“I was a sniper in the Marines. I killed eight people on my deployment. One of them was a kid. The Marine Corps trains you to kill, but it doesn’t prepare you to live with it afterwards.

One that I remember well was when I was providing security on a rooftop on the edge of a small village. We had pushed a patrol out to the north and they hadn’t made it 10 seconds before taking fire from a ditch.

I immediately scanned the area with my optic and started searching for the dude shooting at my boys. I saw him at about 450 meters from me. I saw him fire, get out of the ditch, and hop on a moped and start to ride away.

I aimed at his neck, slowly squeezed the trigger, and watched his moped veer to the left and into a ditch. The Marines on patrol cleared the area and walked over to him. One of my buddies came back after the patrol and said that it was a good shot.

He said I had hit him in the back between the shoulder blades and the round exited by his belt line. My buddy lit a cigarette and said, ‘Get ready for this next part.’ I looked at him and said, ‘What?’

‘It was a kid. Probably 15 years old.’

I think about that kid almost every single day. I got out of the Marines after that and haven’t touched a gun in almost 10 years.”
– Anonymous US Marine. 1st Battalion 6th Marines. Marjah
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.