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Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -
In the turret.

Within 48 hours I'm on track to be back in the US. It's been a wild year for sure. I originally sought out to write a blog entailing my adventures here in Afghanistan. I've been lucky enough to see a lot of the country and operate with various branches of military and other nationalities such as the British. I did indeed write a blog with full intent on posting it. I wanted something written out while Afghanistan was fresh in my mind. Something for me to look back on and to share my experiences because I feel like it's difficult to get real accounts of war straight from the soldier's point of view.

The blog ended up being over 8 pages long and was way too personal to share. I'm still struggling with how to articulate the past 13 months without getting too personal while still stating a clear message. My deployment was about as positive as one can get. I've grown as a person and while we're returning home with 3 less soldiers, I'm glad I experienced what I did. If I had to list everything from living conditions to day-to-day routines, it'll probably just read like a long list of bitching. But in reality, I wouldn't trade the positive and negative experiences for anything. For those were the moments that make me appreciate everything I had. Consider this an "Ask Me Anything", feel free to get curious in the comments. Just don't be an asshole.

Puppies!

So where do I go from here? I'm not getting married anymore. I kinda need to not be a bum and get a job. I also have to go back to living with mom for awhile. A deployed soldier just hopes to pick his life up where it was left off. Well, that isn't how life works. You want your life on pause, but the world still operates without you. It's daunting. So I need to find a place to live first and foremost. I'm debating going to school in Columbus instead of Cincinnati. I wanna get a dog to. School doesn't start until January for me, so for the next three months I'm just going to lay low. Perhaps get that job, maybe? I should probably be productive.

I'm still extremely interested in talking about videogames on the Internet. Instead of strictly writing stuff here, expect more video stuff from me. I'm going to build a mini studio in my apartment. Something I've always wanted to do. What does that mean exactly? Get some HD camera and some audio equipment. Writing about videogames is making less and less sense to me, so video content is an avenue I want to fully explore. Lately I've been examining what's missing in videogame coverage. I'm not 100% sure what the answer is, but I have some ideas. Maybe I'll make a documentary.

Going home is probably going to be a weird experience. I won't have to wear body armor anymore or carry a loaded weapon to the bathroom. The longest I've gone without someone trying to kill me this year was 4 weeks. Veterans have told me it's hard to readjust. But fuck that! I'm glad to return to my beer.

To break it down, here's what I want to do:

-Get more into body building, eat healthy and lift weights.

-Get school done

-Acquire good internships

-Drink Yuengling a lot

-Find a place to live

-Get a dog

-Create and distribute quality content in which I talk about videogames

-Not end up going to the VA every weekend like every Vet does

-Find a job

If you got any questions about stuff, ask below.

-Steve

@stevenbeynon

#1 Edited by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -
In the turret.

Within 48 hours I'm on track to be back in the US. It's been a wild year for sure. I originally sought out to write a blog entailing my adventures here in Afghanistan. I've been lucky enough to see a lot of the country and operate with various branches of military and other nationalities such as the British. I did indeed write a blog with full intent on posting it. I wanted something written out while Afghanistan was fresh in my mind. Something for me to look back on and to share my experiences because I feel like it's difficult to get real accounts of war straight from the soldier's point of view.

The blog ended up being over 8 pages long and was way too personal to share. I'm still struggling with how to articulate the past 13 months without getting too personal while still stating a clear message. My deployment was about as positive as one can get. I've grown as a person and while we're returning home with 3 less soldiers, I'm glad I experienced what I did. If I had to list everything from living conditions to day-to-day routines, it'll probably just read like a long list of bitching. But in reality, I wouldn't trade the positive and negative experiences for anything. For those were the moments that make me appreciate everything I had. Consider this an "Ask Me Anything", feel free to get curious in the comments. Just don't be an asshole.

Puppies!

So where do I go from here? I'm not getting married anymore. I kinda need to not be a bum and get a job. I also have to go back to living with mom for awhile. A deployed soldier just hopes to pick his life up where it was left off. Well, that isn't how life works. You want your life on pause, but the world still operates without you. It's daunting. So I need to find a place to live first and foremost. I'm debating going to school in Columbus instead of Cincinnati. I wanna get a dog to. School doesn't start until January for me, so for the next three months I'm just going to lay low. Perhaps get that job, maybe? I should probably be productive.

