So far in this series, I've talked about being in shape, mitigating or negating complacency, and death. What else is there? Well, there is the addiction to it. I'm an "old" man now compared to my "gunslinging" days of 18-22 years old. But there is one thing that hasn't changed. I still want it. Not every day. Not even every week...maybe every month, I'll get that itch. War, ground combat, f***ing hell man it's addicting.Ground combat is the most addictive drug on this planet.I don't know why it's addicting. Several psychologists and sociologist have tried to answer the question but, I think it's best summed up by one quote from Full Metal Jacket.
"These are great days we're living, bros. We are jolly green giants, walking the Earth with guns. These people we wasted here today are the finest human beings we will ever know. After we rotate back to the world, we're gonna miss not having anyone around that's worth shooting."
Call it calloused, call it cold, call it whatever you will. I don't really give a shit. It was what it was, and it is what it is. I don't love war. Truth is...it sucks. I'd rather ascribe myself to the adage of being a warrior in a garden, rather than a gardener in a war. However, every once in a while, I get that itch as do many veterans of the combat arms.We were 18-22 years old, some of us couldn't even drink legally, yet we held the power of life and death in our hands.[caption id="attachment_18627" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
Being an 0351, nobody knew what to do with us, so they made me a machine gunner. This was my lady. And those were my strawberry Pop-Tarts.[/caption]Also, there is that whole, adrenaline rush of getting shot at and them missing you. How bulletproof would you feel if someone was targeting you with automatic fire and explosives and you got them before they got you? You'd feel pretty damn invincible, at least in that moment. And your mind tricks you into remembering only those good parts.A whole lot of factors play into why you'll love hating that you want to go back and hating that you love wanting to go back. It is quite possibly the most intriguing enigma regarding warfighters. At its very core it is paradoxical and almost insane to miss such a horrible and shitty thing, but yet...ask anyone who has actually seen ground combat, and if they're honest with you, there will always be a small part of them that wants to go back.Shit is f***y.