Whether anyone wants to acknowledge that we will be in harms way again soon or not, I will. No more than two years from now we will definitely be in a new foreign land hunting down people who want our heads.
I’ve been thinking a lot about it because I see fellow soldiers talking about how they want to go, but most of them are young and have NEVER seen sustained combat like this. I never knock innocence, but REAL AGGRESSIVE war is not the same of having a sweet FOB to run back to every day.
You and your unit are the FOB. I remember scoring some onions out of a field in Iraq and losing my mind over how good it tasted with a MRE. I remember running out of water. I remember that we all had trench foot from not showering for a month and fighting trenches in a flipping MOPP SUIT!
I remember having shell shock so bad that people couldn’t take pictures of me without me dropping to the ground in complete disarray. I remember losing track of time every shower I took when I got home because all I wanted to do was relive firefights and analyze our actions and all of the sudden the water was cold from me being in there for 40 minutes.
I remember wondering if my wife moved on or if my daughter was ok because there wasn’t even mail for quite some time. I remember the fear of acceptance because I knew people had heard the stories about me taking lives.
I remember what it felt like thinking how did I make it home alive, but stepping back into Iraq only 12 months after getting home for the second time in the same exact place. I remember the constant concern of death and going to hell.
I remember the scent of burning feces, used tampons, dead bodies, and urine. I remember the on the spot memorial services for the fallen and the faces on everyone feeling pain.
I remember what my one of great friends blown off leg felt like as a held it in my hands and how a medic told me to throw it in the dumpster when we got back to the FOB. Thank God my 1SG was there to stop me from doing mean things to that individual.
I remember feeling numb constantly and heartless in the midst of tragedy and wondering what was wrong with me. I remember getting evacuated to Germany because of repeated mini strokes from taking too many detonations and the doctors so clueless that they thought it was a brain tumor.
PTSD didn’t exist back then nor did TBI.
I’m sure the thought of fighting for your country feels amazing in itself, but you need to know there is a price to experience the ultimate glory.
The price you may pay just might be the ultimate sacrifice.
Get focused, get ready, and prepare your families because when the nation calls…IT IS ON. If you’re not ready, you’re not coming back. One little mistake you’re dead. This junk is real. There won’t be story time like there was on my last deployment.
There won’t be going to the gym. There won’t be yummy food that you guys complained about anyways. There won’t be barracks. There won’t be A/C. There won’t be heat. There won’t be stores and poker nights. There won’t be clubs for you to cheat on your spouse at.
There will be you and your unit period. I hope you’re still excited because even though I’m scared, I still have another round left in me….
1SG Matthew Dzuricky