Shellshocked-soldier-001 (1)

My name is Michael and this is my first entry to this website. Anything and everything I post here will be 100% true. This is my promise to anyone who reads these entries.

Ever since I was smaller I've had an obsession with the Vietnam War. I don't know where it began, but its always been this way. I've read about it, watched movies, documentaries, researched it and it's encompassed 90% of my hobbies. Even in my dreams it will usually come through, I've been told I talk in my sleep from time to time, and when I do it relates to Vietnam.

One time my father heard me talking in my sleep, what I was saying he couldn't really make out, but when he asked me about it I said clearly, "It's a true story." I've bought several pieces of U.S. equipment from the war for re-enacting and airsoft. This includes two helmets, a full set of gear, body armor, and a bayonet. One of the helmets had graffiti on the cover and the chinstrap from the original owner.

The story begins here, when I purchased a "real steel" handgaurd for my Airsoft M16 from a local gunshow in early 2011. I purchased it from a vendor, who was selling several bits of equipment and uniforms from the era. While I was looking through the items I was talking to the vendor, who had served during the war. He wouldn't talk much about his experience, which is understandable as most veterans want to forget most of their time over there. All of his items came with a hefty price tag, a floppy hat was $45 for example.

None of the items on his table were for below $40, and all of his gun parts were priced $50 or higher, except for one item in particular. The item in question was the triangular handgaurd of an M16 assault rifle. It had some visible wear and tear, but was otherwise fine. The cost of the handguard was $25, and I just could not pass that up. I'm a sucker for accuracy, and since my airsoft M16A1 was compatible with the handguard, I bought it from the vendor no questions asked. This may have been a mistake.

When I returned home that night, I immediately swapped out the handguards on my rifle. I was excited and wanted to see the entire thing together, so I set it down and got dressed in my re-enactor gear to see if everything looked how I wanted it. I walked back into my room, all decked out in my gear and picked up the rifle. That's when it happened, the moment my I grasped the rifle by the handguard I saw it. It was night time and the skyline was lit by the fire of burning straw and bamboo huts. There were people screaming, children crying, and gunfire could be heard.

Then I saw him, from behind at first. He was a taller white man and was relatively well-built. He was wearing his jungle fatigue pants and only a flack vest. The back of his vest had a skull drawn on it with a rice hat, and I could tell his arms were bleeding.

He was firing his weapon, an M16, from the hip. At first I couldn't tell what he was shooting at, but then it was revealed. He was firing on anything that moved in front of him. He was killing not only Vietcong, but innocent, unarmed, men woman and children. This wasn't the worst part however, he was also killing fellow American soldiers who passed by or tried to stop him. 

Suddenly I was now watching this man from the front, the vision "panned" upwards from his feet as he reloaded his weapon. He wasn't a scared soldier firing on everything due to some form of shock, he was completely aware of his actions, he enjoyed what he was doing. I know this because of the look I saw on his face. His face and helmet were smeared with blood, and a twisted, menacing smile was drawn on his face. He continued firing on the people who revealed themselves to him. He fired on them until his ammo was gone, and he removed his pistol from its holster and began using that.

Walking through the village slowly and firing one bullet at a time in slow succession. As this transpired another soldier revealed himself, from behind the blood crazed individual I was being shown. This new soldier began running towards the crazed soldier and suddenly his intentions became clear. He was going to attempt to stop him from continuing his rampage. He charged at the crazed soldier from behind and tackled him to the ground, they began to struggle and then, without warning, the visions stopped as quickly as they had ended. I'm not sure what I had seen.

I didn't have time to feel any particular way about as the entire vision lasted a mere couple of seconds. I stripped myself of my equipment and I put it all away, I waited for my father, an open individual to come home so I could tell him. He arrived home later that night and I told him what I had seen.

I was convinced that this was possibly an image from a past life, that I saw or took part in what I had seen. My father told me that this probably wasn't the case, being Catholics we aren't supposed to believe in those sorts of things.

He told me that this was perhaps someone showing me what it was like over there, how things like that can erode a person's humanity until they eventually go mad. He reasoned that this was possibly the "good" soldier in the vision showing me this in order for me to question why I idolize the war and what happened over there. I've thought about this on and off since then, and it has affected my thinking on the subject to a degree.