View Full Version : Limping Away

08-25-09, 08:27 AM
Limping Away

August 25, 2009: American soldiers and marines are encountering serious problems with the weight of combat equipment they have to carry. More so than in Iraq, U.S. troops are fighting on foot. And not on the plains of Iraq, but the hills of Afghanistan. The air is, literally, thinner (less oxygen) in much of Afghanistan, which is at the same altitude as Denver, Colorado (where the thin air is a known problem for visitors).

The army and marine brass tried to reduce the weight of gear (90-100 pounds) their troops carried into battle. Of late, lighter armor, boots and other equipment took 20 pounds off. Local commanders were allowed to delete more weight. But that still meant combat troops running up those hills while wearing 50-60 pounds of stuff.

These troops are in great physical shape, which means they have the energy, muscle and determination to push themselves beyond their limits. The medics are finding themselves treating a lot of musculoskeletal problems. Knee and back problems abound, often causing much pain (especially the back spasms.) It's worse for guys who are on their second (or third) trip to Afghanistan.

Because of all this, a lot more infantry are going to retire on partial disability, and spend the rest of their lives limping around, or in constant pain. This doesn't show up in the casualty reports. But go to a veterans gathering (November 11 or Memorial Day) in 10-20 years, and you'll be able to pick out the infantry vets from Afghanistan.


08-25-09, 10:01 PM
My uncle did 17 1/2 months in Asscrackistan, said those hills(mountains) are murder. He's on 20% disability for his back for the rest of his life. He said the only cool thing about it is after awhile your body produces more red blood cells to carry more oxygen to make up for the thin air, and once he came back to the states, he was able to run alot farther and alot faster.

08-25-09, 10:59 PM
what does that have to do with anything STW? seriously....

08-26-09, 09:23 AM
Was an "Exhibit A" of the sorts of back injuries troops are receiving from going to that ****hole country.

Bit of irony, the same painkillers that they're being given for these problems are made using the poppies that are grown there. From an economical standpoint thats the only thing that place is good for. It supplies something like 93 percent of the worlds opium.

08-26-09, 05:11 PM
Motrin isn't made from opium.

and your hatred of a country you've never been to or don't even understand makes you a poster-boy for why the rest of the world think Americans are conceited and wish bad things to happen to us.

08-26-09, 05:30 PM
Seems to me this has been happening and would happen no matter when or what country you were in. Had a buddie blow out a kneee pullin okios at bridgeport; another rip a calf muscle at Pendleton. As a matter of fact, I hurt my back humping too much weight stepping off a curb in Okinawa in 85; fifty feet from finishing a 25 miler. Back goes out to this day. I had to carry my PRC-77, KY-38, UHF radio, HF radio, extra batteries, my weapon, water + any extra gear I can in order to help out others. It's not like you can UPS it to where you need it, so I guess you gotta carry it.

In addition after the USMC, I've dug ditches, pounded hub for concrete, planted trees, labored for brickies and seen more hurt than in the service.

What do you propose to remedy the situation?

08-26-09, 05:58 PM
In my opinion, this is the job they signed up for. If they wanted the cake job, they should have signed up for rear eschelon and flown a desk (no offense to the wingers). This is what they/we trained for and it wasn't a secret. When my contract was up and entered 1st Civ Div, I was diagnosed with and currently have shin splints and cant run worth a crap now. Would I trade it for the experience, esprit de corps or the pride I feel in my heart ? Hell no!!!! I guess what I'm trying to say is that we adapt and overcome and thats just being a Marine!

Zulu 36
08-26-09, 06:21 PM
Infantry work is a b*tch. Period. Flat ground or mountains, it doesn't matter.

I've got bad knees, hips, lower back, and shoulders, all from playing Marine, AF Security Police, and civilian police/SWAT carrying and running with all of that crap on your body.

Sh*t happens.

My only regret is not having my kids sooner. I just can't play with my 11-year old son like I want to as a broken-down 56-year old.

08-26-09, 07:34 PM
Motrin isn't made from opium.

But lortab and percocet are.

08-26-09, 07:36 PM
Zulu...welcome to my world

08-26-09, 10:31 PM
Welcome to our world...


Still carriered a .45 in this pic. Changed to an M-16 after returning stateside. This is what happens when you get a ride.

08-26-09, 10:43 PM
The army and marine brass tried to reduce the weight of gear (90-100 pounds)..... But that still meant combat troops running up those hills while wearing 50-60 pounds of stuffThey sure took a chunk out of it though. I used to think chronic back pain was years or decades in the making. I was green as a red blackberry and know now it can happen after a single episode or damn near overnight.


08-29-09, 09:58 AM
Its the story of the life quite frankly. I am so medically ****ed up (unofficially) I just feel a **** load different and it sucks, but I deal with it the job is going to have a lot of problems. I just think they are going to need good treatment for this because I know literally 50 Marines or so who have shoulder, neck, back, or hip problems serious enough to be put into rehab from Afghanistan...we'll see how this goes in the near future

08-29-09, 10:25 PM
I've found that running, no ****, helps relieve my back pain.... it pops, creaks(sic) and stiffens... but when I run 4-5 miles it goes away... and stays away for a few weeks after I stop PTing...

08-29-09, 10:55 PM
:evilgrin: WHAT A BUNCH OF PUZZIES!!! I weighed 165lbs. when I arrived in country. Had to carry my pack, with THREE GLASS BOTTLES of D5W I.V. juice, xtra bandages, THREE C-RAT MEALS, ALL my meds, and my personal crap...like smokes, sox, poncho, xtra set of cammies, and a brick of C-4. NEXT...I had to carry my field med kit bag......NOW..JUST HOW HEAVY DO YOU PUZZIES THINK ALL OF THAT CRAP WEIGHED??? Steel pot, flak jacket, .45 piece of crap...WHO was going to pick my BUTT up...if I fell on my UGLY FACE??? WELL....it took TWO Grunts to upright this 165lb. 23 year old shmuck!!.....When I was weighed in Yakusaka.....133lbs.!!!.....ON MY BACK...on a gurney!! SOOOOO....ask a Doc, NOT a JARHEAD, about carrying a REAL LOAD!!!....SEMPER DAM FI!!....Doc Greek :flag: