In a place like Afghanistan, things have the ability to transition from good to horrible in the blink of an eye. In regards to the resiliency of the American Soldier, I have never been worried. I think that, more than anything, the difference between Soldiers and society isn’t their ability to endure extreme amounts of adversity, but rather their propensity to endure it. In fact, many conversations amongst us result in a contest over who has had worse. It’s a weird dynamic between having something to both complain and brag about.
Example: (during the worst) “Man, this sucks. I hate the Army. I haven’t showered in a month”. (during the contest) “Man, we were WAY more hardcore than you guys! We were out in the village for a month, sleeping in the dirt with no water. You couldn’t hang, you don’t know what hardcore is”.
It’s funny because all of us are well aware of how these conversations transform, yet we still participate in them routinely. Sometimes I think the Soldier would be most miserable if he DID NOT have something to complain about. HAHA!