Quotes / Shell-Shocked Veteran

    open/close all folders 

    Fan Works 

Dev-Em: Kara. Will you shut up and let them talk?
Kara: I will not shut up and they can damned well talk after I知 finished! And I知 not finished! I serve in the Crisis and I almost die, I get my guts torn open, and luckily I get helped out by another Supergirl and healed by Raven. Almost Death #1. Then the Legion, my Legion, has me come to the 30th and I have to go to Hell and fight Mordru, and Satan Girl almost beats me to death. I still don稚 know how Dev brought me back, but I知 thankful he did. Thank you, Dev.
Dev-Em: You池e welcome.
Kara: Shut up! That痴 Almost Death #2, Then we go back to the 20th and everybody gets into a big gang war with everybody else, and I wind up on Apokolips and save everybody from that damned Anti-Life Equation, and I知 the only one on her feet to fight Darkseid, and he damned near disintegrates me. Almost Death #3. Am I seeing a pattern here? And now... now... you snatch me and Dev from what was supposed to be a peaceful weekend of relaxing and, and seeing the sights, and catching up with old Legion friends and, oh, you know what all else, and now whoomp! I知 in whatever time I知 in, and you say that magic word 船arkseid, and I知 supposed to drop everything and sign up for the latest crusade, and I DON探 WANT TO!
Kara: (sighing, crouching and hiding her face) I. Am. Just. Getting. So. Damned. Tired.

    Film - Live-Action 

"Someday this war's gonna end". That'd be just fine with the boys on the boat. They weren't looking for anything more than a way home. Trouble is, I'd been back there, and I knew that it just didn't exist anymore.
Willard, Apocalypse Now

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on when in your heart, you begin to understand... there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend... some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold.
Frodo Baggins, The Return of the King

NOTHING is "over". Nothing. You just don't "turn it off." It wasn't my war. You asked me, I didn't ask you.
John Rambo to Col. Trautman, First Blood

There was a time I could see. And I have seen... boys like these - younger even - their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.
Colonel Slade, Scent of a Woman

Silver Fox: Was it the war?
Logan: Yes.
Silver Fox: Which one?
Logan: All of them.

[On the Shivering Soldier, who has panicked at the thought of returning to Dunkirk]
George: Is he a coward, Mr. Dawson?
Mr. Dawson: He's shell-shocked, George. He's not himself. He might never be himself again.

You know, it strikes me as the most extraordinary irony that you managed to come through the war with flying colours but seem to find the peace so utterly defeating.
Joanna Burton describing her brother Jerry, Marple: The Moving Finger


We are not youth any longer. We don't want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.

Black dice... You've been out in the field too long... that's what black dice means. Means the luck of the draw has run out on him. A guy with experience that can see death in another man's eyes. Yeah, the next time the dice of chance roll, they'll roll up black. Death.
The Executioner #98: "Black Dice"

I wasn't battle-happy, or mentally scarred, or hung up with guilt, nor did patrols of miniature Japanese brew up under my bed (as happened to one of my section whenever we came out of the line; we used to tell him to take his kukri to them, and when he had done so to his satisfaction, swearing and carving the air, we all went back to sleep again, him included).
Lieutenant Dand MacNeill, McAuslan

It's so much worse than you think, Rose. The things that happen over there, the state of things in the trenches, and having to guard my unit at all hours? I changed, I got fit, I changed the way I think, how I sleep and eat, so I can be on guard, always watching for tricks. For rats that are a little too smart, or phantoms that would whisper panic into men痴 ears while they sleep? For ghouls that... well, they pretend to be soldiers that die like anyone might, but when you let your guard down and search the body, they bite you and get a hungry kind of death into the wound?
Aimon Behaim, Pact

War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know. Then they get a taste of battle. For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. [...] All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them... but he should pity them as well.
Septon Meribald, A Song of Ice and Fire

Just about everyone comes to this crossroad. Some get seventy years, some only get fifteen. Enough time to grow, to take stock of who you are. Enough time to do things you値l regret when you run out of time.
Contessa, Worm

Taylor: It's about regret, and coming to terms with it all.
Annette: You're only eighteen. Why are you worrying about something like that at this stage?
Taylor: Because I知 done. My life is over, for all intents and purposes. No matter how hard I try from here on out, I'll never do anything one ten釦housandth as important as what I was doing before.

