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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 month ago

Does this surprise you?

Okay so my former uncle (my aunt divorced him) is an Iraq and afghanistan combat veteran (marine infantry).

He told me that when he first fought in combat he was scared half to death to the

point where he was shakey like hell and nearly wet himself (a couple others laughed).  His heart was racing too.  After combat, he was in tears like a baby (he said it was hysterical).  He sat there for a while and couldn't think or talk to anyone.

He fought in combat a few more times after that and eventually he would no longer be shakey, have a such a high heart rate, or feel like he was going to wet himself.  And after combat, he wasn't in tears, nor too scared to move or speak.  Even AFTER getting a purple heart (he was wounded in action) and watching people get killed, he wouldn't be so shakey, have a high heart rate, or nearly wet himself or cry like a baby.  He still fought in combat after he got his injury treated.

Does it surprise you that even after he got injured, he wouldn't cry, feel shakey, or have a pounding heart, or have trouble holding his bladder (like he did at first)?

Sounds like becoming battle hardened and experienced in combat made his heart rate stay the same, easier to not wet himself, stop shaking, as well as stop crying.

P.S. he did earn a bronze (or silver, can't remember) star with valor on it.  So he was BRAVE (even though he had a meltdown and was shaking uncontrollably and nearly wet himself).  


I also wanted to say, when he first fought in combat, he regretted joining the military (combat made him have a meltdown at first).  However he stopped regretting it (even when he got injured, he didn't regret it).

I don't think he has PTSD.  He just doesn't like to talk about some of the things he saw.  

6 Answers

  • RICK
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Sounds about right

  • 1 month ago

    He sounds about right. I'm not ashamed to admit that during my first firefight I wet myself and didn't even know it until after the fight was over. I also bent over and threw up a number of times.

    Being in a firefight is a horrible, frightening experience, your senses are 110%, your heartbeat is off the chart, your breathing is very, very fast and your adrenaline has maxed out. It's any wonder vets don't actually shoot themselves by mistake.

    Talking about experiences? Talk to who? My last tour, when I came home, I was immediately transferred to another unit. No one, and I mean no one had ever been to combat talking to one of them would be like talking to my cat. My father saw combat in Korea, but he passed many years ago and no one else in my family has been to combat, so talking to them would again be like talking to my cat.

    Believe me, he'll talk about it when he's ready, if ever. 

  • 1 month ago

    --  I never was a soldier, but I did cover the Second Indochina (Vietnam) War as a TV news cameraman and journalist. Being nervous is common, but when in combat, a person has a "adrenaline high" that carries you through. Once a person has seen combat a few times they are able to take it more easily. Some people later seek out more adrenalin highs while others prefer to avoid it.

    --  I sought out the adrenalin high by covering international news in other countries and later in Australia for domestic news. Covering news and being amongst the first to witness the news along with some of the danger, plus competing with other news agencies, gave me a adrenalin rush, and high. Since I retired, I sometimes miss the high.

    --  Some of my colleagues overseas in combat sought out other war zones to maintain the adrenalin high and excitement when the Second Indochina (Vietnam) War finished. Some went to Uganda and other African and Middle Eastern nations to cover conflicts.

  • 1 month ago

    this is a fairly normal military experience.  read soldier's diaries from world war one, for example

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I served in Vietnam with the Australian Army (5RAR) in 1966-67 there's nothing wrong with being scared, it's how you handle that fear that makes a difference, you're trained to face your fear when making contact, your discipline and training kicks in, you know what you have to do and you do it, it gets easier as the months pass, by the time your tour has ended you're a battle hardened soldier and spend the rest of your life trying to get back to normality.

  • !
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A good portion of pre battle fear comes from uncertainty. Its impossible to know beforehand what its going to be like. Theres really no experience anywhere that can adequately prepare you for live fire combat against a determined opponent. Once you've been through the real thing a few times, you know what to expect and the fear of what might happen lessens

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