Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I found this poignant...

If you look at the barrel, you will see the emerging muzzle flash. The bullet is immediately behind it, and is about to come spiraling out… fly across 100 meters of sand, and tear into the ribcage of a man trying to kill me first.

This picture captures the absolute last millisecond before my first confirmed kill.

It’s the last picture I have of me as an innocent human.
My first thought was, "That looks like a flash photo. In a firefight? I'm having a hard time suspending disbelief." In context, though, it's from a blog filled with pix from some guy's deployment in the sandbox and none of the other pictures are questionable, so I'll buy it.

I've never killed a man. I've deliberately injured two: One I should feel bad about because I beat him into a hospital in a burst of irrational anger. But I figure, hey, the guy was a dick. Bet he won't do that again. The other guy I stabbed, after giving him every opportunity to back down and avoid it, and I deliberately DIDN'T kill him. I could have done and gotten away, but saw no need. I wasn't angry with him, didn't really want to hurt him at all. He was either wasted or crazy and ... to be honest I don't feel bad about him, either. If I shot a guy who was trying to kill me? I doubt I'd lose a lot of sleep.

But I think I understand about loss of innocence. It's NOT like sex, except in one sense it is: There's your life before the first one, and your life after. The line of demarcation is very clear in your mind for the rest of your life.


Anonymous said...

Flash photography.... in a firefight?

Am I missing something there? I dunno about anyone else but if I was hammering it out with some guy who had the ability to hammer back and one of my squad mates lit me up nice and bright with the ol' Kodak I'd have a case of red ass about it.
I'm suffering doubts.

On the other side of the equation I'd love to have opponents that stupid.

Seriously. Am I missing something here?


Anonymous said...

I had a moment of life changing when I was younger (14 years old). I was whitewing dove hunting in south Texas, and retrieved a bird I had just shot. Only it wasn't dead yet - I could feel the body convulsing in my hand, struggling to live just a moment longer. Until the body just relaxed when it died.

I caused that. First time I actually felt the transition of Life to Death. It made me think much harder just what I doing, ending lives like that - it WASN'T a game anymore.

I still hunt, but I think about what I'm doing a lot more.

DirtCrashr said...

We were "hunting" with a pellet gun when I was eight and I killed a brightly colored little tweety bird - and cried a bit. I would have much rather it was a big nasty old Crow, or one of those big nasty-ugly frogs by the tank (we lived overseas) - something worth real killing.
I was sad with the bird, but it was not as much shocking loss of innocence or DEATH as the year before when my big brother accidentally stepped on on a baby chick - and it flopped and peep'd in struggle a bit before dying - even my big sister cried.
But I think being sent to Boarding School the following year was a much greater loss of innocence because it was PEOPLE doing the damage there, and there that I learned to HATE.