Powerful video features veterans talking about the first time they killed someone

In a stunning new video, U.S. War Veterans confess what it means to take a human life. The video, produced by WatchCut, features six veterans who confess the moment they were forced to kill another human being. Filmed in black and white, the veterans span from Vietnam to Kosovo to Operation Iraqi Freedom, creating a strange, generational cross-section of experiences.

One after another, the veterans stare into the camera and break down the circumstances that led them to kill and how it affected their minds. The film is a study in the trauma of war as each man describes the heightened awareness and split-second decision to kill or be killed. The result is a stark and haunting video that exposes the surreal thought processes, disassociation and existential horror of war.

Throughout the video, another kind of gruesome realization emerges. A generation gap is revealed as the older soldiers describe events with a sense of self awareness and torment while the younger sniper seems disassociated.

Lonnie, who served in Vietnam at the Infantry level describes watching a man die.

“It goes from something — a big something, to the smallest nothing that there can be. It goes from dreams and aspirations to nothing.”

That moment is in stark contrast to the young sniper,  Josh, who fought in Operation Enduring Freedom. He describes killing a woman in video game terms.

“We were next to a house, a little mud hut and a lady came out. You don’t shoot women or children on the battlefield. But we were so into the moment, we watched her pick up the rifle — the machine gun — and that was the cue; we just lit her up.”

In a world where 22 Vets kill themselves everyday, the video is a stark reminder of the kind of trauma created by war.


Featured image via screen grab

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