For every badass war story out there, there exists another 10 armed forces horror stories. The men and women in the armed forces face all sorts of hardship to serve their country. Some of the scariest things members of the armed forces have faced leave a greater mark on them than the conflict itself. When it comes to harrowing stories from members of the armed forces, blood and gore are only the tip of the iceberg. Psychological fears creep up upon you when you least expect it, a natural response when death supposedly hides behind each unturned stone and uncleared house. Aside from conflict itself, the armed forces must also deal with the war crimes which stem from said conflicts, adding another layer of horror to their trauma.
The service members of Reddit share their most traumatizing stories to remind everyone else that conflict involves much more than winning and losing. Many people, animals, and civilizations get lost along the way to victory, if you even win at all. Many of the stories below don't even feature actual 'battles' but rather service people aiding in a disaster zone. Altogether, they paint a horrifying yet explicit picture of the sacrifices the people in the armed forces make each day.
Seeing Someone Realize They're About To Die
From a deleted user:
"At a guard gate for traffic in Baghdad, I watched from a safe distance a suicide bomber detonate his car. The soldier looking into check his papers stepped back quickly the moment before he died in the explosion. He must have seen what was about to happen."
Crimes Against Children
"A friend of mine was in the initial push in Baghdad Iraq. A suspicious van was reported. When they arrived it was rocking. They surrounded and figured it would turn up to be a good laugh. When the soldiers opened the van, what they found was all but funny. Two men were gang raping a 10-year-old girl. Their medic froze as the girl, same age as his own daughter, was crying and bleeding. My friend, a Staff Sergeant, stepped in and held a gauze pad to stop the bleeding. The two men were tried and punished to death by hanging."
A Mortar Shell
"A mortar round landed a few meters from myself and a battle. Just sat there looking at it expecting it to BOOM. Thankfully it was a dud. First or second day in country. Kinda set the tone for us."
Seeing 'Goat People'
From a deleted user:
"Private security here. I saw some goat people. It was almost sundown, and this huge group of goats is moving slowly across the hills. I take a peek through binocs to be sure it's nothing fishy. These goats are the type with long matted hair. Among the goats are around ten 'shapes,' moving just as slowly as the goats. These hunched figures were draped in what looked like burlap, and I couldn't say whether they were even people, but for my mind's sake I'm going to say they were. I told the guys around me to look at this sh*t. We watched the herd make it's way just over the hills as darkness fell.
That was it, and we never saw anymore goat people."