“I loved killing because I was good at it. Not because it felt good or any conclusion most people might jump to. The feeling of besting another man who is trying to kill you is euphoric. Creeping through the jungle, hunting men. It was man’s work.
It’s like a mutual agreement or a contest where both the fighters know only one of them is going home. I was always competitive growing up so combat and the stress of it always came naturally to me. Killing came natural.
The first man I ever killed in Vietnam; I killed with a shotgun. One single slug in the chest. I walked over to him after the fighting was done and just stared at him for a while. That big ol’ bloody hole in his chest. His eyes were open and I looked into those dead eyes and thought, ‘That could have been me. But it was you instead.’
Now let me make this clear. I would never harm a human in the real world. I worked a normal welding job after Nam. I’ve got grandkids and a wife and we are all very happy. My grandkids call me PeePaw. I just had fun in the war. Maybe I was crazy, but I felt the most alive when I was terrified.
The only regret I have about Nam is that I never got to put all that bayonet training to use.”
– Sergeant Jerry Garfield, US Army Rangers. Vietnam War
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.