourself? Is it possible that the moment you are content you have ceased bettering yourself?
    I understand how you feel. I served between Desert Storm and OIF. Got a National Defense medal (basically for standing fire watch in boot camp) but never saw one day of combat or was ever even deployed in hostile territory. I now go to the VA with my wife from time to time and I'm surrounded by men half my age that have looked the enemy in the eye and still stood their post. It's hard to even tell them I served because I feel like I don't rate. Part of me is glad that I never had to face it, but part of me still wonders how I would've handled it. I feel guilty for never having been there and I feel like I let my fellow Marines down when they needed me the most because I didn't go back. I know intellectually that isn't the case, but it's how I feel when faced with it.

    Keep your chin up Brother, you and all vets that served during times of conflict have my (and many, many other people's) unwavering respect.


    “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f@$# with me, I’ll kill you all.” -Gen. James Mattis, USMC
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    The3StogiesThe3Stogies Posts: 2,652 ✭✭✭✭
    CharlieHeis:
    I tested well on an aptitude test (that's what the recruiter told me anyway) and could have joined a well respected branch of the military when I was in high school. I chickened out. One of my greatest regrets in life is not serving my country. That's how I judge myself. Thank you for your service.


    Agreed, often wonder how different my life would be now. I try and support our troops any way I can, Wounded Warriors, DAV, or hitting you with cigars, lol. You guys really put your lives on the line when you signed up, that takes courage. Be thankful you didn't have to take a life Rain and think about all the lives you saved.
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    First_WarriorFirst_Warrior Posts: 3,284 ✭✭✭✭✭
    For those who served each veterans experiance is different. the main thing is you served. You stood watch on the walls and you stepped into the breech. You offered your body as a shield to protect the folks at home. That is all that matters. As far as judging myself there is quote that describes it well. "we have met the enemy and they are us"
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    YankeeManYankeeMan Posts: 2,654 ✭✭✭✭✭
    First Warrior:
    For those who served each veterans experiance is different. the main thing is you served. You stood watch on the walls and you stepped into the breech. You offered your body as a shield to protect the folks at home. That is all that matters. As far as judging myself there is quote that describes it well. "we have met the enemy and they are us"
    You said that perfectly! You all get paid not only for what you do, but for what you may have to do! You all have my heartfelt thanks.

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    I know what you mean. I joined the navy July 2008 a year after i graduated. Since then all i have seen has been boot, school, then the GW in Japan. I'm just an engineer. But when i go back to the states i get told things, thanked, asked questions that i just dont know how to respond to or answer. when someone says "thank you", i just dont know what to say back. I have kinda come to terms with my job and that it has it's place in the greater scheme of things, but sometimes i do have to think back on it.
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    Tyland64Tyland64 Posts: 712
    Rain, you know that you were one of the first people I bombed on the forum. We have gone back and forth about cigars, family, and military etc... You do not need to judge yourself by the awards of someone else. You asked me why I bombed you one time, and my reply was, just an old soldier paying it forward. I thanked you for your service and I meant it. I can say that during my time in the Army I know that at certain times and in certain places my fellow soldiers did not care if I had a CAB. What they cared about was that I was there with them and for them. That CAB does not define you as a soldier,husband,a son or a person. You should stand tall and walk proud of your service to you country and the thanks that you get. You have earned it. Thank you for your service.
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    RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    Thanks everyone, I DID have a reason for making this other than my ego needing stroked...which I appreciate so please keep it up ;)Really though, do you think that we're always looking at whomever/whatever is ahead of us? For example...I have no degree.Someone with an Associates is jealous of someone with a Bachelors.Someone with a Bachelors is jealous of someone with a Masters.Do you think it's normal to minimize your own accomplishments while playing up other peoples?
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    Puff_DougiePuff_Dougie Posts: 4,599 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rain:
    Thanks everyone, I DID have a reason for making this other than my ego needing stroked...which I appreciate so please keep it up ;)Really though, do you think that we're always looking at whomever/whatever is ahead of us? For example...I have no degree.Someone with an Associates is jealous of someone with a Bachelors.Someone with a Bachelors is jealous of someone with a Masters.Do you think it's normal to minimize your own accomplishments while playing up other peoples?
    I think that is human nature. For example, even though I actually earned the Ken Light 3k MOW Badge, I'm still way jealous of your awesome signature bar! :^)

    "When I have found intense pain relieved, a weary brain soothed, and calm, refreshing sleep obtained by a cigar, I have felt grateful to God, and have blessed His name." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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    RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    I told everyone that it's free to use :)
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    i think people use it as a way to better themselves.
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    The3StogiesThe3Stogies Posts: 2,652 ✭✭✭✭
    Anyone with a conscience is their own worse critic.
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    0patience0patience Posts: 10,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    image

    image

    And lastly, because I thought it was fitting to this thread.

    image
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
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    RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    CharlieHeis:
    I tested well on an aptitude test (that's what the recruiter told me anyway) and could have joined a well respected branch of the military when I was in high school. I chickened out. One of my greatest regrets in life is not serving my country. That's how I judge myself. Thank you for your service.
    as I type "You should not regret..." I realize you have helped me answer my own question.
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    RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    First Warrior:
    "we have met the enemy and they are us"
    As I read your book, I can see what you mean. I think "I could not make it through all the patrols". But I could. The same way people thank me for my service because they "could not do it". They could, because the only other option is losing/defeat/death. If everyone says "I cant be the first to quit" then everyone finishes
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    First_WarriorFirst_Warrior Posts: 3,284 ✭✭✭✭✭
    When faced with sink or swim most folks swim.
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    90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Posts: 12,408 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thank you one and all to those that have served, are serving or has family in either category. You all are an inspiration for us all and what we should all aspire to be in general, doing whatever we can whenever we can. That's what I keep reading and hearing here, everyone of you did whatever you could wherever you could. You all tried to make a difference regardless of what you were doing or how you were going about it. Still just trying to make a difference. And that is what we should all aspire to and what I try to do. Though to be fair I feel like I fail at that far far more often than I succeed. Thanks to you all for all you have ever done and will ever do for us here at home.
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
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    RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    If you have not read Rodger's book, I recommend you do so! And keep in mond that there are soldiers/marines/airmen/sailers still out there that enjoy a care package with seasoning. The most crazy part is that the esteem for Doc/Medic/Corpsman is still alive and strong
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