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I Need To Talk About What Happened Here In Iraq  
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

As some of you may know, things got a little crazy in my life recently, and I've been attempting to sort all of this out. I am extremely hesitant to talk to the army wizard (shrink) because that kinda stuff will make it to my commander's ears - which is NOT good. I am hesitant to talk to family because I don't want to worry them. I am also hesitant to talk about it on here. The Army is cracking down on blogs because soldiers are divulging sensitive information and violating OPSEC rules. So I need to be careful. But yet I can't stop thinking about it and I need to just get it off my chest! I need to just TALK about it.

***I just finished typing this out and it took me nearly two whole hours. I want to warn everyone that I use strong/offensive language at times, so sorry for that. Also, this turned out to be VERY long, certainly not a quick read, again I'm sorry. And lastly, I gotta be honest: I contemplated deleting the whole thread and walking away numerous times. It's very difficult to be so open with yourself and your feelings. But in the end, it really feels good to just openly talk about it.*** SO... here's the story, and sorry if it gets confusing at times:


The following occurred on 08MAY2006 at 1500LCT/1100Z:

After a quick morning mission, I ended up at BIAP (Baghdad International Airport), we unloaded and prepared to stay there for the evening. Well not long after we landed, I ran into a buddy who I knew from Ft Campbell. He was heading out on a convoy to the 'bubble' (the international zone, aka: the green zone).

This was awesome, because I've been wanting to get my hands on some personal gear/items that were not sold over at my base. And I know a Warrant Officer who works in the bubble, and he has been known to locate certain things from time to time. He can get me things like a new side-arm holster. My current one is too tight and becomes uncomfortable after a few hours of continuous flying. Also, the bubble's DFAC (chow hall) is suppose to be the best in Iraq! So this is perfect! I talk with my buddy and find out that one of the HMMWVs has an open slot! I hook a ride with him and all I gotta do is provide security for the convoy. No problem! So now I am stoked and I'm thinking, today is going to be a great day, and "I'M GOING TO THE BUBBLE, BITCHES!!"

I run out to my helo, grab my body armor, my k-pot (kelvar helmet), my M4A1 rifle, and my picture of my wife. I put it in my chest pocket. Anyway... we depart in a convoy of six HMMWVs, and I am in the tail element (vehicle six of six). I am sitting in the rear right-side seat, and I am looking out a window no bigger than the size of my head. "I gotta scan for threats out of this tiny thing. Greeeeat."

Our path of travel has us making two stops in the north-end of B-dad to drop something off, and then going south to the bubble. We leave the BIAP wire and travel down Al-Duwali Road (the airport road). You see, in Iraq, this highway is infamous and has a bad reputation for IEDs and VBIEDs (vehicle born improvised explosive devices). I guess it's Haji's idea of a "Welcome to Baghdad" gift. But in recent times, the road has become 100x safer. Yet, you can still sense the tension and I am on edge myself.

We only travel down the highway for a short length and then we take a connector off the airport road. **Phew!** I'm glad that's over with, and I relax a little. We travel down a different highway headed north and we're traveling really fast. On a side note, can I just say: driving in Iraq is CRAZY! We stagger ourselves apart to prevent one IED from taking multiple vehicles out. And we're hauling ass through traffic. But the Iraqis drive like maniacs! They swerve in and out of our convoys! "Um, hey Mr Iraqi, we've got a young private pointing a .50cal at you... maybe you should avoid pissing him off?" And if the Iraqis get in the way, their gonna be rammed by us. But yet, they still test us!!

Anyway, we get off this 4-lane road and move onto a much smaller, tighter road. Tension inside of me goes back up. God it's fucking hot in the HMMWV. At least 120. Ugh. Now I have a new worry: locals, A LOT of locals. Man, I wish we were back on the highway. At least the only threats on the highway were IEDs and VBIEDs! But here on these side streets, I need to worry about VBIEDs, IEDs AND a ton of people, AND buildings with a lot of dark windows. Wonderful. We continue down the road and it opens up a little and the people become less concentrated. GOOD.

