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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think it would be nice to share some stories. This is about lessons learned from service and life in general.

Recount your own experiences or relate the stories of others. Hindsight is 20/20 and reviewing actual events is always helpful. Sharing some general info about ourselves and our perspectives may help.

I have been carrying concealed for 10 years and have never, in the civilian world, had to clear the holster in defense of myself or others (knock on wood).

Years ago, I was a bodyguard. Mostly on small details or individually.

I am also a former U.S. Army Cavalry Scout. I participated in the invasion of Iraq with a Brigade Reconnaissance Team (OIF I). After that, I got to go through Airborne School, which was a hoot. Then another 12 month stabilization tour with a Brigade-level Command Security Detachment (OIF 3), which is funny because I was right back to protection details.

Now I'm back to the real world and getting on with my life.

Early in my CCW experience, I had a negligent discharge -- which was a real eye-opener to say the least. I was trying things out with a *loaded* Compact CZ-75 decocker. What was I trying to do? Lower the hammer to the full-down position with the decocker and trigger. Stupid. Thumb slipped and the round went down through the second story floor and exploded a 2x4 between floors. No injuries, thankfully, and the round stopped there. There were people downstairs. I've learned a lot since then, but it still amazes me that I could have ever been that stupid.

I am not proud of that moment, but I'm perfectly willing to share that experience with others. We all make mistakes. I don't care who you think you are, but they happen. The only thing we can do is remain vigilant and train often. Sticking to the basics and practicing our redundant safety measures, a mistake should be harmless... if still heart-stopping. I have not had an ND in the last 9.8 years. To all of you out there who have never had one, good for you... but don't get complacent.

I will carry that day with me for the rest of my life. I was incredibly stupid and incredibly lucky.

Pick my brain. Let's share some stories.
 

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Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service to our Country. I can tell you about going though P.O.W. training and the lesson learned there. Short version got though it and was liberated. Was teamed up with 3 city boys and I'm a country boy, spent alot of time in the woods at night hunting, fot the escape and evasion portion. Anyway we agreed majority would rule. Right? Wrong. Them stupid city boys walked us in a circle right back to the camp and we got recaptured. Lesson learned: When you know more than the majority, go it alone.
Been living life that way ever since. No regrets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hmm...

I wouldn't know about that.

He's right about one thing, though. Sometimes you have to lone wolf it. Strength in numbers only works when you're not surrounded by complete idiots. On the other hand, what ever happened to charismatic leadership? Could these city slickers have been bamboozled into following the lead of a seasoned bushwhacker? Maybe.

Must have been some sort of "Sensual Equestrian Romance Exascerbation" school.

Thanks for stopping by, fellas... now do you you have any stories or perspectives to add, or are you just snooping for posers?

I love a good "no crap there I was" story, anyway. Everything with a grain of salt.

Would you believe I've got a picture of myself sitting backwards on some sort of Iraqi surface-to-air missile?

Oh! What about the time my pyromaniac section sergeant almost burned up our truck because he lit a mortar propellant ring? We had some fun with the little ones, but we hadn't seen them this big. The little ones made neat little volcano fireballs when you lit them on the ground. One thing follows unto the other, so we were all curious what the bigger ones would do.

There just *happened* to be a whole bunch of full and busted-open artillery propellant bags next to it and WHOOOOSH! I was on the gun and when the mortar thingy burned up there was a big puff of smoke. I held my breath as it engulfed the truck and when the smoke cleared, there was a wall of flame taller than the truck staring me in the face. I didn't know why there was a flame, but my curiosity quickly became a tertiary matter. Our truck had a bunch of extra C4 so we could demo stuff, in addition to the heavy compliment of munitions you find on Scout trucks. And on the other side of the burning arty propellant? A small artillery cache. It took me about 1.2 seconds to size up the situation for what it was.

I dismounted. I ran. Everybody ran... except for Sergeant "Pyro." He realized he'd never live it down if he blew up a truck so, naturally, he risked his life to save it. We couldn't believe he did that. He lunged for the driver door and was backed off by the heat wave. Then he ran around and dove through the TC's door, put it in reverse, threw some burning field gear out, reached for the gas pedal but couldn't reach it, turned the bubbling semi-melted steering wheel, and rode the idling truck out of the hot zone at an intense speed that you could walk faster than. There was suspense.

We all just stood there, out of breath, about 250 meters away, like... :eek:

Then we were walking sideways, trying to keep the truck between the arty rounds and us...

He ended up with 1st degree burns on his face and neck from the heat wave, and 1st & 2nd degree burns on his hands and forearms from the burning gear and the steering wheel. What followed was an interesting conversation.

We all agreed that it never happened.

My next story might be about the time a bunch of us on a field exercise got away with several recreational behaviors that could have gotten us all court martialled. That also never happened.
 

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We all agreed that it never happened.

My next story might be about the time a bunch of us on a field exercise got away with several recreational behaviors that could have gotten us all court martialled. That also never happened.
Yep, you and every other E-4 in the Army. If there was a scale to measure the hardassness/cool factor of E-4's it would be through the roof. Especially when you brag about it to your buddies.

 

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This was in 73, Basic Training at Ft. Leonard Wood. As far as trying to convince the others were wrong and I was right, nah I just sat back with my thumb up my backside. We didn't have time to debate the issue, that was why we agreed to majority rule. We learned that was a mistake. That's what it was all about learning from the mistakes. In all fairness we didn't know each other from boo. If we had, it would have been a different outcome I'm sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep, you and every other E-4 in the Army. If there was a scale to measure the hardassness/cool factor of E-4's it would be through the roof. Especially when you brag about it to your buddies.
Yes, I was young and brash once.

