|Stalingrad (AP Photo)|
Personally I would love to see all of those lame sumbitches in Congress get off their lazy, fat asses and learn how to fly a jet. Or perhaps learn how to fire a Tomahawk missile. Or volunteer for the PBI (poor, bloody infantry). And stop saying "boots on the ground". Forever.
"Boots on the ground" means that real-live breathing, walking and talking soldiers and Marines will be expected to go in and clean up whatever mess the idiots in DC brought about. And most assuredly some of those kids will get killed and wounded. And make no mistake about that, for the most part the guys engaged in direct combat are young. 18 to 22 year old riflemen with an assortment of sergeants in their late-20's, early 30's. The officers at the lower level aren't too far removed from college.
For the idiots for whom Hollywood is the real deal, guess what? Getting wounded doesn't usually mean pulling a muscle or breaking a bone. Or perhaps a deep scratch which bleeds a lot but will eventually heal. Nope, sorry.
Wounds are typically caused by bits and pieces of hard things (usually metallic but stones and concrete hurt too!) flying through the air at high velocity and then impacting a part of your body. These things tend to tear pieces out of you. It's not like a movie where it hurts like Hell but you can walk it off and keep fighting. Nope. When all is said and done, you've got a chunk of your body missing. And where it used to be is bleeding like crazy.
You might think that getting hit by a bullet is somehow "cleaner". Nope. Typically, a bullet will make a fairly small hole going in. Then it starts to tumble, creating what is called the "wound track". Tearing up your anatomy where ever it goes. If it comes out on the other side, that hole is a lot bigger. Going in, think maybe pencil sized. Coming out, think fist sized or larger, depending on the round. Not clean at all.
And it's not just the hole. There's also something called "hydrostatic shock". What's that you ask? Well, according to Wikipedia:
Hydrostatic shock or hydraulic shock describes the observation that a penetrating projectile can produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets through a hydraulic effect in their liquid-filled tissues, in addition to local effects in tissue caused by direct impact. There is scientific evidence that hydrostatic shock can produce remote neural damage and produce incapacitation more quickly than blood loss effects. Proponents of cartridges that are "light and fast" such as the 9x19mm Parabellum versus cartridges that are "slow and heavy" such as the .45 ACP round often refer to this phenomenon.Sure, once you get hit, (and if you're still alive and conscious) it takes a moment for the brain to realize that something bad just happened. Again, that's if the hit didn't kill you outright. No, more than likely you're down on the ground from the impact wondering what just transpired. Once that initial shock wears off, you won't be participating in any Rambo-like activities. (While there are documented cases of soldiers being wounded, sometimes badly, and continuiing on, those cases are rare. Those guys get the Medal of Honor. Posthumously.)
Human autopsy results have demonstrated brain hemorrhaging from fatal hits to the chest, including cases with handgun bullets. Thirty-three cases of fatal penetrating chest wounds by a single bullet were selected from a much larger set by excluding all other traumatic factors, including past history.
Could be you've just lost an arm or a leg. Or both. Or multiples of both. Unless a medic or corpsman gets to you right away, you're going to bleed out. The technical term is exsanguinate, you know, "bleed to death". If you even just nick the femoral artery in either leg, you've got about a minute or two before you are dead. Some vessels in this mortal coil of ours are designed to move large amounts of blood. Open one to the air and they'll do just that, pump large amounts of blood out of that hole and onto the ground. They'll keep going until your heart stops due to loss of blood volume. (Ain't nothing left to pump!)
Yes, war is messy.
When a person gets hit, other things happen, especially if that hit kills you. You lose control of all of your bodily functions. Think about that for a moment. All of your bodily functions. Battlefields do not smell pleasant and it's not just the cordite and blood.
So let's stay away from that "boots on the ground" phrase. Let's say what we mean. When we say that, we mean sending young men (and now women) into harm's way to kill, and die, on our behalf. There's no other way to look at it. When a politician uses that phrase, your BS detector should start screaming at you. Loudly. Very loudly indeed.
H/T to HMS Defiant for inspiring this post.