I was looking at a group of children standing on the side when it happened. The vehicle rocked first, and then the sound followed. BOOM!!! The driver slammed on the breaks. I was looking sideways and the sudden stop made me hit my head. I feel dazed. Oh fuck. What happening? What was that? Is everyone ok? Yeah they look ok. Shit! Am I ok?? Yeah, I am fine. What the fuck was that? Shit, look for targets. Scan the streets for targets. WHAT WAS THAT? Shit is that Iraqi holding an AK? No. WHAT IS GOING ON!? Focus, Aharon, focus.

Immediately the radio erupts into dozens of people all trying to talk at the same time. Shit, something is wrong. Someone has been hit. IED. Fuck, we've stopped. I ask the driver, a SGT, what to do. (Sure I outrank him! but he's the subject matter expert here! no room for pride) He turns to me and says, "Sir, an IED exploded up ahead. "Lead" is ok, but he says his vehicle took a hit. We're stopping and we need to establish a perimeter." I say "Roger that Sarg, let's do this." I step out. Alright. I'm trained in combat skills. I got this. Goodbye safe HMMWV... hello Baghdad. I direct one private to go against a nearby wall. And I tell the other private, who has a radio headset, that that I don't have a radio so he needs to stay close and tell me what's being said. We need to find cover.

The smell. It hits you like a wall. I smell the remnants of the explosives... but there is something else... an overwhelming smell of shit. As though I had just stepped out into a sewer. What the hell is that smell!? Hey, dipshit, you better focus on the task! I snap too and look for something to take cover behind. The gunner on our HMMWVs is firing the .50cal down a side ally. The bullets are going over my head. That fucker better not blow my head off. I clutch my M4 and run over to a low cut wall and take a knee. CLICK. Safety is off.

I scan the area. The ally that he was just firing down is clear. GOOD. I continue the scan. I look down towards the front of the convoy. Smoke and debris. I hope everyone is ok up there. Hey! Stop thinking and start scanning. I look back to the street. I see all of these Iraqis that are just standing there, like spectators looking for a good show. Idiots. Don't they know a bomb just went off? Get inside! Get the hell out of here you stupid shits! Then I see them. At about 11 o'clock, a small group of men start slowing walking towards us. ... I draw a bead. Holy fuck!!! I am pointing a rifle at someone's head! Fuck, this is not good. I should have just hopped on a copter flight to the green zone! Fuck this shit!

The men... they're still walking towards me. God damn it, stop walking towards me! I yell at them and motion them to move away. They laugh and mimic me. They're leaving. GOOD. The private comes running up right next to me and takes a knee.

"Hey sir, good spot you got here. SGT Joe says not to let any cars pass through." Alright, not a problem... hey private, this is fucked up, isn't it? "Nah sir, it's my forth one. If Haji starts shooting at us... wax him." He jumps up and runs across the street to take up his own position. ... "wax him," I whisper.

I crouch there for what feels like forever. Occasionally some Iraqis try and get close. I threaten them and they move away while mocking me. They're testing me. Traffic is building up. It still smells horrible. I think I am kneeling in shit. Nasty. God, I hope everyone is ok up there. A vehicle cuts out of line and moves towards us. Fuck, what is this joker doing? Is this it? Is this the car bomb that finishes me off? I get up, and the private across the way gets up, and we meet in the middle of the road. We motion for the vehicle to stop and have our weapons at the ready. I point my rifle at the driver. I make up my mind: 5 more seconds and I will shoot. Goodbye Mr CarBomb. Well I guess he thought twice about what he was doing and stopped. GOOD. He backs up. Even better.

The private's radio squawks and someone says the support convoy is not far, and we should prepare to move out soon. SWEET! We're getting out of here. That's when it happened.

