The following question was posed to US Soldiers: "Soldiers who've fought in Afghanistan, what preconceptions did you have that turned out to be completely wrong?"
The responses were shocking, revealing, and incredibly insightful. Everyone should read this, there is a lot to learn here.
1. It is hard enough taking the lifeof an absolute enemy wearing a uniform. Now you need to kill someonewho may or may not be a real enemy, or may be one part time, or may beone because some other asshole has a gun to his kid's head. It is a sadcluster-f*** of a mess.
2. They told us we were going to fight the Taliban.But it turns out, there is no way to know who is Taliban, or what Taliban is,or what they look like.
A guy will be bringing his kid to your clinicone day, then shooting at you the next. You'll make friends with a kidon an airdrop, then see that kid slit another kid's throat on patrol aweek later. There is no "enemy" and no goal. The people don't evenunderstand who you are or why you're there. Many of them believed wewere invulnerable demons. One elder tested this theory by sending asmall child to try and stab me in the back with a knife, which was madeby welding a blade onto an old .50 cal casing. Kids dig up mines,bouncing betty's, and old russian munitions and set them off likefirecrackers.
The place is a f***ed up maelstrom with noconceivable sense of morality, justice, benevolence, or community. Everysingle person is just trying to survive.
3. That they had any idea why we were there.We'd ask them if they knew what 9/11 was, and they had no idea. We'dshow them pictures of the World Trade Center on fire after the planes hit, and ask themwhat it was...their response was usually that it was a picture of abuilding the US bombed in Kabul (their capitol).
Kind of mind blowing that they're being occupied by a foreign military force and have no idea why.
4. That Afghanistan was an actual country. It's only so on a map; the people (in some of the more rural places, at least) have no concept of Afghanistan.
We were in a village in northern Kandahar province, talking to some people who of course had no idea who we were or why we were there. This was in 2004; not only had they not heard about 9/11, they hadn't heard Americans had come over. Talking to them further, they hadn't heard about that one time the Russians were in Afghanistan either.
We then asked if they knew where the city of Kandahar was, which is a rather large and important city some 30 miles to the south. They'd heard of it, but no one had ever been there, and they didn't know when it was.
For them, there was no Afghanistan. The concept just didn't exist.
5. I heard of an Australian Special Forces patrol that went out into the mountains and came across an isolated Afghan village. They thought the newcomers were the Soviets. No idea that one war had ended and another one had started.
6. About the fighting we did.Ihad in my mind that it would be these organized ambushes, against asomewhat organized force. It may have been like that for the push(Marjah), but once the initial defense was scattered, the fightingturned into some farmer getting paid a year's salary to go fire an AK47at our patrol as we walked by. I mean, no wonder there was so much PTSDgoing around...it doesn't feel okay when you killed some farmer fortrying to feed his kids, or save his family from torture that nextnight. It feels like shit actually.
7. Most afghans are polyglots. Many of the most rural, uneducated, near medieval living people could speak 3 or more different languages.
We were briefed that there were two languages spoken in Afghanistan: Pashto and Dari. In fact there are dozens of unique languages. Each isolated valley and village had their own language. Some sound very persian. Some sounded like archaic greek. There was a village in the north that sounded like a tone language. My team tried to record an many local languages as we could. We had terps ask questions in pashto and had them answer in their local language. Unfortunately cultural mapping was considered intelligence gathering and all our recordings were classified. So somewhere at the NSA there are recordings in soon to be dead languages asking a village Elder to share the oldest story they could remember about his village.
8. I expected everything to be desert and mountains, but I spent as much time in orchards as I did anywhere else while I was there.
Also, a lot of the people didn't want us there any more than they wanted the Taliban there. Ultimately they just wanted to be left alone to live their lives.
9. That we would be fighting the Taliban. Themajority of people we managed to detain had been coerced into shootingat us by the "Mujahideen" (which is made up of all sorts of people) whohad kidnapped or threatened their family.
