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Old 27 March 2008, 06:54 PM
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WonkoTheSane WonkoTheSane is offline
Join Date: 17 July 2003
Location: N. Attleboro, MA
Posts: 2,428

Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
Being "under sniper fire" does not mean exactly the same as "being shot at." The phrases may seem to be related, but they aren't identical. An area might be posted as a "sniper zone" in which case one inside that area could be "under sniper fire" even if no shots were fired in that entire day or week.

Some of the troops deployed to active combat duty in Iraq will never see an enemy combatant. They will never be downrange of active enemy fire. They will never be inside the burst radius of explosives. Would you deny them combat pay, since they were never "in combat?" Would you deny them the bragging rights, years later when they choose to run for Congress, of saying that they served "in combat?"
I have to disagree with this. To me, being under fire means that you are actively being shot at. For me to say that I was under fire when the last shot was actually fired a week ago sounds a little misleading. I couldn't honestly say that I was in a house fire if the place burned down days before I got there.

As far as military combat goes, they don't get combat pay for being shot at, they get combat pay for the elevated possibility of being shot at; that is, they are ordered into an area that is inherently less safe because of enemy action. To my mind, those soldiers who have served in combat areas are combat veterans, whether they drew fire or not. But while they are heroes in my mind, they could not say they were under fire unless they actually were.

Anyway, if Hillary does get the Democrat nod, it'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the media, and how often it will be brought out to compare her to her opponent, who actually has been under fire.

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