I felt an immense pain in my left ear and I was pelted with dirt coming from my left. You know when lightning strikes really close by and it makes a heart stopping crack and a snap? Yeah... that was what I heard. It was so loud it caused me to momentarily go deaf in my left ear. I didn't flinch or crouch. But here I was, standing out in the open in the middle of the god damn road - TOTALLY exposed. And all I do is squint my eyes and turned my head to the right to shield my face from the hail of dirt and rocks. What an idiot I am. The thought of an explosion never registered in my head. Yeah, definitely an idiot. There was no fear. No anger. Just curiosity. I just remember thinking, who the fuck is lighting M-80s off?

M-80s!??? What was I thinking!? God that pisses me off that I wasn't thinking quicker on my feet. I'm better than that.

"OH SHIT!" The private yells. I look over towards the sound and I see smoke and dust. I mentally kick myself. M-80s my ass... that was a mortar. Christ, I never even heard it come in. I curse myself for not even hearing it whistle in. And I curse the mother fucker just shot a mortar at me! Anger. I run to the side of the street for cover, and I pin myself up against a wall. I know I should check myself for any shrapnel wounds, but I am afraid I might find one. So I don't. Instead, I look over at where the mortar went off. Oh jeeze... that mortar hit 5 feet, FIVE STINKING FEET, away from the wall I was just kneeling behind a few minutes ago!! Oh my g- ...I ... I was just kneeling right there. I would be de --

Crackling. Popping.

...Gun fire. Is it us? Is it them? Who's firing? It's both of us. I look down that ally and see some people at the end of it. They're popping out from behind the corner and firing at us. The .50 rips apart the ally. Two more mortars come in. Fuck everything is going to hell. Target. Fuck I need to fire at something. God damn cowards, show yourselves so I can wax your ass! More fire from the ally. I see them. I unload a 30 clip down the ally and reload to get ready to fire again. But I don't need to. It's quiet. For what felt like minutes (probably only 5 seconds) there is no noise. Maybe it's because I don't have an eardrum? No... everything is actually quiet. The the radios erupt again asking if anyone is hurt. No one is. Thank god. There is no more gun fire or incoming. It's like they just disappeared. I exhale.

The support convoy moves in, takes over and we gather back together, get in our vehicle and move out. It's over. Just like that. But there is no time to reflect or decompress. I still need to pull security until we reach the bubble. God damn it, this day was horrible.

Two soldiers were slightly injured in the lead vehicle, nothing serious. The vehicle was mangled, but not totalled. I was fine. Minor left ear damage from the mortar explosion and minor cuts on the left side of my face.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't really know what I am looking for here. I don't know why I had such a pressing urge to tell this story. I mean... It wasn't the first time I fired at people. And this wasn't the first time I was fired at. Hell... I had a bullet come through my chin bubble. That bullet was a lot closer to danger than the mortar was. So why does it bother me so much?

In the helicopter, I've been in far bigger jams, and I never thought twice about it afterwards. It was just business and it was my job. Let it go and drive on. But I can't stop thinking about the series of events. That mortar... that was a lucky placement. Iraqi mortars are so inaccurate they couldn't hit the side of the barn from the inside with all the doors shut. But out of the entire city... the mortar hit right where I was JUST standing. How does that happen? I could be missing a limb right now. That makes me feel sick.

I have a lot of "feelings" about it all. I'm pissed. I'm pissed at them for having the balls to fire at me. I am pissed how I reacted. I let them get to me and I am not able to separate the professional aspect from the personal aspect. The whole war is so fucked up. I'm scared that this is my life. I mean, I love my job and I am so glad that I have the privilege to be here. I want to be here and it's truly an honor to be apart of something this momentous. But I can't help but wonder: when I go home, how much of me am I going to leave here?

