Veterans share war experiences
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Veterans share war experiences (Editor’s pick)

By Curt Peterson

The volunteer speakers at Rutland’s Veterans’ Town Hall Nov. 3 were men who served in wars in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. They didn’t speak about heroism, or the excitement of combat, about brotherhood or about victory against the enemy — they told personal stories mostly about personal damage and about the hell of war.

Kyle Aines, a Tinmouth native who hosted the Rutland Free Library event, enlisted as an Army combat nurse in 2003. Something happened during his two tours in Iraq that affects him to this day.

“While I was watching and tending to prisoners of war inside the base, two helicopters went down and my team was called out to assist any wounded,” he said.

While he was inside the base, his men were ambushed on their way to the crash site.

“Last Roll Call” is a field ceremony honoring lost comrades. Names are called out. The first three names called received – “Here, sir!” Then the names of the missing men were called. Nothing but silence.

“It was so impactful,” Aines said. He left formation and retreated to some shade, sat and sobbed. “I was angry at myself for crying instead of honoring my comrades. I never cried again except when I was drinking.”

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