Monday 25 September 2017

Veterans share their most uplifting memories from their time in the military

By Zaina Alibhai

The former members of the armed forces revealed their fondest memories on Reddit.

We’re often told about the horror of war but it’s very rare we hear about the more positive experiences of being in the military.

A Reddit thread invited veterans to share the funny and beautiful moments from their service.

All the thoughts, views and spelling below are those of the Redditors, although we have cut some of them down for the sake of brevity.

“I commanded a humanitarian mission to Swaziland and we were doing a medical clinic at a rural school house. There was a soccer field but no ball in sight, tons of kids milling around with nothing to do. I gave my driver some money and told him to go find me two soccer balls.

“Three hours later he retuned with the balls. I took one to the middle of the field and started playing around a bit. Within 30 seconds the field was swarmed with kids playing soccer. Gave the second ball to a teacher. We packed up to leave around sunset, as we drove off I looked back and those kids were having a blast playing soccer.” – SCCock

“Seeing the Tigris and Euphrates river in a isolated part of Iraq, how clear and beautiful it was in the middle of this huge vast desert. Just thinking about the ancient civilizations that passed through there and shaped the world as it is today.” – amateurgenious

“Incoming attack. Guy in portapotty running out with pants around his ankles heading to the bunker.” – aMMoClip89

“The bond you have between you all is the most comforting feeling. You go through so much together as a whole but also by knowing each other’s lives and the struggles you personally face.

“Nothing is worse than getting a letter or phone call that the person you loved just decided to leave you and there was literally nothing you could do to stop it. When I went through mine, I had over 100 women help me through. I’ve never been more grateful for those wonderful women. That is the best thing about the military.” – XenaSerenity

“I served onboard a fast attack nuclear submarine in the U.S. Navy in the mid-90s. In the middle of a six month deployment, we happened to be pulling into Guam on Halloween.

“The entire topside crew dressed as pirates. We made a fake cannon out of old spare parts, duct tape, and silver paint. The captain of our boat wore an eyepatch, bandana, and a fake parrot someone built. We even flew the Jolly Roger under the U.S. flag.” – mwatwe01

“My grandfather during World War II. He was Luxembourgish and thus forced to fight for Germany as a medic. My grandfather used to tell me on Easter Sunday, everyone stopped fighting. On one particular Sunday, he decided to hold mass on his own. He was a religious and very smart man.

“To his surprise, he was joined by two Russian soldiers, another German soldat, one Pole and one Finn. They all held mass together, and incredibly, they were all fluent in Latin so they could communicate with one another. He said that was his fondest memory of an otherwise horrific war.” – dafreshprints

“My unit was driving across country for annual training and we had stopped for dinner at this BBQ place. There’s a group of 8 of us and this little kid was just so excited to see a bunch of soldiers.

“I saw his mom telling him to go over and talk to us and he was really shy. I walk over and introduced myself and gave him my combat patch. I’ll never forget the smile on that kids face.” – TheVendetta50

“One of those most beautiful things I’ve ever seen was when standing on the catwalk of an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Atlantic, full black out.

“The wake was glowing this eerie green, with glimpses of ghostly dolphins giving chase, all while the stars were brighter than I’ve ever seen them. There was something surreal about being amongst such beauty while standing on this giant war machine.” – Shuk247

“Afghanistan probably has some of the most beautiful scenery and most loving and giving people on Earth. I’ve had them save my life on more than one occasion, and they will share what little they have with everyone.

“We were taking fire from what seemed to be all around us, and a couple A-10s were called in. While they were giving us a direction of flight the last words they said to us in the most hillbilly accent ever was, ‘we got you covered little buddies’.

“I’m pretty sure we owe our lives to someone with the call sign DUSTOFF xx.” – Rabid_Mongoose

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