Preparing For War
Coping R Not Fun
The men of the Third Division are young, strong and eager. Judging from history, their enthusiasm will last right up to the moment someone shoots back.
|The Third I.D. is prepared to be the tip of the
spear when American armed forces invade Iraq, according to the division
commander, Maj. Gen. Buford Blount.
The Third I.D. is a rapid-reaction force, built upon armor and infantry that can be sent anywhere in the world on short notice. They are eager to be given the chance to prove their worth.
But not many of the soldiers of the Third Division have ever been anywhere near combat. They are all innocents, with a few exceptions, like S/Sgt. Juan Carlos Cardona, 41, who was a private in the 1991 gulf war.
The younger guys ask Cardona about his combat experiences. His answers are general and superficial: I don't want to go too deep and freak them out about dead bodies, he says.
Is Your Insurance
|Combat veterans often don't like to talk about their
fighting experiences. They do not wish to boast, but also do not wish to relive
their feelings of disgust and shame. They know that the most common oaths
uttered are not Charge! or On, Wisconsin! or I have not yet begun
to fight! or any of those rallying cries of legend. When young men die on the
battlefield, writes author and World War II combat vet Paul Fussell, the cry
heard most often is:
If they see as much combat as their grandfathers in
World War II did,
A 1943 survey asked frontline troops how they felt about getting back into actual battle. Less than 1 percent wanted to do it any time soon. Among Silver Star winners, almost none wanted to go back. (The Silver Star is the second highest award for valour -- the Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award, but it is often made posthumous, making it hard to ask them.)
In another study of a division that saw heavy fighting in World War II, a quarter of the soldiers admitted they had been so scared that they vomited.
Almost a quarter lost control of their bowels.
Ten percent urinated in their pants.
As the U.S. military girds for war today, shipping tons of arms and ammunition, thousands of tanks and planes and artillery pieces to jumping-off points around Iraq, commanders must prepare themselves and their men for the hardest part of war: overcoming fear.
In an earlier age, commanders killed shirkers and used alcohol to stiffen spines.
As military historian John Keegan has noted, at Agincourt in the 15th century, at Waterloo in the 19th century, at the Somme in the 20th, many soldiers went into battle "less than sober, if not fighting drunk.
Modern American generals must rely on less crude tools. [Alcohol is forbidden on warships and at forward bases of the U.S. military, though soldiers seem to be able to get their hands on liquor, sometimes in mail deliveries from home.] Denial and stoicism, the traditional warrior virtues, may work for some gung-ho types - Marines, fighter pilots, paratroopers, the Navy SEALs and Green Berets - but the modern grunt misses his MTV. And even a valorous medal winner can come home a post-traumatic-stress-disorder wife beater.
It has long been recognized that men fight, not for God or country, but out of fear -
fear of being killed
and fear of showing fear.
Some men break immediately under fire. Others take
longer. A few, maybe 2 percent, are true war lovers, but they are also deemed
psychopaths driven mad by the stress of combat.
Leading men into battle requires more than daring cliches and a strong jaw. Most presidents, post-Vietnam, have been deeply reluctant to see any soldier come home in a body bag. For example, President Clinton pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993 right after the bloody fight depicted in "Black Hawk Down."
Determined to show U.S. resolve, faced with a foe armed with WMD, President Bush seems more willing to run the risk of casualties. Bush might even be eager to show the world that he is no Clinton.
A war against Iraq, if it comes, will be much shorter - probably. Americans have become accustomed to one-sided wars with low American casualties. U.S. forces will again roll over Iraqi opposition - maybe. U.S. soldiers will be better protected than earlier combatants and kill the enemy from greater distances - usually.
Then again, the Third Division could find itself fighting house to house in a city swathed in toxic gas.
Train the way you fight, fight the way you train
Discover these great essays in the following folders
Family * Social * War * Freedom * Money *
And then, we have these essays in the GENERAL ESSAYS category which don't seem to fit anywhere in particular:
By Reason Alone.. That Roosevelt can do no wrong is Burroughs's opinion; and that Burroughs is always right is Roosevelt 's opinion. Both are agreed that animals do not reason. They assert that all animals below man are automatons and perform actions only of two sorts 'mechanical and reflex 'and that in such actions no reasoning enters at all. They believe that man is the only animal capable of reasoning and that ever does reason.