Maybe it's too soon to tell, but I think I've changed. My friends and I all walk around here and act "hooah." We boast about our war experiences and our trials under fire. We watch movies like Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Platoon, Patton, etc... and we all recite lines from memory and glorify the battles. But at the end of the movie, the characters just fade into the credits. What about us? I can't just turn the DVD player of my life off. I will live with this war for the rest of my life. God, I was so wrong. There isn't anything romantic about war. There is only survival and loneliness. I'm 23 and I feel like I am 40. I talk to my family on the phone, and we talk about normal stuff. Home stuff. And it all seems so foreign to me. They seem a million miles away. And I can't talk to them about this. How can I even broach this topic? I don't ever want my mom to know about some of the things I've seen and done. I don't belong here. But I don't belong back home. This is... my life. And even when I leave, a part of me is going to remain here in Iraq... isn't it? ...That takes my breath away.

I don't want anyone to worry about me. I'm not hurt mentally or physically. I've didn't miss a beat on the flight line and have been on multiple missions since that day... and truthfully, my flying has been top notch. Maybe it's because I'm not feeling invincible anymore? This is gonna pass, I have no doubt of it. I just wish it would pass quicker. Because when I am working, I am great. It's the free/alone time that I avoid... this incident won't leave my mind. But you know... just writing it out has really helped. I am fine. I really am. I just needed to get this out and in the open. Thanks everyone just for listening. But from here on out, I am going to visit a.net less, and spend the time writing to my wife. I need to get back to the ones I love. But yeah... thanks for listening, everyone.

-Aharon

73 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4921 times:

I'm damn proud of you Aharon.

I want to say something wise and witty that will make everything better...

All I can think of though is, family is the most important thing on the planet... go call the wife.


User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4913 times:

First of all, thank goodness that you can still write this. In critical incidents I have found that it always best to debrief, decompress, with others who have shared the same experience. Writing this is a great start and hopefully you feel better already. Remember in a war zone, use extreme caution in your day to day activities. You have people waiting for you here. Also remember don't be a hero. just do your assignment to the best of your ability. Finally team up with others don't be by yourself..Good luck.

User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4913 times:

Aahron,

I don't know what to say. I'm speechless.

Take care of yourself and your men and get back here safe.

767Lover


User currently offlineKiwiinOz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4913 times:

Aharon

What a story. Not something I'd ever want to go through, but, as you have suggested, a moment that will serve to shape your life.

It's quite humbling to read, as I hope it is for a lot of people here. There's a lot of on-line spouting off in these forums on the politics of war from both side of the fence. The thing is, for the most part we are all, "armchair politicians" with very little personal investment. A lot of people use such forums as a pissing contest to see who's the cleverest.

You, however, have a high degree of personal investment. Whatever people's opinions of this war are, it is about as relevant as a bug on a windshield to you, trying to stay alive in the streets of Bagdad.

I hope getting it off your chest has helped. It's certainly opened my eyes a little. Sounds like you have certainly done a lot to be proud of. I just hope, like you say that you eventually have the peace of mind to relax a little and reflect on that. I trust you will in time.

All the best to you.


User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4125 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4894 times:

This was quite an amazing read. Thanks UH60 for sharing it with us. It definitely gave me perspective because I am your age but yet am so sheltered in my life.


"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8309 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4894 times:

Glad to hear everyone's okay. I wish I could somehow relate, but I can't. All I know is if you want to write a book or something when all this is over I'll be the first to read it.

Stay safe, man. That's about all I can say. Keep it up.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineYoungFlyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4875 times:

Wow! I really don't know what to say but i felt like I had to say something. It is sometimes easy to remember here that there is a war going on out there. This really puts things into perspectives, and i thought i had a bad day.

I guess all i have to say is that i hope you know we are all pulling for you all out there, no matter what our opinions about the war are. we really appreciated you putting your lives on the line for this cause. i cannot imagine being in that situation, and i think when all is said and done, you did a great job!

All i wish for is that getting this off your chest helped you, hopefully every thing will calm down with time.

This isn't much coming form a 16 year old, but its my  twocents 
Best of Luck,
Dan



"An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind" -Gandhi
User currently offlineRolfen From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 1809 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4862 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
God that pisses me off that I wasn't thinking quicker on my feet. I'm better than that.

