Comments: 373 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

Pinklady412830 karma

What's one thing that will always be in the back of your mind? Anything from basic training/serving/civvie life.

Anonlymus52 karma

Watching blood bubbles being coughed up from a live human being, I will never EVER forget that.

Pinklady412819 karma

Oh fuck. What did you expect to see out there before your basic training finished? Not trying to be a dick, just curious.

Anonlymus27 karma

I didn't know what to expect. I was trained for nearly every possible circumstance and had no idea what I was in for.

Anonlymus21 karma

Also I had my 20th birthday while in Iraq, if that means anything.

project_apex5 karma

Holy shit, I'm 22 and I really don't see myself being a soldier in some war on the other side of the planet, fuck that. Let alone two years ago....

How do you feel about the iraq war now that iraq knowing what state it is in now, after the us left?

Anonlymus2 karma

This is a personal thought which I will share with you, and it holds absolutely no credible value of any sort: If we had never invaded Iraq, it would still be under the iron fist of the same person we (the US) put into power in the first place, and would still be functioning as it were before we invaded. There was absolutely no reason to go there and the reason which was given was proven to be a lie. I hate knowing that I was involved in such a tragedy.

only_yost_you_know0 karma

No question, I just wanted to thank you for your service.

vagmulp19 karma

Not trying to be a dick, as a non american I cringe every time I read this, do the soldiers actually appreciate this type of thing, surely there's a lot that come back with a different understanding of how pointless and money scheming war is.

nobodyknoes8 karma

As a civilian, I have no idea if it actually helps the people we thank. A lot of times we understand that a lot of the wars, battles, armed engagements, skirmishes, etc, are people being sent to die for some old dudes financial interests. While we may not know the soldier personally, we wish them luck in life while they still have it

Anonlymus5 karma

Thank you.

Noldawg17 karma

Would you do it again?

Anonlymus39 karma

No. A million times over no.

hares_mempol17 karma

What are you think about Iraq?

Anonlymus35 karma

I think that it was an unfair situation for everyone and I do not agree with the circumstance.

light24bulbs5 karma

So you think you shouldnt have been there?

Anonlymus15 karma

I do not think we as an army should have been there, no.

Anonlymus16 karma

I think iraq was/is a beautiful and mysterious place.

walleye3116 karma

Why does your link lead to no video?

Anonlymus23 karma

My apologies, didn't notice this. Thank you. E: fixed

walleye3117 karma

No worries and thank you for your service. I hope you have a good AMA! Heres an upvote for you. im a fellow service member (usaf), i hope you did as much good as you could while there. Have you been diagnosed with PTSD? If so what helps you the most, i.e. prescriptions, family, painting, etc.?

Anonlymus58 karma

I have indeed been diagnosed with PTSD, and have found the only relief to be from marijuana. After being prescribed multiple pharmaceutical drugs, I can only say that medical marijuana has been the only drug that has helped this situation.

walleye3116 karma

Ive heard that from several other combat vets, and i am hopeful that one day the VA will be allowed to dispense marijuana. Cheers brother.

Anonlymus12 karma

Many thanks. I really appreciate it.

KerryS191910 karma

Have you considered a service dog or had that as an option? And/or what's your opinion on service dogs helping military personnel cope with PTSD?

Anonlymus13 karma

I had a dog but had to give her up due to my lack of income/housing situation.

fittysix15 karma


Anonlymus25 karma

I don't talk to my mother and father anymore. They are so far separated from reality it isn't even funny. My mom has some serious codependency issues and my dad is a religious nutcase.

this-is_bullshit8 karma

Did they have an influence on your decision to sign up to the military as your career?

Anonlymus11 karma

Yes. My father was a huey medivac pilot for over 20 years. Brainwashing is a hell of a thing.

4fallen79 karma

Did you ever talk or interact with soldiers from other countries that were also stationed there (e.g UK, Australia etc.) and if so did you get well along with them?

Anonlymus17 karma

Yes! British and Aussie for the most part, but also I had a Saudi terp living on the bunk below me, which was interesting to say the least. He made some bomb ass coffee though.