The most glaring exampleof this was when our FOB (Forward Operating Base) was attacked by amassive VBIED (truck bomb) that blew a hole in our wall. Suicide bombersran into the FOB through the hole and blew themselves up in ourbunkers. Every single one of them had their hands tied and remotedetonation receivers (so they couldn't back out).
10. Soldiers tend to train for fighting at sub-500 metres. At least I always had. Not being able to see the enemy wasn't completely out of the norm for training, but they were usually within the effective range of our small arms.
Come to Afghanistan and we were getting fired at by invisible enemies on the side of mountains a kilometre + away. We hardly knew we were getting engaged, let alone went into contact drills.
11. Their concept of food. In their culture if anyone had food they were to share it with everyone around them. This is even if you only have enough for one person to have a snack. It was almost as if they didn't believe food could be owned by a person. Some of the Afghans I worked with would be offended if I ate anything and didn't offer them some.
I guess also that I would actually be working with some Afghans. I didn't expect that to be a thing.
12. That it was all arid desert. At one point in my deployment my team had to dig irrigation trenches because our tents were flooded past our ankles. At another point in my deployment I was trudging through what was essentially a jungle.
13. That everyone was going to be dirty and poor like in those "help a poor starving child" commercials. I remember being really suprised to see kids running around playing in dirt roads and everyone was clean. No dirt smudges on their face or anything.
Also there were these 2 little girls with the most unbelievably white dresses I have ever seen standing by the side of the road watching our convoy roll by. Very surreal.
14. That it was really a war. It's just people sustaining other people, with a lot of nothing actually getting done. As someone who was a gunner for most of my tour, we mainly did transportation missions from Kabul to the eastern province. We never saw any action, and to this day I thank God for that. The fact that a lot of my time outside of convoys was spent either sleeping, eating, or gaming surprised me I suppose, but in the end, we're just there to provide presence, and not expected to actually accomplish anything.
The amount of awards given out back in Kabul for people simply hitting a high quota of maintenance repairs threw me off to. There were times when I was looked down upon for not working everyday in a shop and instead being on convoys. The worst part of it all was losing a friend to suicide after returning home safe. That was something I never expected to see happen and it still messes with me to this day.
15. I was mortuary affairs in 2008 during my first deployment to Afghanistan and I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I never had to fight, but I was constantly dealing with the remains of 18-22 year old soldiers that had been blown into pieces or burned alive due to HMEs and IEDs.
Seeing your fellow soldiers and countrymen brutally killed in such a way that is easy to see as cowardly turned me into a budding racist pretty quickly. I hated the Islamic religion and the people in Afghanistan and I had an opinion similar to the whole "just nuke em all" mentality.
But one day we were called to the hospital on base to remove a dead civilian local national (which we often did if they died in our hospital or on base) and it turned out to be a 3 year old little girl that was shot with AK-47 fire at a fairly close range. Her father followed us to the morgue as we had to get his permission to take her into our care because we were males and all that, and he didn't seem particularly bothered by his daughters violent murder imo.
It wasn't until we placed her into a hand-made casket and draped the Afghanistan flag onto it that his emotions came out. When we began to load the casket into the back of a truck to transport her off base, he lost it and collapsed onto the casket containing his little girl. We were holding her at the time so we nearly lost it, but were able to set her down as he gripped the flag and the casket and wailed louder than any wailing I would ever seen.
I don't know if you've ever seen a grown man truly cry as if he'd just lost everything, but it's surprising how much it affects you.
I realized in that moment how wrong I was about everything.
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Some things are deceptively simple.
Oh, skydiving? That's easy.
Love yourself? Simple.
Who can't open a can of pickles?
ME! ME! That's who. I can't do any of the above simply.
It's all hard. And you know it too.
It's just designed to" look" easy only to bamboozle us.
Approach everything as a burden and live by a motto...
Redditor pterv2112 wanted to hear about the things that are truthfully not so simple.
"What looks easy peasy lemon squeezy but is actually difficult difficult lemon difficult?"
Monopoly. For the life of me, I can't get the hang of that game. I don't care anymore.