It takes some time to accurately assess the situation after an unexpected shock. It is a perfectly normal reaction.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I am extremely hesitant to talk to the army wizard (shrink) because that kinda stuff will make it to my commander's ears -

I dont know if you're hiding anything else, but from what you wrote here it doesnt sound to me like you did anything bad that you have to hide.

You're doing a real difficult job and you're doing it well and I admire you for keeping your head on your shoulders.


Thanks for sharing.
God bless you.

[Edited 2006-05-11 05:23:54]


rolf
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4862 times:

Good read . . . thanks for that. Beats CNN or Fox or some other such sanitized BS.

I don't have any great words of wisdom . . . only empathy. One can't get a good grasp on what you wrote if they've never taken incoming. It's more like reading a good Clancy novel . . .

Stick with your pards there, and talk it out . . . don't bottle it up cause that'll do more harm than good.

On a humorous note: Now you see why I picked a tank instead of LPCs  biggrin  way back in 1977.

Go call your wife.

Press the Fight, Chief.


User currently offline777DadandJr From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1516 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4833 times:

Aharon,
I am at a loss for words. That is the most intense account I have ever read. It has left me in tears.
You are one of the true heros.
I know that I am thousands of miles away, and there is really only one thing I can do for you. A few weeks ago, you prayed for me and my family after the death of my mother. You took the time to send me prayers and words of comfort. You took the time to do this for me, a total stranger, when the world in which you are in, is full of death and chaos.
I can assure you, that we are praying for you, and your unit in return. We are very proud of you, and pray for you safe return.
Take care, my friend. Stay frosty, and stay safe.
Russ & Jr



My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4809 times:

Thanks for sharing. As someone who is more "in the rear with the gear" your stories make us understand what you are going through out there in the Suck. I too have no words of wisdom but respect for what you are doing out there. We have a purpose there and while it may not be clear to everyone you are helping accomplish it. On my humorous note...I would have picked Air Force. Keep in touch with the little lady, stay safe, and Hooah!

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 9):
It's more like reading a good Clancy novel .

From someone who is re-reading the Clancy novels right now this account was better than anything he has ever written in that short of a space.

BTW, I'm guessing your return to your base was slightly less hectic. Stay safe in your Blackhawk.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4804 times:

I think I can safely say that most, if not all here, are glad that you are alright. Get whatever help you think you need. Chaplains and Chaplain Asst. can be a good resource. We look forward to hearing of your safe return.


Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineDuff44 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1723 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4794 times:

Damn....

It's a whole lot different when you hear it from the front line. I'm hardly a military man myself, but I have grandfathers that served in WWII and my best friend's brother serves on med units that go in and out of Iraq pretty regularly. I respect the hell out of anyone who's willing to go to the ever-fluid front line.

Stay strong and get home safe!



I'll rassle ya for a bowl of bacon!
User currently offlineSprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1855 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4759 times:

Thanks for sharing. I know talk helps, even if it is to complete strangers(sometimes it is easier to talk to strangers).
sounds like it was a tough and scary time but came through ok and are better for it. Do like ANCFlyer says and talk to the guys there with you.even if its just going over it again. They are going through the same as you so they can relate.Having seen some "combat"(in the persian gulf in 1987) your shipmates(pards) will help out alot and you will help them(bet they feel the same as you)

Stay safe and stay in the air(ground pounding is no fun)

Dan in Jupiter

PS if you need anything let us know. More than happy to send it.


User currently offlineCasInterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4669 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4732 times:

Well Aharon,
I hope you get to writing to the ones you love, but just know that most in the US love and respect everything you and the rest of the soldiers are doing and representing.

I know it must be bothersome to get caught up for real in something many of us pretend to expereince as kids. In the end though you are 7000 miles away in a place that there are enemy's hiding amongst innocents. Keep an eye out, and get back safe.

