What is Life Like as a Sniper?

On Tuesday I wrote about one of my adventures while in the military. I will do that from time to time, but this site is for you. Today I will speak directly to you.

I assume many of you were deployed during your time in the military I was sent to South Korea. I had many adventures there which I will be sharing from time to time.

I came back a different person, like many of you, I am sure did too. I lost a buddy, and saw some things that will be hard to share. However, I will wait until later on.

Some of you may be battling PTSD, TMI, Depression, or war wounds. I feel your pain.

I would love it if you would share your story in the comment section. You do not need to share your name. Tell us your story so we can understand you more.

I have done many interviews of veterans for my book. I will share one of them with you knowing that there are many others that will be in the book.

A Sniper

I interview a veteran from Texas. I got to know him through RallyPoint. This is a social network for only veterans. I highly recommend it. You will find many fellow veterans who are the same boat with you.

The veteran from Texas was a sniper in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Here is the exchange:

I was honored to be able interview a veteran who was an Afghanistan/Iraq veteran.

Here is the rough draft for the book:

SOH

What did you do while you were in the Army?

William I was a sniper.

SOH

You are in El Paso. It can be very cold there.

William

Yes it can.

SOH

So, do you have family?

William

I am divorced, but I have three children.

SOH

When did you go into the service?

William

Right out of High school. I was seventeen.

SOH

You mentioned that you had a couple of buddies that were killed?

William

Actually, twelve of my buddies were killed.

SOH

How were you able to handle that?

William

You don’t allow yourself to think about it

SOH

Were you very close to any of them?

William

I was close to all of them.

SOH

I had close friends in Korea as well.

SOH

Why did you enlist in the first place?

William

It is a family tradition. My Brothers and my grandfather enlisted. I was honored to serve my country.

SOH

Interesting, I also had a family tradition. My three uncles served in WWII. My brother and I Served, and my son just retired as a Colonel from the Army.

SOH

If you could would you go back in again?

William

Oh ya!! I wouldn’t change anything. 22 years

SOH

If there was one thing you could change about the Army, what would that be?

William

I would spend more time with family. My job came first back then.

SOH

What would be your advice to soldiers who are struggling?

William

Don’t give up. If you are deployed, or getting ready to be deployed you don’t think about it. 

SOH

Do you have PTSD?

William

Yes, and because of this I recommend that it be mandatory to get counseling when you are discharged from the military.

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This is an on going interview. I want to get back to him and ask more specifc questions about being a sniper.

What does it feel like to kill someone?

What did you think of when you have an enemy in the cross hairs?

Did you ever regret shooting someone?

There will be many other questions. Stay tuned as I get more information.

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If you are struggling get help. It is not something to be ashamed of if you need help. Got to get the tough military guy/girl out of your head and find help.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And…never, ever, give up!

A Sniper Shares His Hurts and Regrets

Today is Red Friday. We should all be wearing red to show support our active duty military.

I’ve had some amazing interviews with veterans while putting my new book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

I interviewed WW ll, Korean, Vietnam Iraq, and Afghanistan soldiers.

Some of the interviews were funny; some were sad; and some were hard to listen to.

Today I will share one interview to show you some of the fear, disappointments and anger our veterans have gone through.

Interview with a Sniper

I talked to a veteran from El Paso, Texas. He was a Sargent First Class. His duties were being a sniper.

He was asked if it was hard to shot another person. His answer was, “Not since I was helping my buddies stay alive.”

Death of His Buddies

The next question I asked him was how many of his buddies were killed. He said,”Fifteen or sixteen.” I said, “That must have been hard on you.” He said, They were my friends, what can I say.”

It is Hard on Families

He was getting irritated, so I switched to his family. I asked him if he was married. He said, “I was, but I am divorced now.” I then asked, “Can you tell me why that happened? ” He said, “The separation was to hard on both of us. She went her own way because she was so lonely.” He also said he had three children that he only sees once and a while.

There is much more to this interview, but you can see that he had a very rough time while in the military.

Many other stories like this

I have many more interviews to share. Be sure to subscribe to make sure you do not miss one. Just go to the top and click on the subscribe icon. Then all further posts will go directly to your inbox.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

Transcending from the military is Often Tough

Today I am just going to talk to you. I have been sharing military news, and now I am sharing with you directly.

What is happening in your life? Do you have times that you are depressed.? Are there times you wish you could just stay in bed all day? How about your daily routine? Do you avoid projects, because you fear failure?

There is much more of course, but I think you get the picture.

When we transcend from military life to civilian life, things can be very tough. People don’t understand you. They think you are still a soldier and some fear you. Finding work is a challenge. Your training does not fit most jobs.

If you are there I hear you.

When I first go out, I got a job as a grocery clerk. Not a job you really want to brag about, but my cousin got me the job and I was grateful. It was with Pigglly Wiggly, the grocery change with a funny name.

I decided I needed to get back to college, and get a degree. I had one term at George Fox College, and even played on the college football team. I was feeling good again.

The drive from Salem, Oregon to Newberg, Oregon was about a 40 mile drive each way.

One day early in the morning I was driving to school. It was cold and slippery and there was black ice. (Ice you can’t see.) I hit a patch of the ice and I was out of control. I hit a deep ditch that had water in it. I rolled several times. When the car stopped I was just above water. I was in pain, but I crawled out to safety.

My car was totaled and I had to quit college because I couldn’t afford getting a new car and paying for college at the same time.

I felt defeated, alone, and depressed.

I finally packed my family up and moved to California. I was told that Safeway, a huge grocery chain, was looking for new people. I got there and they put me through a training school and hired me.

Long story short….. I worked for them for eight years, and advanced quickly to being the “third,” man in one of the huge stores.

I still wasn’t happy!

We had added two more children, and I was working crazy hours. I never got to be with my family much. I decided to go back to college again in a Junior college. I did really well there. Had several terms of a 4.0 GPA.

I was feeling good again. However. Safeway asked me the important question: “Are you using your college training to advance with us or are you going elsewhere.”

Being honest I said I was planning to be a teacher. BOOM! They put me in the basement, and had me marking prices on cans. They didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

I transferred to Oregon State University, and got my degree in education. I had reached my dream, and the rest is history. I spent 22 years of joy working with children.

Finally, I made it to what I really wanted to do, but I hit a lot of walls, and disappointments to get there.

That may be how you will have to struggle once you get into civilian life. Many ups a downs, but a huge reward in the end. Let me share some suggestions to help you transcend into civilian life:

  1. There is always sunshine somewhere.
  2. The path may be rough but it leads to a smooth ending.
  3. Throw out the negative thoughts, and keep the positive ones.
  4. Perseverance should be your main word for life.
  5. Take one day at a time, and make them count.
  6. Above all…never, ever, give up!

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

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