Play it...Saturday Night Live Happy Dance GIFGiphy
"Playing the triangle. A lot of my non-musician friends joke about how easy it is to play it. Then they actually hold the damn thing and look stupid."
It's A Lot!
"Work. I'm a lawyer and had a client call saying she needs a help with a merger, but 'don't worry, it's super easy peasy lemon squeezy.' That project took 6 months and I almost had a breakdown. She didn't understand why the bill was so high since it was SO easy."
"Gotta love how the layman lumps all lawyers together as the sleazy snakeoil salesman type without realizing or appreciating the sheer complexity of the legal work involved."
"Dancing. I wouldn't say it looks 'easy,' but when I see people do it, they're so good at it and it flows so well it looks easy. But damn, I just CANNOT get my body to do anything more than a bop and maybe some stupid arm moves. I'm 25 and dance like a 50 year old at a reunion. Dancers are so delicate and make it look so easy, it's honestly amazing. It's just hilarious when I try to do literally anything and fail horribly."
"Whistling with your fingers."
"My cousin taught me when we were in our tweens. It's come in very helpful whistling for the dogs and horses at feeding time."
"What I always wanted to learn was how my grandpa whistled without having to stick dirty fingers in my mouth. Nothing like cleaning stalls, then trying to whistle for horses with sh*t-covered hands. Washing them in near-freezing buckets of water wasn't a first choice either."
It's a...Studying Hand-Made GIF by Philippa RiceGiphy
"Drawing something from memory. Like a bird or something. In mind - yep that's a bird On paper - that's... a bird?"
Drawing birds is impossible; mine look like mules.
Go DeepDigging Blue Collar GIF by JC Property ProfessionalsGiphy
"Digging. Anytime it's shown in movies or TV it looks easy AF but the second you have to grab a shovel and break dirt... bleh."
"A basic physical exam at the doctor. Looks like a simple 'look at the throat' - 'listen to the chest' - 'yup they have a heart all right.' When in actuality Doctors spend thousands of hours practicing it so that when you come in with a murmur or 'Funny-looking-kid-syndrome' they can recognize it immediately."
"And yes, there are entire class sections on how to respectfully ask your patient to turn their head and cough as you push on their testicles (they're looking for hernias)."
"Street names. Everyone thinks it's great fun and likes to offer suggestions but every tree, lake, and other natural feature has at least a dozen variations which you can't repeat for emergency service reasons. That and you get cities which want a street name change anytime the road changes direction regardless of a logical break point like an intersection."
"'Natural' makeup. More work than 'regular' makeup."
"To be honest this reminds me of a video I watched of a visual effects artist explaining his job, If no one notices your work on the footage you've done your job well, its only when you mess up do people notice."
"This is painfully true for a lot of jobs. When nobody notices, it means you did an excellent job but no one will give you credit because they aren't even aware there is credit due. But the moment you slightly f**k up, you're the worst person in your profession."
The SqueezeAs If Lol GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Making lemonade. Sure squeezing one lemon is easy peasy, but do you know how much juice that makes? Not a lot."
I love Lemonade... the drink and the album... but I have no patience to make it.
Art is subjective.
As much as movies are universally loved, there are some that leave a big question mark.
Sometimes films, plots, and characters make no sense. AT ALL.
And that is uncomfortable for the ego.
Is it art?
Am I just dumb?
Why do I care?
Redditor erin214 wanted to discuss all the movies most of us just don't get.
"What movie do you just not get?"
There are so many movies to bring up. But we don't have all day... let's discuss.
I'm Lostdavid lynch GIFGiphy
"Mullholland Drive. David Lynch once said there is definitely a coherent story and you can figure it out if you just pay attention. I don't believe him."
"The Nut Job. I get that it's a kid's movie and the expectations aren't high but that movie feels 15 years older than it is and it's full of the cheesiest one liners over and over. It feels so low budget yet the cast is nothing but stars."
"It's just mediocre. Saw it once when it came out, laughed about it and enjoyed it then but never have had the urge to watch it again."
So many twists...
"Primer. Can’t follow it. I tried; I even looked up the diagrams. I cannot follow that movie for the life of me."