4fallen74 karma

Haha sounds interesting. Had a friend serve in Kosovo, and he said all the nationalities tended to sometimes hang out together, playing poker and such, was that the case with you or were the bases more country secluded?

Anonlymus4 karma

I played so many games of spades, I consider myself a pro :P

I_like_code8 karma

My father and brother in law were in the Army. I myself was in the Navy. My brother in law gets really bored here at home every since he was discharged. He sometimes wants to re-enlist again just so he can be in a familiar place again. I am glad as hell I got out and sometimes miss some things. Do you ever feel like re-enlisting?

Anonlymus16 karma

Absolutely not.

magicm0nkey8 karma

Are there any less well-known basic first-aid techniques that you would recommend people learn?

What additional techniques and equipment would you recommend for anyone (perhaps protesters, reporters or photographers) heading into a relatively high-risk situation?


Anonlymus15 karma

If you really want to know, just having some basic stop the bleeding knowledge could seriously save someone's life someday. No joke.

noey2time7 karma

I forgot to mention I too was a medic, I'm just trying to figure out when my former MOS transitioned from 91W to whatever it is now?

Anonlymus6 karma

Somewhere shortly after I got back, so mid 2008 or so.

Chamarazan7 karma

Thank you for your service! Iraqi Kurds are grateful for your efforts and sacrifices.

Have you been to Kurdistan while you were in Iraq? What did you think of the people / place?

Anonlymus6 karma

I spent most my time in a humvee on the road going from Tikrit to Mosul to Baghdad and back to Tikrit. Convoys suck :/

budgiebum6 karma

How did you learn to cope with your experience? I have a friend who has been back from Afghanistan for over a year, and his experience as a combat medic has left him completely fucked up.

Anonlymus18 karma

I'm still trying to get better. 3 of the 8 medics I deployed with have committed suicide.

Jambls6 karma

What do you do now? Are you still in the army? Do you have a different job?

Anonlymus15 karma

I work at whole foods and a head shop and I've never been happier!

skerb136 karma

Can you send the mods a copy of the dd-214 for verification?

Anonlymus9 karma

I most certainly can.

cwf826 karma

From one vet to another, thank you for your service. I feel ya, spent a year and a half in the sandbox, dinged my 23rd there. Since you were there a while after I was, here is my question:

What was your impression of the Iraqi people?

In my experience, most were very nice and hospitable, or really didn't give a crap that we were there, since it didn't really affect their lives. The only ones that occasionally had issues were the ones the military directly affected (i.e. family member was insurgent = house raided). Then again, I think anyone would be pissed if they broke down my door and messed up my house...

Anonlymus13 karma

I love the iraqi people! They are extremely humble and the children are very sweet. I also enjoy their food very much :)

dgforlife935 karma

How did you become a medic ? Was it hard to get into ?

Anonlymus8 karma

I took the asvab and scored very well. Then my parents chose medic for me. I was 17 and they cosigned me in.

wahtisthisidonteven4 karma

Becoming a medic is like becoming any other enlisted job. You take an aptitude test, they give you a list of jobs you qualify for, you pick one and sign a contract. Then you go off to training for 5-24 months and have that job upon completion.

freedomIndia1 karma

Wait, so no gun shooting training with the Sergeant bellowing in your year that you are useless?

whiskeymedic4 karma

You still go to Basic Training for two months where you'll get the Drill Sergeant yelling at you before you head to Fort Sam Houston.

Anonlymus5 karma

Drill sergeants were in Fort Sam as well, and they didn't hesitate to yell as much as possible.

moving24 karma

Do you think the (unofficial) wars in Iraq and Afganistan have made the U.S. safer or not? And did you sense that a majority of the soldiers you worked with agreed with you?

Anonlymus5 karma

Safer? I think that's a pretty hard to answer question. I still feel very safe in my home but safer? No.

austin184 karma

Hey man, as a new medic who is deploying in August what kind of training/medicine should I focus on for it? Thanks ahead of time for your service brother.