I'm still extremely interested in talking about videogames on the Internet. Instead of strictly writing stuff here, expect more video stuff from me. I'm going to build a mini studio in my apartment. Something I've always wanted to do. What does that mean exactly? Get some HD camera and some audio equipment. Writing about videogames is making less and less sense to me, so video content is an avenue I want to fully explore. Lately I've been examining what's missing in videogame coverage. I'm not 100% sure what the answer is, but I have some ideas. Maybe I'll make a documentary.

Going home is probably going to be a weird experience. I won't have to wear body armor anymore or carry a loaded weapon to the bathroom. The longest I've gone without someone trying to kill me this year was 4 weeks. Veterans have told me it's hard to readjust. But fuck that! I'm glad to return to my beer.

To break it down, here's what I want to do:

-Get more into body building, eat healthy and lift weights.

-Get school done

-Acquire good internships

-Drink Yuengling a lot

-Find a place to live

-Get a dog

-Create and distribute quality content in which I talk about videogames

-Not end up going to the VA every weekend like every Vet does

-Find a job

If you got any questions about stuff, ask below.

-Steve

@stevenbeynon

#2 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

The hardest part about being a solider, is coming back home.

Good luck with whatever path you take.

#3 Edited by adam1808 (1448 posts) -

It's a bit crass but... Can you hang with modern military shooters at this point? If you're going to produce video content on games you may end up having to evaluate games that purport to be "realistic". How does time in the military colour your view of such games?

Also good luck, I hate to see servicemen not manage to get back into society. It's a crying shame considering the jobs you guys have to do.

#4 Posted by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

Welcome back dude, I recently dug up that blog you did a while back on building muscle, I've been using that to build my workout.

#5 Edited by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@adam1808 said:

It's a bit crass but... Can you hang with modern military shooters at this point? If you're going to produce video content on games having to evaluate games that purport to be "realistic" how does time in the military colour your view of such games?

There's no such thing as a realistic military game. No one has done it. A developer can throw in realistic tactics and equipment all day. Combat is what it is because of fear. You take cover immediately because you're afraid to die. In the real world, you're dealing with weapon malfunctions, communicating with your comrades, picking out enemy silhouettes and assuring your buddy next to you isn't hurt or captured. A videogame can't replicate the simple things like the fatigue of humping ammo, 40lbs of body armor and hiking a mountain. Your constant need for water and carbs. For a real military sim to exist, AI needs to be at at point in which your friends and enemies are afraid to die. Until then, we'll have to deal with one shot kills and suppressing an enemy until Bravo Team can flank. Go look up some combat footage on Youtube. It's intense, but in videogame form it would be super boring. I don't know how a game can do justice to that. But I'm still down with playing Battlefield.

#6 Posted by Brodehouse (9842 posts) -

If fiction has taught me anything, the post-military plans out there for soldiers include private mercenary work, going crazy and becoming the antagonist, or being the leader of a zombie survival group.

You can also get into a bar fight, kill a guy and then stop a plane full of convicts. In that one you get sickass hair a bad southern accent.

#7 Posted by Fallen189 (4981 posts) -

There's no easy way to ask this, and it probably sounds incredibly crass to ask, so if you're not comfortable with answering, please tell me and I'll happily rescind my post. 
 
Did you ever kill anyone over there? Like, actively shoot a person and end their life? If you did, how can you cope after that? I know you hear a lot of stories about PTSD when soldiers return home, and I'd be interested on hearing your personal thoughts on that, if it happened. As I said at the header, if you'd rather not discuss that, I'm happy to remove my question. Thanks.

#8 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

So you're back for good this time? Heh, maybe you can pick up an internship at GB again? :P

#9 Edited by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@Fallen189 said:

There's no easy way to ask this, and it probably sounds incredibly crass to ask, so if you're not comfortable with answering, please tell me and I'll happily rescind my post. Did you ever kill anyone over there? Like, actively shoot a person and end their life? If you did, how can you cope after that? I know you hear a lot of stories about PTSD when soldiers return home, and I'd be interested on hearing your personal thoughts on that, if it happened. As I said at the header, if you'd rather not discuss that, I'm happy to remove my question. Thanks.

I do not feel like I'm bringing home any baggage. I am not a victim of that. PTSD is still something medical experts aren't even sure how to articulate or treat.

#10 Posted by Mageman (351 posts) -

How much did they pay you ?

#11 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@Mageman said:

How much did they pay you ?

There are enlisted military pay charts on the Internet. That, plus about $500/month for "hardship, low quality living standards, and operating in an active combat zone".

