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  1. #1 Old Soldier... 
    Forum Sophomore wretched's Avatar
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    What kind of behaviour do you think a man reaching 36 would have when integrating to society again after more than 10 years of combat?


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    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    thats the problem with the human mind, it is so unpredictable that it realy depends on the person.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Combat? Where was he in combat for 10 years?I'd say if anyone was in combat for that period of time they should have been able to come home every 6 months to a year for Rand R.
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    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    that is true...
    i think most soldiers in vietnam ended up doing a 2 year tour of duty.
    some ended up doing multiple tours though.

    but if someone was in a warzone for that long no doubt they would find it hard to re-adjust to normal life.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler
    they should have been able to come home every 6 months to a year for Rand R.
    You seem to be assuming right off the bat this is an individual who is part of a traditional western military entity. Presumptuous?
    Wretched, can you give us some more particulars. Is this a hypothetical case? What type of combat? How intense and continuous? What was the character of the breaks?
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    Take this guy - a sniper who considered his actions as "I did what I was told to as well as I could".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_Häyhä

    "Besides his sniper kills (542), Simo Häyhä is known to have made well over two hundred kills with a submachinegun, a weapon he was very fond of. All Häyhä's kills were accomplished within three months, prior to his injuries caused by an exploding enemy bullet. Other snipers who have come even close to Häyhä's record have accumulated their kills over a much longer time frame."

    I think the 'immaculate' state of the scenario is a considerable aspect in this ordeal. He fought against invaders without much of a choice.

    10 years of combat as a "killer for hire" is not comparable.
    Häyhä immigrated into the post WWII world well.

    And yes, 10 years is a considerable time span. Still.. you get the point.
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    after making that many kills killing no longer becomes a problem in the human mind but rather just a simple proccess, aim fire.

    but considering the red armys battlefield tactics its not surprising.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler
    they should have been able to come home every 6 months to a year for Rand R.
    You seem to be assuming right off the bat this is an individual who is part of a traditional western military entity. Presumptuous?
    Wretched, can you give us some more particulars. Is this a hypothetical case? What type of combat? How intense and continuous? What was the character of the breaks?

    Swedish, soldier for 15 years, different tours middle east... now seems to behave like someone who instead of being 35 is 20. Gets out of control easily, surprising given the discipline they have in army... and the same "I have a job to do", no matter what. Ends up as a hooligan, beating up people.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    I was in the US Army for over 12 years in different capacities with different operations around the world, including the first Gulf War and some stuff in Central America. I was stationed in several countries and participated in field exercises for a large part of my active duty time.

    I think evey person is different and responds differently to different stimuli. I remember an operation in Honduras in 1985 where at least three of my fellow soldiers had some sort of mental dysfunction that wasn't present prior to deployment. The rest of us coped quite well.

    During Desert Storm, one of my fellow NCOs appeared quite schizophrenic and his behavior was drastic enough that his crewmembers were seriously worried about him and the risks they might face because of him. I remember very seriously discussing with his driver & gunner the realistic need to perhaps "push his ass out of the launcher (MLRS)" should he create a danger to them, and leave him to the Iraqis. Ironically, he died in his cot just a few years later during a training exercise in White Sands of menangitus.

    People are people. Extreme situations can bring out hidden or suppressed behaviors or conditions (to my experience), but how they integrate back into society is probably more related to general "institutionalization" than any shocking experiences they may have.
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    I think brain chemistry also playes a role in these problems.

    When exposed to danger (or percieved danger) the body reacts by producing all kinds of hormones in order to cope with it, you get an 'adrenaline kick'. These hormones make you behave differently, being more carefull, more concentrated and more aggresive. Very healthy behaviour for someone who could suddenly be under attack, any time of day. Now if you live in a combat zone for a longer time, I suppose the body adapts to this structural danger and gets used to producing a lot of these hormones. Back home it's hard to convince your brain that the danger is now completely gone, so it still behaves as if it's in a danger zone.

    Imagine the feeling you get when you're in a rollercoaster. What if you'd constantly feel like that, unable to swith it off when you go back to a normal environment? That would make it very hard to function normally in society.

