If war was so terrible, why do we sometimes miss it?

| July 14, 2020

B-17 Loss 3 – from TOW’s family

This comes from We Are The Mighty’s history section.

https://www.wearethemighty.com/history/red-army-veterans

The subject is why freedom is always worth fighting for.

The author went to visit in-laws in Ukraine in the post-Soviet era, some of whom had been in the “Red” Army, and at the time, were our enemy. Imagine, if you can, what it may have been like earlier, during World War I.

From the article:  At this spot on the western side of the Dnieper River in central Ukraine, some 30,000 Soviet soldiers died under Nazi artillery during World War II. Yet, on this hot June day, there’s nothing to suggest that this particular place was once on the deadliest front of the deadliest war in human history.

“What horrors happened here,” says my 55-year-old Ukrainian father-in-law, Valeriy Deriy, who is a Red Army veteran of the Cold War. “Can you imagine?”

I cannot.

We’ve hired a zodiac boat for the day, embarking from a yacht club in the riverside town of Horishni Plavni. To get to the so-called Island of Death, our captain weaves through narrow, overgrown channels that branch off the main course of the Dnieper River.

Tucked away in a dense forest on the island, there’s an old Soviet war memorial. You’d hardly notice it from the water, unless you knew what to look for. Valeriy explains that one can still find evidence of war in the surrounding woods. Old artillery pieces, bullets, rifles, and boots. That sort of stuff.

“Some people want to forget the past. But it’s impossible,” he tells me. “It’s always there.” – article

The entire article is worth your time, so get a snack and a favorite beverage, and take at look at the other side of those wars. The Ukraininas were all under Stalin’s thumb, but during World War II, the USSR was our ally against Germany’s war machine.

Category: Cold War, Historical, War Stories

Comments (11)

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  1. Green Thumb says:

    We miss the people to our left and right.

  2. Slow Joe says:

    “If war was so terrible, why do we sometimes miss it?”

    It is complicated.

    I agree with Green Thumb that we miss our battle buddies the most. That, with all it implies, is probably reason number one.

    Then, we all were young, strong and stupid, the qualities of youth that we are not going to get back. In our minds we were at our peak performance in life. From garrison life, I definitively miss the days when I could train hard at the range all day, drink Bud Lights all night, have a quickie at 0400, and be in formation for PT at 0500, maxing out everything.

    And then, there is war itself. No experience in life compares to war. No amount of money can buy that. You have to live through it.

  3. 2banana says:

    Two red army soldiers talking about freedom they brought to the Ukraine and eastern europe?

    Who knew?

    And what Russian invasion force in 2014?

    “The trench lines in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region — where Ukrainian troops have fought a war since 2014 to keep a Russian invasion force at bay — “

  4. Taras says:

    So free that Russians had to build a wall to keep people in.

  5. rgr769 says:

    I miss war a small bit because it was the only time I saw the Army operating incredibly efficiently. All the rules and protocols from peacetime that didn’t work or impeded the mission were simply ignored or shitcanned. But since the DC politicians were determined that we wouldn’t be allowed to win, I was pleased to come home.

  6. Stacy0311 says:

    Because it’s complex and simple at the same time.

    Things that are important back in the world are trivial in war.

    A cold quiet winter morning in the desert with a cup of coffee and a cigarette are an incomparable moment of zen.

    The first time getting shot at and thinking “Who is this guy and why is he shooting at me?” instantly becomes “Oh it’s like that is it? Okay, game on f*cker.”

    A Rip It in the turret on the way back to the FOB after a mission.

    Sitting on a bunker roof with NVGs and a cigar star gazing.

    You can tell people what you did, but you can never explain it.

    • 1JC says:

      My experiences were mostly in black and white. Binary is simple.

      Never did I feel more in control of my own fate and destiny. I was never more wrong about that. I am sure I did over 300 combat patrols in Iraq and every single time I went out the gate I wondered if today was going to be the day I didn’t come back. That kind of thinking wears on you.

      I used to miss but I don’t miss it anymore. I am too old.