#12 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3855 posts) -

Glad you made it back safe dude. I was just in the states and tried Yuengling it's pretty good.

#13 Posted by adam1808 (1448 posts) -

@EpicSteve said:

@adam1808 said:

It's a bit crass but... Can you hang with modern military shooters at this point? If you're going to produce video content on games having to evaluate games that purport to be "realistic" how does time in the military colour your view of such games?

There's no such thing as a realistic military game. No one has done it. A developer can throw in realistic tactics and equipment all day. Combat is what it is because of fear. You take cover immediately because you're afraid to die. In the real world, you're dealing with weapon malfunctions, communicating with your comrades, picking out enemy silhouettes and assuring your buddy next to you isn't hurt or captured. A videogame can't replicate the simple things like the fatigue of humping ammo, 40lbs of body armor and hiking a mountain. Your constant need for water and carbs. For a real military sim to exist, AI needs to be at at point in which your friends and enemies are afraid to die. Until then, we'll have to deal with one shot kills and suppressing an enemy until Bravo Team can flank. Go look up some combat footage on Youtube. It's intense, but in videogame form it would be super boring. I don't know how a game can do justice to that. But I'm still down with playing Battlefield.

Oh I love Battlefield because it's actually a cartoon being rendered as close to realism as games can get. Anyway, thanks. Having not experienced combat (and having no intention to) I didn't have any confidence on calling games like ARMA 2 on their "realism" credentials.

#14 Posted by skcaptain (14 posts) -

I would definitely suggest getting security work or getting a civilian sector equivalent of what your job was. Starting a business takes money and having a nice big bankroll backing you up never hurt anybody.

#15 Edited by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@skcaptain said:

I would definitely suggest getting security work or getting a civilian sector equivalent of what your job was. Starting a business takes money and having a nice big bankroll backing you up never hurt anybody.

Eh, like I said I'm just more interested in schooling and talking about videogames on the Internets. I'm totally able to get whatever civilian security job, but my interests reside in the game business.

@adam1808:

There's only so much a videogame can do. But AI just isn't where it needs to be before games can label themselves "military sims". Plus most of those types of games are totally broken.

#16 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

Time to write a book about your adventures, or make a movie!

#17 Posted by TehBuLL (604 posts) -

Do me a favor and DON'T get a security job to tide yourself over while waiting for your dreams to happen...seen to many people give up at that point.
As a manager in security I've worked with a lot of vets. Please extract all you can from your free education. Double master a couple of your favorite subjects and make life your own. It isn't Vietnam anymore, people respect vets

#18 Posted by TehBuLL (604 posts) -

Also I understand there is a silent wall that civilians haven't earned. If you manage to breach that, where the common man can even attempt to understand what you have been through would be helpful. I am always fucking blown away by every story afghan vets tell me because it is as foreign as anything could be. An ex-coworker of mine was involved with discussions with a local afghani group. Ranger shit. He never broke the camo rule and invested in me his track record over there and I never asked. Every man carries his own burden. But I want you to know that we WANT to carry your burden, because us that stay home feel responsible and want to carry that burden. Also if you don't have that burden, accounts of large explosions is cool!

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@EpicSteve said:

I won't have to wear body armor anymore or carry a loaded weapon to the bathroom.

The world's changed, man. *cue pan to landscape beyond* It's changed big time. *title card pops up to let you know things have started*

#20 Posted by AlexW00d (6234 posts) -

@EpicSteve said:

@adam1808 said:

It's a bit crass but... Can you hang with modern military shooters at this point? If you're going to produce video content on games having to evaluate games that purport to be "realistic" how does time in the military colour your view of such games?

There's no such thing as a realistic military game. No one has done it. A developer can throw in realistic tactics and equipment all day. Combat is what it is because of fear. You take cover immediately because you're afraid to die. In the real world, you're dealing with weapon malfunctions, communicating with your comrades, picking out enemy silhouettes and assuring your buddy next to you isn't hurt or captured. A videogame can't replicate the simple things like the fatigue of humping ammo, 40lbs of body armor and hiking a mountain. Your constant need for water and carbs. For a real military sim to exist, AI needs to be at at point in which your friends and enemies are afraid to die. Until then, we'll have to deal with one shot kills and suppressing an enemy until Bravo Team can flank. Go look up some combat footage on Youtube. It's intense, but in videogame form it would be super boring. I don't know how a game can do justice to that. But I'm still down with playing Battlefield.

I take it you've never played Arma? Obviously it's not gonna be as close to real life as real life, but Arma is just the consumer version of VBS2, the simulation software the USMC, amongst others, use. Again, it's obviously not the same, nothing you could ever play would be the same as doing the real thing, that's a given, but Arma is a lot closer than damn Battlefield.

Also do you stop being a soldier? Like, I dunno how it works in the states, but I have a buddy who has served in Afghanistan twice now (I think) and is still a soldier in the Army, and will probably continue until he's served his 27 years. Can you not continue that? Or do you just not want to?

Online
#21 Edited by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@AlexW00d: I love being a soldier. I did what i think every young able-bodied male should do while his country is at war. My civilian goals right now are more important to me. I can stay in the Army as long as I want and I wil continue to be enlisted until my contract is up in 2014. But now, I'm focused on building a career outside of the military.

#22 Edited by MarkWahlberg (4600 posts) -

Glad to hear you came through safe and sound!

I'm curious about how your interactions with the local civilian population worked. Were you usually stuck in the base, or were you out engaging with people regularly (or at least, being present while superiors/translators talked with them)? What were your impressions of them?

I can understand not wanting to share your more personal experiences, but I would suggest that you still write down your memories and stuff. I haven't done any military service, but as someone who's been overseas in places that are drastically different from life in the US, just putting things on paper can make thinking about it easier. And if you're like me and are bad at articulating or telling stories in person, having a written version can help you explain things to other people.

#23 Edited by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@MarkWahlberg said:

Glad to hear you came through safe and sound!

I'm curious about how your interactions with the local civilian population worked. Were you usually stuck in the base, or were you out engaging with people regularly (or at least, being present while superiors/translators talked with them)? What were your impressions of them?

I can understand not wanting to share your more personal experiences, but I would suggest that you still write down your memories and stuff. I haven't done any military service, but as someone who's been overseas in places that are drastically different from life in the US, just putting things on paper can make thinking about it easier. And if you're like me and are bad at articulating or telling stories in person, having a written version can help you explain things to other people.

Excellent question! We do not wonder off base, that would be totally reckless and dangerous! Whenever we're "outside the wire", we're on mission. Our ultimate mission was to protect a region while certain services like schools and clinics were established. We protect the populous from being bullied by Taliban. Awhile ago, they would set IEDs outside of people's houses at night and beat girls for going to school. So us preventing that, they liked us and generally gave us information when they felt secured.

My personal interactions with Afghans were limited to handing water and candy out to kids never really spoke to the adults much. I did learn enough Pashtun to carry a basic conversation. We did a lot of missions and training with the Afghan Army. Afghans as a whole are super conservative. For instance, I would severally offend a family if I looked at or addressed a woman. So the men often kept their wives away while we're around. We also took gloves off to shake hands, and took off body armor during meeting to show trust and to not intimidate them by accident. But they're kinda weird, uncoordinated and whenever you teach the Afghan soldier something they forget it the next day. EVERY TIME!

I showed the Afghan Army soldiers videogames. They never even heard of them They didn't really understand them. I tried to teach them Lumines. Regardless though, it was captivating. I also showed them Will Smith's magic show he put on during a Happy Hour. It was the first time they ever saw magic tricks. They got a kick out of it.

#24 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4600 posts) -

@EpicSteve: Will Smith, International Celebrity! That's great.

Your experience sounds pretty similar to what I've heard from other guys who've been over there. The relationship between our troops and Afghans just seems like such a weird situation, though, so I like hearing the different stories people have. Thanks for sharing!

#25 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6147 posts) -

Good luck with the job hunt and your school decisions. Looking forward to seeing what kind of video content you end up producing.

Moderator Online
#26 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Do you feel like you served a good purpose and had the right to be in another land fighting its people?

#27 Edited by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

@EpicSteve:

If you want to go back to school be sure to use the VA for funding. I don't know exactly how it works but I have a classmate in my graduate psychology program who has had his schooling completely paid for. That's a huge relief dude.

@AhmadMetallic said:

Do you feel like you served a good purpose and had the right to be in another land fighting its people?

@Wong_Fei_Hung said:

Mental hospital and getting screwed up the arse by the state - enjoy

Those comments really aren't necessary guys.

Online
#28 Posted by NathHaw (2760 posts) -

@EpicSteve said:

I showed the Afghan Army soldiers videogames. They never even heard of them They didn't really understand them. I tried to teach them Lumines. Regardless though, it was captivating. I also showed them Will Smith's magic show he put on during a Happy Hour. It was the first time they ever saw magic tricks. They got a kick out of it.