    That's how I would understand this thing, but then again I've never experienced any of this personally.
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    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    I go in to the combat mode every time I'm in public. I've never however been in the military. I watch everyone and everything to see what could be a threat. I find most people are blind to the world around them. I drive the same way, fast and aggressive always predicting everything. Consequentially it's hard to relax.

    My nephew just got back from USMC boot camp. He mentioned to me how he now sees things and notices things around him that he never use to.

    I did use to play paintball in the woods of New Hampshire. You would have to go in to a more realistic combat type mode in order to win. We are talking walking through swamps, dragging your belly on the ground to keep low cover, etc. It was all a rush.

    I can't imagine doing that every day.
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    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    on a lower degree a soldier in Special Forces would have trouble settling into society after getting adrenaline rushes during training. they after all are taught to go into combat mode at very short notice.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    I drive the same way, fast and aggressive always predicting everything. Consequentially it's hard to relax.
    I seriously urge you to take a defensive driving course.
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  15. #14  
    j
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    My nephew just got back from USMC boot camp. He mentioned to me how he now sees things and notices things around him that he never use to.
    And if he is anything like my stepson, most of those things are cute and female ...

    The OP might want an observer's opinion. I haven't seen combat since I've lived with a member of my birthfamily, but I've watched plenty of people after they came home.

    1. Weird good manners; always looking at people when they are speaking, but with little emotional affect; always helping people, but with little or no grace; never sitting down when someone else is standing.

    2. Invisible cat hair; people with combat experience have a much bigger personal zone that others 'instinctively' do not invade.

    3. A sense of humor that I really enjoy; but that is probably too subjective to be much help.

    4. A high level of tolerance for some things.

    5. A high level of intolerance of other things.

    6. Weird small talk; a conversation about weather or celebrity gossip can get very intense, a conversation about religion or politics will be boring.

    7. A really annoying sense of superiority.
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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  16. #15  
    Forum Sophomore wretched's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j

    And if he is anything like my stepson, most of those things are cute and female ...

    The OP might want an observer's opinion. I haven't seen combat since I've lived with a member of my birthfamily, but I've watched plenty of people after they came home.

    1. Weird good manners; always looking at people when they are speaking, but with little emotional affect; always helping people, but with little or no grace; never sitting down when someone else is standing.

    2. Invisible cat hair; people with combat experience have a much bigger personal zone that others 'instinctively' do not invade.

    3. A sense of humor that I really enjoy; but that is probably too subjective to be much help.

    4. A high level of tolerance for some things.

    5. A high level of intolerance of other things.

    6. Weird small talk; a conversation about weather or celebrity gossip can get very intense, a conversation about religion or politics will be boring.

    7. A really annoying sense of superiority.
    Interesting, I have also noticed that. Specially number 2 and 5. It is difficult to deal with them once you have invaded some of their private zones. The sense of humour is very common and no tolerance for some behaviour and taking extreme points of view.
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  17. #16 Continued 
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    DSM IV - Disorder Symptoms Manual IV has a few pages on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can be acquired by anyone subject to severe psychological and/or physical trauma and is acquired , per capita, more often and more severely, by combat veterans. The preceding entries have fairly described the variations. I monthly receive the nationally distributed VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Magazine.

    In a recent edition, a U.S. Marine sniper was asked what he felt when he shot an adversarial combatant in a 'quick kill'. The Marine sniper rolled his eyes, pensively hesitated and replied with one word: 'Recoil'.
    A lot depends on the individual experiences & personalities of a given combat veteran.

    There's a lot of character armorization developed, social distancing, alienation, inability to maintain close relationships, angst, panic attacks, rage, hypervigilance, survivor's guilt, startle reflex, understating and overstating personal experiences, internalizing, Murphy's 33 Laws of Combat. Never really getting out of the military or the bush even while with upbeat friends, enjoying a burger at Wendy's in Miami Beach. Hitting the deck when a car backfires - full of adrenalin for a half hour after such an experience. Living interiorized. Being evaluated as a social anomaly; feeling that. Living it. Perplexed at what use to be 'normality' in every formerly 'usual' way.

    Having previously mentioned anthropology, the ethnological subdivision of that discipline often focuses on the causes, effects and possible remedies for violence and warfare. Truly Yours is a permanent student of these good, bad & oogly considerations. Important topic; well done. Ciao.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Sophomore wretched's Avatar
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    that was a heck of a good post That Rascal Puff... really good
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