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Reddit: Retired soldiers describe what they saw and experienced and never told anyone


A boy in Afghanistan would always tell us "bad no" where suspected IEDs were at. He would stack rocks within at least 10 ft from the IED. We gave the kid everything in return. Food and candy. Fuck I even gave him my DS. One day, we found him strung up on a tree. The Taliban found out and killed him. I get sort of emotional when I start playing pokemon now a days.

Fuck that's terrible....

One of my best buds got drunk and fell off the barracks. They labelled it an accident. It was actually a suicide over a girl.

I know, not too interesting, but I thought I'd share. Never told anyone. Always felt guilty.

That sucks bro, I've witnessed 2 suicides in my military career. One in a very similar circumstance to that. Alcohol, young men, and breakups are a very bad combination.

My very first patient in Afghanistan was a 10month girl.

The father brought her to our gate asking for help. We checked her out and she is literally missing all of the skin from shoulder blade to waist on her back left side. Burned to the bone. Dad tells terp that she tripped and got cut up by gravel.

Clearly she is burned. I can smell it still today. I can remember the screech she made. The charred skin I had to remove.

And that asshole just sat in the corner. Nothing I can do to right the situation other than do what I can for her.

That single moment definitely set the tempo for the following 9 months.

Why did he burn her?

In Afghanistan its not uncommon for the father of a screaming baby to dip the baby into boiling water to "stop them from crying". saw the same thing during my time there. Father claimed he spilled but it was clear she was dipped.

Why would they think that would make a kid STOP crying?

I was posted with Brits for a tour and the hospital on base was used for locals and absolute emergencies for coalition forces as better treatment was available a short distance away. Talking with the British docs that worked there I ask what they see the most. They said burnt children. I inquired about it and they said they would boil water to heat it up to bathe the kids but wouldnt check the temp before dunking the kids. I walked through that hospital multiple times a day for work. Wont forget the one time I saw one of those kids on a gurney through a door.

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