I hope this doesn't affect you to much because in a view from statistics land, this is expected. However being amongst those that experience it, no doubt, has it's extra effects. work through it, and if you are still a bit shaken talk about it with those that were there. they will know where you are coming from. and you won't have to see the wiz.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineHodges From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 138 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4721 times:

Wow Aharon, that's a pretty intense story.

I've never been in anything close to combat (I'm 18 years old) and I probably will never be. However, I've had brushes with death before. this past january I was almost in a mid air collision while on a flying lesson. I couldn't see a Mooney coming out of the setting sun and I didn't realize I had been in a near miss until I had heard him (that's how close he was to me) behind me and then saw him for the first time off of my wingtip.

I think one thing my near miss with an airplane and your near miss with a mortar round have in common is the lack of control both of us had in the situation. Having little or no control over the situation, was what scared me the most after the initial shock of the incident had passed.

I talked with a psychologist not just because he was a psychologist, but also because he is a good person to talk with, plus he has really helped my brother with his OCD. I was hesitant to talk with him at first because I didn't feel it was completely necessary since I was already feeling a lot better about the situation by the time of my appointment. However, there were still some things that still needed to be talked about, the lack of control I had in the situation being one of them. Talking with a psychologist turned out to be one of the best things for me since it helped me to sort out all of the emotions and thoughts that I had about the incident.

It's a shame that the military psychologists can't be trusted with such stories. Just talking can help a great deal in the healing process.

I know that my near miss incident will be with me for the rest of my life. It may or may not be the same for you with your near miss of a mortar round. Whatever caused the incident to be a near miss rather than a tragedy, I feel isn't all that important. What's important to me was that i could wake up the next day, see my parents and brother, and go to school and see my friends and teachers. I had a math test that morning, but i didn't care how I did on it. I was just happy that I could be there to take the test. I could have broken both of my legs that day and I would have still been the happiest man on the planet.

I wouldn't say I have a new lease on life. But I do have a new outlook on it.

I guess all I'm saying, is try not to dwell on what could have been, rather just be thankful to be alive.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm preaching, because I'm not trying to. I realize I'm an 18 year old and have very little experience with real life situations. All I'm trying to do is take one of my experiences in life and hopefully use it to help someone in a similar situation.

I hope this has helped you Aharon.

Take care and stay safe.

Regards,

Erik



Beer, helping ugly people have sex since 1862.
User currently offlineSenorcarnival From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4702 times:

Aharon

Thanks for sharing your experience. This is a better read than any "behind the scenes" news story I've read in the last 3 years regarding this war. It's always fascinating to read what REALLY goes on and how it isn't anything like what the media reports it to be.

It seems like this has been therapeutic enough for you. Write about it as much as you feel you have to, it seems to work well for you. If that still doesn't seem to work, leave the wizard as a last ditch effort. Hang in there. Good luck.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29802 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4678 times:

Aharon.

Thanks for providing this first hand account......I am not sure who it helps more, you or the members of this forum..

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
In the helicopter, I've been in far bigger jams, and I never thought twice about it afterwards. It was just business and it was my job. Let it go

May I suggest that the reason why is that you are more comfortable in an enviroment you are familiar with and have some control over. For you that is the Blackhawk, a machine you have trained on and have gotten to know. You know what to do in it.

Now in that humvee column you are not in your normal enviroment. While still an army formation and using skills you aquired in basic you are not familiar with your place in that system and workng with strangers to you, who you can't read as you can your own crew.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4669 times:

Emotional read.

Thanks for fighting for my country UH60 and keeping me safe.



User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5694 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4659 times:

Agreed I can only repeat what was said here.

Thanks for fighting for us, we really really trully appreciate it.

So glad to hear your safe and all for now. Talk to your wife for us, love her for us, give her a hug through the paper, we ARE ALL here for you one way or another.

Carry on my brother, carry on! Smile

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineOli80 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 685 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4598 times:

What a way you have with words. My heart started racing when you described the the blast. Short sentences and to the point.

