Do you think this time you spent as a sniper at war was a good time in your life, lessons learned and friends made? Or was it a time where you "did what you had to do" and you will live with those memories? -Jon
Once you go through sniper training, it stays with you forever. At the military reunions I go to, I am remembered as "the sniper." My wife enjoys hearing the guys refer to me as "the sniper" because they say it with kindness, respect and warmth. I was with 3 different platoons over in Viet Nam and I learned from every one of them and the people in all those platoons. I was lucky in that I got to serve with some of the best soldiers - American paratroopers - in the entire world. For me, it was a really good learning experience. It made me ready for life as an adult. When I got to Nam I was only 19 years old. In a few short months I had matured in ways that I had not expected to happen to me.
Not everything is going to go your way. Because life is life, you have got to take the good, the funny and the bad with you. We know nothing is perfect and if it were, we would not need snipers at all.
What's funny is that when you go to sniper forums, some of them will have the names and confirmed kills of snipers from different units and different wars. There are, however, exceptions to every rule. Normally, you do NOT see the names and number of confirmed kills for snipers from the 173D Airborne Brigade, some USMC groups and some Special Forces units. Is it an oversight on somebody's part? Not really. Most of the guys in those units that are not listed don't care if they get listed or not. These guys in these units know what they did and they don't need nor want the approval or whatever from some other guys. But these guys aren't haunted by any bad memories either. They simply did their jobs and moved on to other things.
So, sniping was good to me. I have no complaints at all. I have some interesting stories to tell at reunions and such. And when I put something on this forum, I try to keep it as honest as I can. I am 63 years old. In a few more years, I won't be around to tell what I know. I am hoping that some how, some way, when researchers look at the stuff I have posted, it will shed some light for them in some fashion. Maybe they'll hit a piece of information that helps them see through something that they did not understand. Airborne best to you, Jon. Keep your powder dry and your hatchet sharp.