What is it like to take part in (a) war?

What sorts of thoughts run through your mind, during or after it?
What effect does it have on your psyche?
Does it change your view on life, death, other people and human nature? politics, or even war itself?
What perspective does it give a person?

Good evening moooo,

I hope you had a great day. After taking my morning walk at Venice Beach, I worked in my vegetable garden.


Your question is worded oddly because there are a thousand thoughts that run through your mind. Most of the time I wanted and I did think about home, family, and friends.

Other times your mind would turn to death or dying. These thoughts would enter your mind when you slept at night. You would wonder if God would let you see another day. Each morning in a flash and for a moment, you would wonder could this be my last day on earth. I personally had a deep fear of losing a limb and coming back half a man, this was my deepest fear.

Interesting, does it change your view on life? True story: At the end of Tet 68’, some Vietnamese workers were allowed back on the base. I remember talking to one old lady. She told me Tet was very bad. She said, “Sergeant Ronald, VC come kill papa son, baby son, and many friends.” She talked about life and death as if it were nothing or an everyday event.

This woman and all people in Vietnam have seen nothing but war their whole life. To her, this was what life was about. In other words, the value of life to her was cheap.

Some United States soldiers killed women and children in the name or cause of war. Still a few other United States soldiers killed their own fellow soldiers and officers for likes and dislikes. This is something they would never do without war as their sidekick. Some United States soldiers would kill and brag about killing monkeys and oxen. In war a person’s outlook on the value of life, rather man or animal, becomes cheap.

I really came to this conclusion after returning from Vietnam. Hundreds of Vietnam vets were committing suicide. Many ex-soldiers would live on the streets with an “I do not give a damn if I live or die attitude”. Again people who have witnessed war, the value of life is cheap. Yes moooo, war does change your view on life.

About death? During the 68’ Tet Offence all fear was over. I was now aware of reality. Reality is when you realize that NOTHING and NO ONE can help you except God. You realize if that mortar round or bullet has your name on it??? Why be afraid of something that is your destiny. Your destiny may be to die in a car accident back home or die 10000 miles away, alone, on the battle fields of Vietnam.

My politics changed? As a child, I could never understand why politicians, on all sides, had all these bombs to blow up/destroy the EARTH over 100 times.

In Vietnam I watched hundreds of soldiers die, while politicians on both sides argued and walked away from the negotiations table because they could not agree if the table should be ROUND or SQUARE.


Through the years, I have listened to politicians give reasons why they did not serve in the military, President Clinton, President George Bush, Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and many others.

I have watched politicians vote down funding for Vietnam Vets dying and suffering from chemicals, Agent Orange and others, dropped on them. Yet, again the politicians made BIG money. I view a politician as the lowest form of a man or woman on this earth.


What perspective does it give a person? So why do today’s soldiers defend these so-called men/politicians? When I was in the military, my first pay check, paid in cash, was $78 for the month. Today’s soldiers cannot afford to speak out. The young people in my country are too brainwashed through Hollywood movies and lies told by a few politically controlled news media to see what is really going on. With the TWO PARTY system, I call them “the true gang bangers”, the politicians have caused confusion thus dividing the American people. The politicians have passed laws to divide and conquer all.

Today I see a new breed of politicians who have outsourced jobs in order for them, their families, their friends, and corporations to get unbelievably rich.

I once had a huge argument with a good friend. I agreed corporations were treated as a “person”. He could not agree that corporations do not “Breed”. Today even foreign corporations can donate money to political campaigns and decide who leads our country.

People always ask me, “Who won the war?” I always answer, “Go ask the dead soldiers on either side who won.”


You and your family have a beautiful day. Peace, from Los Angeles.

What he said. Also, it offers a great opportunity to see what real hardship looks like. As much as Afghanistan sucks, it only sucked for 15 months, then I got to leave. Those people over there don’t have any such luxury. It really makes you appreciate living in a developed and prosperous nation. Even during the midsts of a terrible financial crisis, not once did I, any of my family, or anyone I know have to burn a tire in their one-room shanty for heat and to cook their rotten meat for dinner. Sure, poverty happens here, but it’s the exception. Over there, it’s the norm.

It is mostly boredom and repetition. It is not all action like the movies portray….Oh and it is really really damned hot.

I think every American should be forced to read William’s post. Thanks for posting that, sir. We take so much for granted here in the States.

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