No man is an island, is an old saying that was meant to say that no man stood alone, but needed help from others, and gave strength to others. But, here is the story of an island that was a man. In the short history of time, there was one island that was a monument to a single man. It starts out like a fairy tale.. Once upon a time there was a barren island. This almost insignificant little man was sent off to this barren island and turned it into a mirror of his soul and the fulfillment of his vision. One stick at a time he turned his barren island into a work of lasting, world-renowned beauty and peace, an island where the nightingales sang songs of singular wonder ne'er found elsewhere since this little man set down roots on a barren island, and bloomed.
Have you ever noticed that most of man's dreams are based on false assumptions. We dream of loping free with the wolves, but really don't like fleas. We dream of the security that lambs must feel, but don't want to be sheared. We dream of being lions, but gag at eating raw meat. We dream of being loved, but can't see the way or take the time to make ourselves lovable.
Was There EVER A Man On The Moon? How far can reason alone take us from the beaten path of acknowledged history?
A Definition Of History by Leo Tolstoy gives us yet another peg to hang our ratiocinations upon.
Definition of Art?
Charity never faileth, especially when our hearts fill to overflowing with charity.
When Theories fail.. Petty science teachers can rage until doomsday that no two snowflakes are identical, but until every snowflake that has ever fallen or ever shall fall is matched against every other snowflake that has already fallen or ever shall try to fall -- the identical snowflake theory remains just a theory resting on its oars out there in lolly-gagging land.
Deliberate Fraud: Evolutionists resort to the lowest forms of fraud in order to gain more believers. Down and Dirty with Darwin Evolutionists are now feeling so battered that university professors advise their students not to discuss this theory with non-believers. "Sounds like a religious cult to me," say some.
Global Warming freezes thermometers 57 years ago there was this silly theory running through the kitchen that said "the quickest way to freeze ice was to fill the ice trays with boiling water. There are still a few old house wives that believe it works. These days it's the pseudo-scientists that believe global warm winds tearing through the polar regions will make the ice caps freeze solid and start a new ice age!
Man, the Meanie of the Planet. This is a high resolution pdf document so you can print it out and hang it on the wall. Be sure to RIGHT Click the link, and save it to your computer.
Fuzzy Logic Clarified This is another essay you will want to keep handy where you can print it out.
Are we forever Doomed? An essayic poem by Rudyard Kipling
I see Grandpa. He's calling out for me.
God Does Not Fit -- by Lance Nalley
That first day of school
A Break From Boredom -- by Lance Nalley
INVICTUS... Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit, from pole to pole
The gods and Heroes of the Ancient World
Staunch, steadfast, loyal and true. What better friend can a man have?
The House By The Side Of The Road
Friendship, by Ralph Waldo Emerson. A ruddy drop of manly blood The surging sea outweighs, The world uncertain comes and goes, The lover rooted stays. I fancied he was fled, And, after many a year, Glowed unexhausted kindliness Like daily sunrise there. My careful heart was free again, -- O friend, my bosom said, Through thee alone the sky is arched, Through thee the rose is red, All things through thee take nobler form, And look beyond the earth, And is the mill-round of our fate A sun-path in thy worth. Me too thy nobleness has taught To master my despair; The fountains of my hidden life Are through thy friendship fair.
This Web is MY Web
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
The Moon on Six Pence Uncle Bob was an unforgettable character who traveled the world on bargain rates and golden smiles!
The Almost Good Housekeeping monograph is a good excuse for the harried homemaker to put off until tomorrow all those burdens of yesteryear, and quit trying so hard.
Sex before the Sax: The first thing I learned about Lois was she had a label for being froward. Kids at school said she had had sex with Alfred. Not long after I arrived, another boy came forward to admit he had made a score at her door.
Old Rattler, and the King Snake.
Pleasures of the open fire: The Fireplace Revisited.
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