Anonlymus2 karma

Focus on being yourself, and keep yourself safe at all times. Do not rush into anything without taking time to think about your own body first. BE SAFE.

supernoodle153 karma

I enlisted as a 68W back in December, I ship off July 1st for basic and AIT, any tips or advice?

Anonlymus5 karma

Yes. Stay away from junk food. And save your money.

PGU58023 karma

Has your medic training translated to any useful civilian certifications that have help you find work?

Anonlymus4 karma

I was able to get a job in a VA hospital as a phlebotomist shortly after getting back. I kept the job for three years before it became too much to handle. PTSD within myself and all around me everyday at work was just too much.

murphy112112 karma

Any first aid tips you can give us civies?

I've heard a lot of new "trauma medicine" lessons were learned in Iraq.

Anonlymus2 karma

Tampons can be useful in trauma situations but to be honest, just call 911 and let the professionals handle the situation. If you know someone needs CPR, do it. If you don't know what you are doing, just wait for the ambulance. No need to endanger someone's life further if you don't know what you are doing.

dash1412 karma

Do you ever have regrets about joining up?

Anonlymus4 karma

Yes, but nothing can change that now so I deal with it.

dash1412 karma

I'm about to join up. At 26 I'm nervous I'm doing the right thing. Do you have any advice?

Anonlymus4 karma

Make sure you are ready to be surrounded by a lot of ignorance. I cannot tell you how many idiots are in the military, but if you can find yourself a good friend to hang around, DO IT.

FauxDazzle2 karma

What's the food like?

Anonlymus2 karma

MREs were a staple and chow in the DFAC (dining facility) was pretty much awful. Basic foods will keep you going for a long time, though.

Cpt_Assgrab2 karma

Would you ever consider re-enlisting?

What was the food like?

How friendly were the people, or did you not have much exposure to them?

How was the overall experience while over there?

Anonlymus5 karma

No. The food was either MRE or standard meals like chicken, macaroni, potatoes, greens, fish, etc. The locals were extremely nice, though, and their food was delicious. Also I couldn't wait to get back. Iraq made me feel very unsafe.

Ekint2 karma

We allways see in television that the united states develops a lot of futuristic military technology like the laser cannon. Are those inventions actually being used in wars? What was the most interesting piece of technology that your army has at disposition?

Anonlymus3 karma

I didn't see anything too futuristic, mainly just a bunch of shit blowing up in the middle of the road with no way of knowing before it happened.

JesusWasAUnicorn2 karma

Did you ever meet the locals and make friends with them?

Anonlymus3 karma

I did, and after giving some people medical treatment or just some simple ibuprofen, they warm right up to you. Very kind people.

noey2time2 karma

Just out of curiosity, what was your mos at the time? I left in mid 2004 and i was still a 91W

Anonlymus2 karma

I was changed into a 68w shortly after I returned from Iraq.


What unit were you with?

Anonlymus6 karma

I was with 1st AD


Ahh I was hoping we might've crossed paths before. We (2ID) moved in right after you guys left iirc.

Good times.

Anonlymus3 karma

I was stationed on COB Speicher if that means anything to you :)

Lavi_BF2 karma

Do we still have troops in combat on a regular basis or is the fighting generally left to special operations at this point?

Anonlymus3 karma

Are you referring to iraq?

Lavi_BF2 karma

That entire region. Do we still have troops that regularly see combat? Or is that pretty much behind us? aka, if I were to join the military, what are the odds of me being in a firefight?

Anonlymus4 karma

I honestly cannot say, but I will say that joining the army or any branch of the military which is a combat essential will most likely ensure that you will be deployed at some point. Seeing action though, I can't say yay or nay.

exedryl2 karma

Hello, thanks for the AMA! I was wondering what made you become a medic? Were you assigned it or did you get to choose it over infantryman?

Anonlymus3 karma

I was 17 when I was signed in, and my parents cosigned. Basically my dad chose it for me.

Garbageman9092 karma

How much medical capability do you really have in the field? Are you really fixing people up or is most of the field medic work damage control until someone can be gotten to a medical facility?

Anonlymus3 karma

The most time I spent on a single individual was around 10 minutes. I always dealt with mass casualties as every incident was the result of an IED. Unless you want to know about the stuff I did on base, which consisted mostly of handing out simple medications.

