The official Sebastian Junger community
hi to all. I want to say I am very sorry to have heard about Tim. I do not know if I met him but if he was a friend of Sebastian's and did the same work and good work at that then he was a friend of mine as well. War is special affair and very few people understand it and unless you were not there it is impossible to explain to you. It is like Siddhartha explain to the Buddha that everything he told him sounded good but until he had experienced what the Buddha was saying it meant nothing to him. So someone that has been in a war and not just been in but involved in the killing and bloodshed,cannot explain it to anyone else. you need to experience it and then you will know. Sebastian and Tim and others may not have actually shot at any one they were there where the shooting was going on and taking the same chance to be killed that all us were.
I am very glad Sebastian was not there. you never know what Fate has in store for you but he as home where he was to be and that is good. I am a greedy fucker and i want to keep the few friends i have.As to the movie it was very good and i like it a lot. As to the book I do not think he needed to go so much into the psychology of war with the soldiers. We went to war as we were sent there but many of us wanted to find our way to become men. i wanted to go as i wanted to see if i had the balls to go to war and survive it. i was not worried about the psychology behind my thoughts. it was what i wanted to do and i did it and i survived it and others places in the world as well. it was bad at times, good at times, downright scary at others and funny as hell in other instances. I applaud Sebastian and the others like him. I met with Peter Arnett in Sierra Leone and my wife and I had dinner a couple of times with him there.
I had actually met him in Viet Nam when he was attached to our outfit for a bit. he is a very nice man and gentleman and the way he was treated is a disgrace Ok let me get something i have been thinking about for some time now. The more i think about it the more pissed off i am. Here is my beef for this forum now.
HERO'S--WHAT THE HELL IS A HERO???These days every soldier that comes home from the war somewhere is a fucking hero. Every cop that does his job when it gets tough is a fucking hero? All this crap is doing is demeaning to the word. just because a man goes to war and comes home does not make him a hero. it makes him a man that is doing his job there. the true hero's, in my view, are the ones that do great things there above and beyond the call of duty. Medal of Honor winners, DSC winners are true heroes and they deserve the title. Shit, i received the stupid little medal-the Army Commendation Medal. Here is some info on that award and since i received it with the"V" device:"The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy force, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star, the Valor device ("V" device) may be authorized as an attachment to the decoration.
Each branch of the United States Armed Forces issues its own version of the Commendation Medal, with a fifth version existing for acts of joint military service performed under the Department of Defense."
So does that make me a "hero"? I dont think so. If you want to know why i received it get the book "The tunnels of Chu Chi" and you will find a section about two Americans that met other Americans in the middle of the tunnel system. that was another typical military fuck up. But do you know why i went into the tunnel? It was so hot in the jungle i knew it had to be cooler in the tunnel. it was that but it scared the hell out of me at time there. but the point is getting the medal does not make me a hero; coming back home does not make me a hero but today every swinging dick of a soldier comes home with all the fan fare of a great hero. Soldiers go to schools in a box to surprise their kids and all and it make me puke. who really gives a shit about what a soldier does when he comes home? my whole point here is that true "hero's" are not just someone that has been to war. Fuck my truest hero in my life is my dad who passed away before i could show him how i was doing in life. Also the guys that have received the Medal of Honor i respect them even though what some of them does not measure up to what we had in Viet Nam.
When you get too many MOH you are now making what it stands for as that is the very top and requires far above the normal heroism. Another thing that pisses me off since i am on this soapbox is the people that are whining about the number of soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. what is now a bit over 6000 in 10 years or so? We lost more than 58,000 in Viet Nam in less time. so how do you even begin to compare the number of dead from one war to another? war is a place where you lose people so why do people whine so much about it? it is an "Occupational hazard" as is being a cop, firefighter and so on.
Speaking of firefighters they were true hero's on the 9/11 affair. Also i hear there were many acts of heroism among the local people and i salute them. I hope they stop calling every soldier coming home a hero just for doing his job. as a Vietnam vet i can assure no one ever called us hero's and gave us nice homecomings and so on. we were baby killers and who knows what all and were spit on and treated like shit for doing our jobs. but what can you say? times change but one thing that will not change is my admiration for Sebastian and his fellow journalist and the true hero's as i understand them.Ok i am done for now and i am sure many of you will not agree with me but that is life. we all have our opinions and we all know what part of the body is equated to opinions, dont we?the best to all here and to Sebastian and i hope all of you have a good dayGregg