Glad to hear that you and your buddies are okay! As I stated in the other thread, our thoughts are with you and your family!

Stay safe and keep up the great work.


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6808 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4549 times:

Nope, nothing like the movies where it's flash, bang, stirring music and off to the next scene. First hand accounts like this really cut through the media hype and tell it like it really is, not how people would like it to be...... some utopian war where only the bad guys get hurt and the good guys... well, do what the good guys do. I really appreciate reading about your experiences and your very human response to them.

Am I lucky never to have been in a situation like this, not knowing where the next bullet or mortar is going to come from or will it be quiet today? In an environment where "they" could be friends or enemies?

In the immortal words of Hill Street Blues........ be careful out there.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12254 posts, RR: 35
Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4503 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Wow, glad you are safe! Good read!


911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineMsllsmith From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 396 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4501 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
Thanks everyone just for listening. But from here on out, I am going to visit a.net less, and spend the time writing to my wife. I need to get back to the ones I love. But yeah... thanks for listening, everyone.

I'm impressed by everything you wrote here.... if there is absolutely nothing else we (here) can do, it's listen. I can't say it enough.... THE MORE YOU TALK ABOUT IT NOW, THE BETTER OFF YOU'LL BE IN THE FUTURE...... never feel you have to apologize for venting. It's a sign of GOOD mental health.

Stay safe, come home, and be with your wife.... you're doing fine.

(and it was one hell of a read.... thanks)