The point of this post is to share stories and perspectives. You got something on-topic to say? Got any stories of your own?
 

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I got someone in the face with an airsoft gun once after checking that it was unloaded I pulled the trigger as a joke and a ball was caught somewhere on the inside. Lucky it was only a weak toy, but my friend could've been blind. Ever since then I never placed my finger on the trigger or pointed anything at anyone unless I absolutely needed to. That was when I was about 16 though.

This is what happens when they don't teach gun safet at schools. Recently The Shooters Party (which is a political party in Australia) tried to get gun safety taught at school which was obviously rejected and a few months later some other kids found a rifle at a school and discharged that as well.
 

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I want to nominate that as forum quote of the year :biglaugh:

Welcome to the board.
Or, (apologies to Confederacy of Dunces), "You can always tell a true genius, by the way he's assailed by the dunces around him." :)
 

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POW school

I joined the USAF in 1969, spent a year at DLIWC learning North Vietnamese, hit a few tech schools on the way to Nam. One was the survival and POW school at Fairchild AFB in Washington. I spent around a month there in February/March. The temperature got down below zero (quite a shock for a Southern boy). The POW school was as realistic as they could make it without killing too many of us. As far as I know, the course is still classified.
I also attended jungle survival and water survival courses and had a little combat training. The main thing I learned was to never give up.
 

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Hey...when you guys went through Survial School at Fairchild were they telling that B.S (maybe?) story about the one guy who successfully E&E'd and made it back to the main base? If I remember the story as told, they found the guy in the club drinking a beer and stinking to high heaven from being in the field...

Just curious if the story gets passed from instructor to instructor...The instructor that told us claimed to be the guy who found the dude.

VR,
Harold
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Hey...when you guys went through Survial School at Fairchild were they telling that B.S (maybe?) story about the one guy who successfully E&E'd and made it back to the mail base? If I remember the story as told, they found the guy in the club drinking a beer and stinking to high heaven from being in the field...

Just curious if the story gets passed from instructor to instructor...The instructor that told us claimed to be the guy who found the dude.

VR,
Harold
LOL, those are always great stories. Yeah, you gotta wonder if they're true or just motivational fiction to convince the recruits that excape is indeed possible. I remember a story, supposedly true, about doing what you've got to do without hesitation. Something about how a squad of dismounts was crossing a street when a BG jumped out of an alley with an AK, holding a woman and child in front of him as human shields. So the story goes, the M240B gunner, without hesitation, engaged the threat to save his comrades. Then the story gets explicit to get the message across. Supposedly, the first round exploded the infant and successive rounds killed the woman and the aggressor. Horrible, yes. True story, maybe. Valuable message, I would say so. We may, at some point in our lives, have to choose the lesser of two evils and live with the results. The underlying message is that, though it may suck, the rationale is that the aggressor made the critical decision. We all have to come to terms with our actions in our own ways, but I guess the moral of that story was an attempt to teach something about rationalization of the grey areas.

Geek recollection: didn't Captain Kirk recieve a commendation for beating the no-win scenario when he was in Starfleet Academy by hacking into the computer and changing the rules? Super geek trivia, but the moral of the story is the same, right? Where there's a will, there's a way. Even if you have to cheat, even if you have to sacrifice, never quit. Whether fact or fiction, the philosophy has incredible value.

My survival experience comes mostly from Scout school and field training, and a little combat duty here and there, but the same undeniable focus was always there: never quit. I had some excruciating knee pain when I was going through Airborne School and that concept is what kept me going. The pain was almost unbearable, but I was not going to stop for anything. As a matter of pride in my dedication to the "never quit" philosophy, I wouldn't have stopped until my leg broke clean off... and maybe not even then! I never would have made it through that school as my former civilian self.

Anyway, it's nice to have fortitude in confronting challenges by the confidence that "I've had worse" and be able to lean forward in the proverbial trench. That interminable resolve is one of the service-related traits that was probably worth every ounce of effort to attain. Obviously, that's why they push soldiers so hard in training. With the occasional exception, it's something that our sheltered, protected, civilian counterparts may never understand. There are prices to pay, so maybe that's a good thing over all, who knows. All I know is that I wouldn't take any of it back.

"For those who fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know."
-- General George S. Patton

It is what it is.
 

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Geek recollection: didn't Captain Kirk recieve a commendation for beating the no-win scenario when he was in Starfleet Academy by hacking into the computer and changing the rules? Super geek trivia, but the moral of the story is the same, right? Where there's a will, there's a way. Even if you have to cheat, even if you have to sacrifice, never quit. Whether fact or fiction, the philosophy has incredible value.
re: your geekiness... don't know the original script, but in the movie that just came out, Kirk was about to get expelled for hacking the system until they were called to war.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
re: your geekiness... don't know the original script, but in the movie that just came out, Kirk was about to get expelled for hacking the system until they were called to war.
Well, the ultimate geekyness comes from knowing that the history of the original timeline doesn't match up with the new one because Spock and the villain traveled back in time and change the course of events. Some were critical of that, because now they can take the new timeline in any direction they want. They played the time travel card.

Anyway, this thread ain't about temporal causality and quantum physics, so I'll leave it alone.
 

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The biggest thing I learned in the service was that no matter what a person can accomplish anything they set their mind to. Boy did they ever prove it to me. Week of the Eagle my company set a division record of 25 miles in 5 hours 52 minutes with combat load and the entire company finished.
 
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