I found out the M4 carbine and M855 5.56x45mm cartridge is not nearly as effective as it should be.
Later, since I was Company Armorer and near adopted son, I asked a harmless favor from the First Sergeant.
I got an M16A2. A Belgian one, my "FN16".
I honestly NEVER thought that I would WANT an M16, but I am convinced that the fact I had a rifle - with a purchased C-More reflector sight - is the reason I survived my first combat tour from March 2003 - April 2004.
As for what I felt?
In all honesty . . . I really felt surprisingly little. With the exception that "The weapon is NOT working".
Turns out every round I fired at the Haji hit . . . and went THROUGH him.
It was around thirty meters when I first fired. Initially six entry wounds and six exit wounds, after the third controlled pair, I dropped to a knee and put a round through his right hip bone, which dropped him immediately. Then I rushed up and shot him in the head.
I never thought a human being could produce a scream like that.
I did not even have to make the justification of "Him or Me", I just felt numb. Nothing of note for any of the individuals I shot at. The fact I was numb was more frightening.
Except for that scream.
It stays with me. Comes out every now and again during the night, but I don't even remember the bastard's face, just the scream.
The CO, 1SG and Chaplain helped me figure out that it was not my inner sociopath screaming to get out, but it was more that I had a higher maturity level - I was an "Old Man" at 26 at the time - and I was better prepared to not dwell on it.
Able to compartmentalize, as we say.
In combat I felt real anxiety, yet in many ways felt cold and detached from it all.
Quite surreal compared to the stories of other men.
You don't get smarter, you just get older by one more day.
Until the next mission, then you do it all over again. There is no *********, because you know you are not bulletproof.
For me there was just detached focus as I looked for a fight.
I had an M14 rifle in my tool box my second time in.
The guy I popped with that found out how good a shot I was, as I hit him just below his left eye. My other 1SG, who had ordered me to fire, was impressed. The M118 sniper round is a real argument winner.
He gave me a dollar he bet with the CO, who I knew from my last duty station and was picked by him for his radioman and part of his Personal Security Detachment, that I would nail the enemy in the head.
To balance my Karma, I gave the 1SG an ice-cold Coca-Cola when we finally got back to the FOB.
We were both relieved the Fates had been satisfied.
The one thing I AM afraid of is talking to people about it in person.
I wound up making some people uncomfortable the only time I did. And I am leery of speaking to people at the VA, as I cannot account for true confidentiality there.
The LAST thing I need is for my name to pop up on a "Banned from ownership" list when I go to purchase a rifle or pistol.
I did not fight for this country just to be DENIED my rights.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Yahoo Answers: "How Does It Feel To Kill Someone?"
From a user named ZepherGeist