"I think it's just ok to not get it all. When I watch Primer I don't try to follow it all, I just understand the gist of it and understand that it does all make sense on paper and enjoy the show. Don't get too caught up in following all of the twists, it's too clever for it's own good. Really great movie, though."
"I consider myself a mild movie buff and pay attention diligently when watching any movie. But when I watched I’m Thinking of Ending Things with Jesse Plemons I had no sweet clue what was going on."
"In a nutshell: the only 'real' character in the movie is the old janitor who freezes to death at the end. Everything else is his delusional fantasy of how his life could/should have been, mixed with memories of the grim reality of why it turned out the way it did. We're observing his thought process."
Headaches...Screaming Jennifer Lawrence GIF by mother!Giphy
"I feel like mother is how I feel during a migraine. Everything is happening way too fast and I have no idea what’s going on."
Mother. Oh brother. That movie.
Bad MouthChristian Bale Oooo GIFGiphy
"American Psycho. It’s one of my favorite movies so I’m by no means bad mouthing it, but that ending drives me insane. I can’t figure it out. It makes no sense to me. What was the point supposed to be?"
Second Time Around
"Just to clarify, I didn't (don't) hate the movie, I even found the plot cool. But when trying to give it sense, I can't, because a don't fully get it."
"I actually liked it better the second time and I think it's because I watched it on a crappy sound system that drops all the low end bass and is mostly mids and highs, making the dialogue easier to hear. The basic entropy reversal premise is still too stupid to consider interesting or clever though. I can't suspend my disbelief in that idea."
I see the light...
"The Lighthouse. But I still loved it."
"I think it's about a man who is mentally ill and gets isolated along with someone he cannot stand, middle of the movie he does say that a coworker died and the film indicate that he killed him, which explains the scene where he smokes a cig by the beach and see all those logs approaching and he sees a body and he walks right towards it, maybe he regrets what he had done, his mind is certainly playing tricks on him, that's just my take."
"Cloud Atlas. I’m pretty sure you need to go on a mushroom samba to understand it."
"The book makes more sense. It's weird because there is a whole lot in the movie that is lifted very faithfully from the book but there are lots of little intangible bits that don't translate onto the screen well."
"I loved this one! I can see it's a confusing movie, though."EmileWolf
Jake AlwaysBlack And White Movie GIF by hoppipGiphy
"Donnie Darko. Do I really need a website, a book, and a director’s cut to understand a movie? A little exposition, please."
"I love this film and have seen both versions a number of times over the years. I can't explain it though, it's just a vibe I guess. Like that feeling you get when you've just woken up from a vivid dream and haven't adjusted to reality yet."
So many of these movies are on my list. It's them not us.
They say it's hard for workers to get fired from their jobs. That is unless, of course, the employee is self-sabotaging and has nothing at stake.
While there are many unemployed people desperately looking for work, there are apparently just as many of those who want nothing more than to leave a situation that makes them miserable, despite having a steady paycheck.
Curious to hear about terminated employees, Redditor bartertownbeer asked:
"What is the fastest you have ever seen a new co-worker get fired?"
Fired? How about arrested?
"During their onboarding training, they stole my bosses wallet on camera.... 1 hour in.."
Right Place, Wrong Time
"This is the opposite route here but I found it amusing. My boss was out of town and I managed a tea shop near a Starbucks years ago. This kid came in (foreign) and said he was supposed to start today. We were hiring and I trained him etc. My boss came back two days later and had no idea. The kid was in the wrong place but he stayed with us. Hired on the spot without even applying."
"We had a recent college grad that would use his corporate card for personal purchases. He figured that the company would just keep deducting from his payroll until it was paid off. He was fired after three months of constant reminders to stop doing it. I don’t think it qualifies as the fastest, because he lasted three months, but it was so idiotic."
The Longest Errand
"I work construction. We had 2 new hires that were friends starting the same day. Boss told one take a coffee order and come back. Took everyone's money and said he needed his friend to go with him cause it was a big order. They never came back."
"A 19 year old kid got hired to work the seafood counter. See him twice and then never again. Asked a coworker what happened."
