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"Why Men Love War" Topic

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451 hits since 12 May 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2018 12:49 p.m. PST

"I last saw Hiers in a rice paddy in Vietnam. He was nineteen then--my wonderfully skilled and maddeningly insubordinate radio operator. For months we were seldom more than three feet apart. Then one day he went home, and fifteen years passed before we met by accident last winter at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. A few months later I visited Hiers and his wife. Susan, in Vermont, where they run a bed-and -breakfast place. The first morning we were up at dawn trying to save five newborn rabbits. Hiers built a nest of rabbit fur and straw in his barn and positioned a lamp to provide warmth against the bitter cold.

"What people can't understand," Hiers said, gently picking up each tiny rabbit and placing it in the nest, "is how much fun Vietnam was. I loved it. I loved it, and I can't tell anybody."

Hiers loved war. And as I drove back from Vermont in a blizzard, my children asleep in the back of the car, I had to admit that for all these years I also had loved it, and more than I knew. I hated war, too. Ask me, ask any man who has been to war about his experience, and chances are we'll say we don't want to talk about it--implying that we hated it so much, it was so terrible, that we would rather leave it buried. And it is no mystery why men hate war. War is ugly, horrible, evil, and it is reasonable for men to hate all that. But I believe that most men who have been to war would have to admit, if they are honest, that somewhere inside themselves they loved it too, loved it as much as anything that has happened to them before or since. And how do you explain that to your wife, your children, your parents, or your friends?…"
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Gwydion12 May 2018 4:22 p.m. PST

Great article Armand. Not sure why it's on the Cold War page except the authors war was one of the Cold War proxies.
It's really a universal story about why and how men (people?) continue to go to war if it is so terrible.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP12 May 2018 8:01 p.m. PST

Being a combat Veteran of Vietnam I have always explained it this way -- it's the same reason 17-19 year olds take their cars around corners at high speeds? You have to "feel it" to understand it.
Don't try to use logic and reason to wrap your brain around the rush?

Russ Dunaway

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2018 8:34 p.m. PST

c.f. Anzio (1968) starring Robert Mitchum

"Nothing has changed, except the uniforms and the transportation."

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2018 9:41 p.m. PST

Amen, Brother.


Personal logo Wolfshanza Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2018 11:35 p.m. PST

" There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter"

believe this was by Hemingway ?

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP13 May 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

I would assume that almost all small towns have a "dead mans curve" as I mentioned in my post above?

"where have all the young men gone, gone to graveyards everyone, when will they ever learn?"

It's not just war -- enough just never return from things like "dead mans curve?"

I now find it absolutely amazing that I made it to 68 ???
I am now the guy that will have a string of angry people behind me as I go 40 in the 45 zone, oh well -- where do I got to go in a hurry?

Russ Dunaway

Wolfhag13 May 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

My son was deployed 5 times in the GWOT basically hunting down bad guys and bringing them to "justice", many times face-to-face and very personal. I spent some time with his unit and I came away with the feeling they were a "death cult". Most were clean-cut young guys that looked totally innocent.

He said he needed to get out because he enjoyed it so much. He was starting to feel like a paid assassin because his team would select targets and determine the exact date, time and method of their demise.

He said in the heat of combat doing room clearing he felt totally in control and invincible, especially when AK rounds would bounce off of his body armor. It's better than drugs and sex.

He said that if he re-enlisted he'd go over to the "dark side" and spend the rest of his life doing it. He wants a real life and family so is back in college. There are thousands of guys like that out there. Some cope with it better than others. He told his mom he'd probably go to hell for what he did but would not doing anything differently.

Right now he gets 2-3 emails a week offering up to $120 USDk for a four-month contract but he's turned them all down but has friends over there doing it.


Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2018 10:57 p.m. PST

It is amazing how much Grace God has – even for us combat Veterans. Jesus even healed the servant of a roman Centurion (no blushing violet when it came to killing).

It is indeed a love hate thing that most combat vets understand and no one else really does.

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 8:57 a.m. PST

I miss it, and my Marines everyday.

ScottS15 May 2018 9:05 a.m. PST

Love/hate is true, sir.

And, Semper Fi', Irish Marine.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

I told SWMBO long, long ago that there was only one set of circumstances short of death under which I would leave her: if the commander of the infantry battalion we worked with at Chu Lai showed up at the door and said: "Sergeant, we're going back to the bush and this time we're going to do it right."

That was almost 31 years ago and I'll be 70 this December but if the colonel showed up, I think I'd go.


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