EggCouncilCreeper2 karma

Do you think the US and all allied forces should withdraw from the Middle East entirely, or do you think their presence there is still required?

Cheers for your service, if you ever find yourself in Australia let us know and I'll shout you a pint

Anonlymus5 karma

I'll be honest here...what I think doesn't matter. If I had it my way, we would all be home, enjoying our lives with our families. Not over in a different country stealing their oil. Just my two cents.

vagmulp2 karma

What's your thoughts on the huge American military presence that floods reddit every day?

Anonlymus3 karma

Send them home? Lol I have no idea what you mean

f0ru0l0rd2 karma

What's up doc? Current motorpool clerk here. I know a lot of what happens depends on on your unit. We've had some bad training accidents. Did you find your unit to be a problem before you deployed, or was it just the PTSD?

Anonlymus2 karma

My unit was very cohesive and the bad apple or two were sent home before we even left the states.

Give_Peas_A_Chance_2 karma

What was an unexpected difference between your deployment and the depiction of war in video games and movies?

Anonlymus3 karma

I had a lot more down time that I expected. Not that I was bored or anything, but having 6 hours to recoup became the most valuable 6 hours in my life.

bjornofriverwood2 karma

May sound silly but, as a combat medic what was your primary role? Were you on patrols with squads or positioned in a base at a trauma centre?

Anonlymus6 karma

Not silly at all. I was a medic assigned to a unit which ran convoys every day or every other day. Always on the road.

DerProfessor2 karma

Did your personal experience change your politics? (like, left to right, or right to left)… Or do you not care much about politics?

Anonlymus7 karma

I hate politics.

StylzL33T1 karma

How does your method of triage work? Have you ever been in a situation of multiple casualties?

Anonlymus2 karma

Yes, the most casualties I dealt with at one time was 6. As the only medic on scene, I had to quickly look over each person to decide who was in the most critical condition, and go from there.

APence1 karma

What was the main differences between being a medic in the 2000-era Iraq than a medic in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam?

Anonlymus1 karma

Couldn't tell you. I was born in 1987 so I really can't answer that any better than, say, Wikipedia can.

Sleepers_Demon1 karma

Not sure if you've been asked yet, but what was it like coming back after seeing the things you undoubtedly saw? Was there the strange itch that something trying to harm you was, possibly, still lurking around the next corner? IF so, how did you adjust to not having to think such?

Also, when you were in the thick of the shit, what kind of things went through your mind?

Thank you in advance, and thank you for serving, sir.

Anonlymus2 karma

I cannot say that I was "on edge" as though some "thing" was going to get me, however, I am still extremely observant of my surroundings and can't let my guard down for a second. While I was on missions, my asshole was tighter than a knot because IEDs were pretty much everywhere and nothing felt safe on the road. NOTHING.

freedomIndia1 karma

Did you/Do you watch MASH (TV Series) ?

What do you think about its applicability to your situation? Esp on procurement, etc?

Anonlymus2 karma

I've never watched the show but i'm sure there are tidbits of information that may be applicable.

OneTimeIsAll1 karma

What would you say to a 17 year old potentially wanting to join the military?

Anonlymus2 karma

Join the Coast Guard if you must join the military.

kernunnos771 karma

How often do you find yourself using your training in civilian life? Not just the medical stuff, but the general situational-awareness stuff.

I was a 19D who never served in battle, and (of course) I've never had to set up a blind OP since, but damned if I don't regularly have the "Spidey senses tingling" when dealing with people / situations that have me at a disadvantage.

Anonlymus6 karma

Let's just say I carry a knife everywhere I go.

meal-mate-2 karma

Was it fun killing innocent civilians? Did u find the WMD you were looking for?

Anonlymus0 karma

I didn't kill anyone nor was I looking for anything. You're an idiot.

bowlpaul-14 karma

did you kill anyone? combat medics probably don't kill people idk plz dont downvote if im wrong.

Anonlymus2 karma

No I didn't kill anyone. Watched people breathe their last breath, though. And that is much worse in my eyes.