"He had closed seafood one night and was walking out of the store and the 5 pounds of crab legs he'd stuffed down the back of his pants fell out in front of the closing manager."
Being under the influence at work never ends well.
"New guy drove a forklift into a fire hydrant, in front of a safety rep for the company. His supervisor was called over, and he immediately tells the supervisor that he won’t pass a piss test, as he used his only bottle of clean piss earlier that day when he hired in."
"Everybody standing there immediately burst into laughter, which continued as security (also laughing) escorted him off site. Even the supervisor was all smiles...just gave him a pat on the back and wished him the best of luck. It was wild."
"I worked in a bar and a new girl started. At work, she seemed a little rough but was fine."
"One day she finished a shift, sat at the bar and ordered a red wine with lemonade and ice in it (not really relevant to the story; just shows she is clearly insane). Her boyfriend came in, they had a huge domestic in front of my manager and several customers and she threw her drink over her bf and dramatically stormed out."
And That's Why We Don't Hire Off The Street
"Worked at a steel processing plant (polishing, cut to length, etc) Everyone started off as temps, some for years, before getting hired in. Management decided they were short-staffed and the solution was to start hiring people full-time off the street."
"So this dude starts, full-time on day one, full benefits, more money, getting trained by temps who've been there for months, if not years. Everyone is mad resentful of this dude, obviously."
"Halfway through his second day he gets escorted out for testing positive for coke on his drug test."
"They didn't hire any more dudes full-time off the street."
Competence is of utmost importance. Having brains is a good place to start as well.
Fast Food, Faster Firing
"Heard this from a manager I worked with when I worked in fast food. There was this one kid who didn’t show up for work. He ditched work often, so the manager called around, couldn’t get anyone to fill in his shift, so she had to fill it for him."
"A few hours into his shift, the dude ditching SHOWS UP, with his friends, and orders food from that manager. She fired him on the spot."
Careful Who You Denigrate
"First day of work, he walks in, says 'what the f'k is up dumba**' to the guy that parked next to (didn't touch) his new Camaro he bought since he got hired."
"The guy was the CEO of the company I used to work for, on visit to our branch."
"Literally ten minutes into his shift he was signing release papers."
"Worked in a grocery store for awhile: new guy took a lobster out of the tank and removed the elastic bands on its claws, then proceeded to put it back in the tank. The thing murdered all the other lobsters in the tank."
Up In Flames
"Guy had been working a few days at a barn. Decided to smoke right by bales of hay. Manager saw him and fired him right on the spot. At farms, you don’t f'k around with fire."
Remember when I mentioned how it's difficult for people to get fired?
Yeah, let's scratch that.
Apparently, it's super easy.
A trial can hinge on one simple piece of information.
All it could take for a suspect to walk free or go to jail for the rest of their lives is one single fact.
With this in mind, some lawyers will do their best to make sure that this information is buried, legally and ethically one hopes, and will never be brought up in trial.
However, for this to happen, Lawyers will still need to know this piece of information from their clients, as it otherwise could be brought up by the prosecution, effectively ending the case.
"Lawyers of Reddit, what is a detail that your client failed to bring up to you that completely lost you the case?"
The Whole Truth...
"Opposing counsel: 'Isn’t it true you hit Victim in the face with a brick?"'
"Client: 'No. Marcus hit him with the brick. I hit him in the back with a piece of wood'."- lizard96golf
Thought She Was Being Clever...
"A buddy of mine case as a public defender."
"A gal was busted on drug charges, and told him she didn't have any drugs on her when they arrested her."
"He thought, ok we'll use that."
"Turns out, she didn't have any drugs on her when they arrested her because she just sold them to an undercover cop."- CheapCigars
Choice Of Clothes Can Make A Difference...
"My house was robbed."
"In addition to all the stuff the thief took, he also stole a bunch of my suits and all of my neck ties."
"I had a big collection, like 100 or so."
"However, the thief left fingerprints on a hard plastic box that I kept spare change in."