I forget sometimes how some things that are so familiar to us are so foreign to others.

#29 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

What was it you did with the military and why did you choose to join them?

#30 Edited by myketuna (1678 posts) -

Great to see you're coming back home. I also think it's great you're letting people ask you questions. My father is in the military, so I've already done my fair share of asking stuff. However, this thread really brings home the fact that there are a ton of people in this country that have never interacted with a soldier before. Besides maybe saying/seeing "support the troops" once in a while, but that doesn't really convey anything if you haven't talked to someone in the service before.

@JasonR86 said:

@EpicSteve:

If you want to go back to school be sure to use the VA for funding. I don't know exactly how it works but I have a classmate in my graduate psychology program who has had his schooling completely paid for. That's a huge relief dude.

I second this. I don't know how it works for an active duty soldier, but I am using my dad's GI Bill thing (he transferred the benefits to me) to go to college. So school is basically free. I think it's awesome and you should consider it when you decide to go back to school.

#31 Posted by ZagZagovich (756 posts) -

Man, so great to know you are getting back safe and sound. We never interacted with each other but you always seemed like a good dude and I'm glad you can go back to a normal day to day life. I'm looking forward to whatever you decide to do in the future.

#32 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@EpicSteve said:

@AlexW00d: I love being a soldier. I did what i think every young able-bodied male should do while his country is at war. My civilian goals right now are more important to me. I can stay in the Army as long as I want and I wil continue to be enlisted until my contract is up in 2014. But now, I'm focused on building a career outside of the military.

So you think everyone should just throw their lives away to fight a futile war just so some arms dealers and wealthy elites can make a profit? I will fight for my country if we are actually attacked or invaded, but I disagree in your assertion that we should just risk our lives for our countries imperialistic wars.

#33 Posted by FinalDasa (1604 posts) -

You had me at Yuengling. Try to find their Octoberfest when you return, it's seasonal only but worth it.

I'm glad to hear you're returning home safe and sound. I've had a few friends and family serve and whenever someone is in a more "active" area it always brings worries. From what I can tell finding something to help occupy your time and give yourself focus really helps. And having someone to talk to also helps in case returning home isn't a smooth going.

I hope all your plans come together and you get that beer soon!

Moderator Online
#34 Edited by Giantstalker (1623 posts) -
Yup, I'm a Canuck

My life plans completely fell apart when I got back from my tour two years ago, and I ended up re-enlisting in the Canadian Army. I sincerely hope things work out a lot better for you than it did for me, but I'm sure your situation is different enough that it won't be an issue. Speaking of differences, I'd love to talk about the differences between a Canadian tour and a US one but I understand if you can't or won't divulge anything (OPSEC).

The other Batmobile

Our tours in Kandahar were only eight months long. A lot of our kit was kinda inferior on many levels. To compensate for this, we brought artillery and tanks to the province. The former was rarely used except for illumination, the latter was more of a mixed success. Supplying and maintaining these was a full-time job, along with all the other food, fuel, and supplies, so we traveled around several times a week between the airfield and FOBs as convoy escort (mostly to do VPS searches). Despite all this effort to provide "our own" fire support, we ended up relying on US aviation anyway.

Go Home And Be A Family Man

People say the US spends too much on defense, but quite frankly, it's far better than spending too little. And the ANA/ANP, I couldn't stand them; well, mostly the ANP because there were serious issues regarding them and security when I was there.

As a mentor I imagine I would've gone insane, it takes a lot to deal with them in a productive and meaningful way. That's real interesting that you showed them games, I never even thought about their reaction to that kind of thing. I know our interpreter was confused as hell at the things we played (when we could). I was also surprised Street Fighter IV was as popular as it was in our platoon - more than CoD: WaW or Gears 2, both of which we had. Along with a million movies, most of them pretty bad. EDIT: Grammar. Ugh.

#35 Posted by ThePickle (4163 posts) -

You've got about a year of subscriber features to catch up on. A lot's changed since summer 2011. Random Ass PC Game, Flight Club, Load our Last Save. Is it safe to assume the Army blocked access to a website named "Giant Bomb"?

Hero Squad.
#36 Posted by Trav (241 posts) -

Get a dog! They're amazing to have around.

Until you have to leave the one that only really like you in your family for college. That's the worst feeling. YOU GUYS I MISS MY DOG.

