From the Soldier side: It’s funny when I look back at my career of being a Soldier, that one thing seems to remain the same in the military. The people.
In any team, squad, platoon, company etc you will have a number of troops who you could take from 1944 and drop into a unit in 2011 and except for the uniforms and equipment, they’d be the same type of person. These types of people are the ones who will volunteer for stuff and get the job done.
A few years ago I had the privilege of finally meeting a hero from the US Army’s WWII 10th Mountain Division. He was one of the original members from WWII who fought in Italy and was wounded. His name is Bill.
Bill is my uncle’s father in law and I first had a chance to chat with him via e-mail while I was deployed. I remember when he saw pictures from Iraq, he asked me what all the "stuff" was. I told him the M-4 replaced the M1 Carbine, the M249 SAW replaced the BAR, and the Humvee replaced the jeep, half track and a few other vehicles.
I finally got to meet Bill a few years ago. He and I got to sit down and tell war stories. I would have loved to have been in his unit or for him to have been in mine. He was funny and I could tell that he was the kind of guy to tell jokes and pull pranks, but when you needed a soldier to get the job done…he was the guy you looked for.
I wish I could have gone back and spent more time talking to him. For those serving now, did you know I learned a lot of little tricks I used in Iraq from vets who fought in the past? Some things that hold true through out history. The equipment changes, but the people don’t--- at least I hope they never change. Read some history from past wars…and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Thanks Bill. You made the world a better place and you are a hero.