"Fast forward 3 months, the thief is caught in the act of robbing another house in the same neighborhood, same detectives on my case and this new theft."
"They fingerprint the guy and the fingerprints match the ones from my house."
"At the thief’s arraignment, I see him stroll in wearing my suit and my tie."
"I tell the district attorney, he says there’s really no way to prove it."
"However, the tie he chose to wear was a one of kind street map of San Francisco and I still had all the documentation to prove it."
"The district attorney’s eyes widen and he informs the judge."
"The judge has the thief placed under arrest again for possession of stolen property."
"The thief’s lawyer was dumbfounded."
"It was a nice end to a rough situation!"- West-Operationsuit and tie johnny bananas GIF by 1st LookGiphy
Never Depend On Technicalities
"Obligatory not my client."
"Company I worked for at the time was doing due diligence before acquiring a small tech startup."
"The COO of the tech startup was a well-liked guy in the company, friendly and outgoing."
"Though we had heard rumblings that the COO was rather hands-on with the work and with female employees."
"Apparently there was a walk-away package proposed to the COO that would let him keep a sizable portion of his post-acquisition bonus because a young woman who worked in their sales department had filed HR complaints against the COO and obtained counsel."
"I sat in on the meeting with the COO and the company's retained lawyers while they grilled him about his contacts with the young woman."
"The COO denied ever having contact with her within the company without multiple other people present, those people said his behavior toward her in the meetings didn't raise any flag."
"The COO emphatically denied having any contact with her outside of work."
"The lawyers asked the question a half-dozen different ways and each time the COO denied any out of work contact."
"Later we meet with the woman and her lawyer with the COO not present."
"Her lawyer gives us a rather graphic card that came with a bouquet of flowers addressed to her from the COO."
"The guy had an account with a florist linked to his credit card."
"When the company-retained lawyers confronted him he said, 'but I never had contact with her'."
"'It's not like I delivered the flowers myself'."
"COO got terminated for cause so no walk-away package."
"At her request the woman was given PTO until after the acquisition then moved to another one of the companies under our umbrella."- GuiltyLawyerseason 5 episode 21 GIFGiphy
Who Exactly Am I Talking To?
"We got to the deposition of my client and all set up."
"The first question is 'please state your name'."
"The client looks at me and says 'can we take a break?'"
"We do and she pulls me out in the hall to tell me she's lied to me about her identity."
"She's apparently a serial fraudster and has changed identities 7 times since the 90s."
"She apparently thought the other attorneys had some how figured it out and that's why they asked the question."- Philosopher422
It's The Little Ones That Get You...
"Minor traffic cases can be the worst for this, believe it or not, because they are short and simple and often times the client isn't there, so if you get blindsided by something critical there's often no chance to consult with them to turn things around."
"I had a simple speeding case, 70mph in a 55."
"No big deal, if she does a driving improvement course they court will usually dismiss or reduce those, since her driving record wasn't bad."
"When I showed up for her, I found out that she had been driving 70 up an unplowed snow lane, to get around all the others cars traveling in the lane that had been plowed because they were driving too slow."
"I didn't know it was even possible to drive 70 on fresh snow."
"The officer stated he'd already cut her a break by not writing the ticket for reckless driving, and the judge politely agreed he didn't feel comfortable reducing it under those circumstances."
"When I called her up after court to confirm, she did, claimed she'd just forgotten to mention it."
"Now maybe I've lived too much of my life in the south, but that just boggles my mind as a detail you'd forget when hiring a lawyer for that incident."
"I would have told her in advance that hiring us was a waste of money, not to mention the hassle of taking an 8 hour class, and she should probably just go ahead and pay this one."
"I legitimately do that all the time during consults."
"Give my honest assessment if the case is even worth doing, and so by omitting that detail she harmed herself for no reason."
"At least she took it well and didn't get defensive."- AmberWavesofFlameDriving Get Away GIF by Zella DayGiphy
Despite the longstanding negative connotations which come with them, lawyers are there to help you.
So it's always the best decision to tell them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, especially if you're paying for their services.
That, or just obey the law so you won't need one.