But seriously, thanks for your service. The transition back into civilian life can be rough, but I think you'll do okay. You have goals and support, and those are key.

#37 Posted by Jimbo (9799 posts) -

Syria.

#38 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

Syria.

bam

#39 Posted by TurboMan (7503 posts) -

How many rail shooter segments did you go on?

#40 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

well good thing that you came home alive. its' pretty crazy stuff that can happen being in the army.

i guess play some video games that you missed out on.

#41 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

Do you feel like you served a good purpose and had the right to be in another land fighting its people?

Yeah, cause they're assholes that beat girls for going to school.

@Giantstalker:

I saw some Canadians in KAF on my way out. I'm on the airfield now as I type this. Waiting to go to Romania. i've never operated with Canadians though.

@TurboMan said:

How many rail shooter segments did you go on?

I was a gunner, so...a couple dozen? Sometimes things happened, sometimes things didn't happen.

@ThePickle:

They don't block GiantBomb because of the name. It's blocked in a lot of locations due to it being a "video streaming site". Bandwidth sucks ass in a lot of spots and to prevent people from hogging all the Internets, sites like Youtube, GiantBomb and Netflix are blocked.

@SathingtonWaltz:

That's your prerogative to disagree. That's the beauty of an all-volunteer force.

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

What was it you did with the military and why did you choose to join them?

I'm a 19D (Cavalry Scout in a Reconnaissance and Target Acquisition unit) for lack of military jargon, my job is to conduct dismounted recon. But for my deployment, I had a duty MOS (job) 11B (Infantry). A duty MOS is a job that isn't your original position, but a role you're acting in for the purpose of the deployment. I was a SAW gunner when dismounted and in the trucks I was a .50 cal/ MK-19 gunner.

There are a lot of reasons I joined. I wanted a back up career, I believe in the fight against terrorism, I needed school money, and I kinda wanted that "make you a man" experience. I didn't go outside much as a kid nor did I play any sports. I felt like I needed to build some character. A recruiter just caught me at the right place and right time. So a good combination of nobel and selfish reasons.

#42 Edited by bibz (35 posts) -

OP you sound awesome. I think your heads on straight and that you'll do just fine. Just never be afraid to ask for help if things get hard. Thats when we get to do our part.

#44 Posted by Harkat (1101 posts) -

Whatever your opinions on America's right to be in afghanistan is, it's kind of irrelevant to this thread.

#45 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

@Harkat said:

Whatever your opinions on America's right to be in afghanistan is, it's kind of irrelevant to this thread.

It really is irrelevant. More importantly, issues with a country's foreign and military policy is an issues to be taken with those who create those policies and not those who uphold those policies. A soldier doesn't decide what country they fight in. They just follow orders because that is there job. Yelling at them about there job is like yelling at the messenger. Rather, yell at the people who created the message.

Online
#46 Posted by ThePickle (4163 posts) -

@Harkat said:

Whatever your opinions on America's right to be in afghanistan is, it's kind of irrelevant to this thread.

This. Steve's doing something most of us couldn't do. Hate on the politicians responsible for the war all you want, Steve's just doing his part. If it wasn't for volunteer soldiers, they'd be plucking inner-city kids out of there homes and into Afganistan.

#47 Posted by pyromagnestir (4291 posts) -

WHY ARE THE PICTURES OF THE PUPPY SO SMALL YOU MONSTER!

For shame, sir! For shame!

Good luck with your next endeavor, though! Hopefully it entails fewer bullets and such.

Online
#48 Posted by SpaceRunaway (861 posts) -

Before this thread goes totally to hell, welcome home, and thank you.

#49 Edited by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

, thanks for your service and we're happy to have you back. I'd love to skype sometime about video games and video game coverage, too. Keep in touch.

#50 Posted by Trace (3553 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@Harkat said:

Whatever your opinions on America's right to be in afghanistan is, it's kind of irrelevant to this thread.

It really is irrelevant. More importantly, issues with a country's foreign and military policy is an issues to be taken with those who create those policies and not those who uphold those policies. A soldier doesn't decide what country they fight in. They just follow orders because that is there job. Yelling at them about there job is like yelling at the messenger. Rather, yell at the people who created the message.

Just want to reiterate this point, as it's a good one. Leave your opinion on US military strategy elsewhere, and leave bickering over anti-American sentiment elsewhere. This is about a soldier's return home and reintegration into society. Don't be a dick.

Carry on!

Moderator