There's nothing more beautiful than flying into the dawn.
25 MattRB : Best pieces of advice in this thread. Heed them. Stay safe.
26 Macc : once in vietnam, I had a chat with a veteran, who came back there to see where he had lost his innocence. his account expressed pretty much the same a
27 Aloges : Pardon this civilian's boldness in saying this, but I think you've become a soldier now. The stories about WW2 I hear from my relatives never include
28 Miamiair : Aharon, Good first step letting some of it out here. Talk amongst your peers, your crews, where you feel most comfortable. Maybe even talk to some of
29 Texan : Stay safe and we're all praying for you and are here for you if you need us. Take care. Texan
30 Post contains images David L : What a post - thanks for sharing, UH60FtRucker. I'm sitting safely at home but I'm completely drained after reading your post. Like many, I can't offe
31 KROC : Thanks for tharing your experience. You handled yourself well no matter what you might think now. You are a true soldier and anybody that understands
32 Fokker Lover : L188 hit the nail on the head here. You were out of your normal element, so the reactions didn't feel as natural. This is exactly why the American Le
33 NoUFO : Now that's a line to remember. Thanks for the report. Again: stay safe. Norbert
34 TedTAce : UH60FtRucker, The only thing I can think of to tell you is not to think. You were in a situation that was not what you were supposed to have a part of
35 SlamClick : I am at a loss for words. Jesus, you gave me a major flashback! (Has it really been 38 years?) I think I have something of a handle on some of this an
36 Ctbarnes : Aahron, Please feel free to IM me if you feel the need to talk about this to someone in a less public setting. I haven't served in the military, but i
37 Cfalk : Uh60, as I have never been in combat, I have no advice for you on how to deal with the experience. Only perhaps the age-old saying that, "Whatever doe
38 BMIFlyer : Very emotional read, thanks, look after yourself out there.... Lee
39 Mir : That is a fantastic story Aharon. I'm pretty much speechless - all I can say is that you're an admirable person for doing what you do. Stay safe, and
40 Post contains images Myt332 : Well just take it easy, I know I don't have the balls to be out there. Bloody good job.
41 AirxLiban : To quote Churchill after the Battle of Britain, never in the field of human conflict has so much been owned by so many to so few. This was a good read
42 Post contains images Slider : Aharon- My prayers are with you and your mates. And my thanks... I really don't have the words. I've never seen combat, but can appreciate the raw emo
43 11Bravo : I'm glad you're safe and that everybody else in your convoy is too. Thanks for sharing this with us. I think it serves you well to do that. Welcome to
44 CastleIsland : Thank you, Aharon, from the bottom of my heart. You sure as hell do belong here in this country that you are fighting for, and don't ever think otherw
45 Post contains images Windshear : I am baffled, never ever read anything so real and detailed, guess you are still reliving every detail, trying to find out just what happened, and mo
46 UH60FtRucker : Wow. Everyone, thank you very much for your responses. It was a very un-nerving experience and is still fresh in my mind. Sitting down and talking abo
47 Post contains images CastleIsland : Damn fine video, Aharon. I'm not afraid to admit I lost a few tears on that one. Class move.
48 Pbottenb : Amen to that - and THANK YOU for your service! PB
49 Flyjetstar : Thanks Aharon for letting me into your world. It was a huge risk on your part but it was worth it. Thanks. Keep on writing as I'm sure you'll find it
50 AndesSMF : Aharon, Thank you again for your service. War is never pretty and some are left with bigger scars than others. The only thing that I would tell you is
51 EMBQA : You are not alone and don't ever think that.
52 Ctbarnes : You're not among strangers. You're among friends. Charles, SJ
53 Rolfen : Amazing slideshow, thanks so much!
54 Traindriver : Aharon, Thanks for posting your video and your experiences in Iraq. It is one of the most memorable posts I've ever read on the internet. Make sure to
55 Jafa39 : One word....rivetting!!! That was a scary read!!!
56 ScarletHarlot : Aharon, Dear Lord. How can I possibly understand? As I sit here safely in my house, with my husband right next to me, how can I understand what you ar
57 Atrude777 : Great great Video, enjoyed every minute of it, i too had watery eyes from it. Very Touching. PLEASE Stay safe man! Alex
58 Post contains images STT757 : Thanks for the insight into your life, I appreciate what you are doing and I think about people like yourself and how you approach life. Here's hoping
59 Windshear : Aharon... I really think that video is powerful. It showed me that it is the women, the children and the men of war that suffer. We all suffer! A dea
60 HBDAN : Aharon, as many others I am reading your incredible posts, looking at your video and I have no words... Just this: stay safe and hope you can join soo
61 Flynlr : Aharon I would Crew for your bird anyday of the week. clear right. powerfull slideshow. Im slotted for balad in november. wish the whole country could
62 Post contains images Oli80 : Well Aharon, let me introduce myself then. My name is Oli, i'm 25 and I work for a local council as a GIS specialist. I have a girlfriend who I have
63 Post contains images KevinL1011 : Good idea to write it down and get it out of your head. You're a good writer. Keep a diary to reflect upon later and share with your children. It's an
64 Post contains images TERRA : As a civvie who lived in Baghdad City and also in BIAP for over two years with the US Army i can see where you are coming from but i think you need to
65 KROC : Listen up ladies. This thread is about UH60FtRucker and his life threatening experience in Iraq and his desire to share it with us. We can all show hi
66 KaiGywer : Thanks KROC. Aharon, I can't access your video here at work (did I mention I hate the computers at work?), but I'll make sure to do it when I get home
67 Captaink : Aharon, this is some serious stuff. I have to hand it to you from being the brave chap that you are to stand up and fight for your country. It seems t
68 Mrmeangenes : Many thanks for sharing.God bless, and Godspeed home.
69 DL021 : You did the right things. Your reactions and questions are normal for that situation. Hell, my old platoon sgt said this about what you described...."
70 Chrisjake : wow Aharon....after reading this thread i can only stop what i'm doing and quietly stare out my window in wonder, amazement, and un-ending gratitude.
71 Elton : Thanks for sharing, and thanks for your service. Please feel free to unload again at any time. I am honored to be able to read your words and view you
72 Garnetpalmetto : Aharon, as the son of a veteran I don't have the words to express my thanks for what you and your comrades do. As I sit from the safety of being behin
73 JGPH1A : Wow. Amazing post - just glad you're OK. The feelings you describe are normal, I guess, for someone who's been through an intense and profoundly distu
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