Every night he dreams he is where air curdles his lungs and the sky is a toxic slurry of black and black-red clouds that the earth vomits and the ground is baked to powder and lost boys wonder and slough off flesh in clots and do not see him or each other though they pass close by howling without words or in a language of collapsing jargon, acronyms and shorthands that once meant something and are now the grunts of pigs.

Before the war, this was only packed earth and grass and dirt to me; before the war, I trod this path from home to the capital thinking of the sweetness of rare fruits. Now that my back is to Ayutthaya, the ground is sometimes baked salt where nothing grows and sometimes wet mud bubbling with the voices of the dead. Inside my arteries there is blood which throbs and pumps, and my belly growls at emptiness as might a bad-tempered dog. But it is difficult to be sure, after so much soldiering, that one is still alive. It is difficult to be certain this is not all a fever dream.
It can be difficult to remember who you are, having watched Queen Suriyothai die.
These are the common ailments of any soldier, though few will admit them.
Fade To Gold, by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

    Live-Action TV 

The war gave them definition, direction, purpose. Without it, they don't know how to fit in anymore. So they keep looking for ways to go out in a blaze of glory. Some people call that being a hero. Maybe so. I don't know. I've never been one. Me? I think they're looking for something worth dying for because it's easier than finding something worth living for.
Garibaldi, Babylon 5, "Infection"

Corp. John Russell: This medal? I got it when I lost my five best friends in a firefight. AK-47 rounds. I don't know why I survived.
Det. Danny Reagan: Maybe you survived 'cause you were meant to get back to your family.
Russell: No. No, it's 'cause I was quick. You know that drill? (at attention) WHAT ARE THE TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD, SOLDIER?!
Danny: John, you've got to leave that behind, man...
Danny: John, look at me. John. It's time to come home, man.
Russell: I don't want to be quick anymore. (leaps to his death)
Blue Bloods, "Unfinished Business"

When does it stop - the ringing in your ears?
Annie Walker, Covert Affairs

I'm so old now. I used to have so much mercy.
The Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, "School Reunion"

Dalek Sec: How did you survive the Time War?!
Doctor: By fighting. On the front line. I was there at the fall of Arcadia. Someday, I might even come to terms with that.
Doctor Who, "Doomsday"

There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity...

Simon: If that battle was so horrible, why'd he name the ship after it?
Zoe: Once you've been to Serenity, you never leave. You just learn to live there.

I'm sorry about your friend Mark. But I think that most of him died somewhere in Kandahar.

Rufus: Folks like us, there ain't no happy ending. We all got it coming.
Dean: Well, ain't you a bucket of sunshine.
Rufus: I'm what you've got to look forward to if you survive.

Kramer: Come on, Frank, I need you! I mean, the war was 50 years ago!
Frank: In my mind... there's a war still goin' on...
Kramer: Alright, what happened, Frank? What is it that you can't get over?
Frank: [pours a glass of whisky and downs it] Inchon, Korea, 1950. I was the best cook Uncle Sam ever saw, slinging hash for the Fighting 103rd. As we marched north, our supply lines were getting thin. But one day, a couple of GIs found a crate. Inside was 600 pounds of prime Texas steer... at least, it once was prime. The use date was three weeks past. But, I was arrogant, I was brash. I thought if I used just the right spices... cooked it long enough...
Kramer: What happened?
Frank: I went too far. I overseasoned it. Men were keeling over all around me. I can still hear the retching, the screaming. I sent 16 of my own men to the latrines that night! They were just boys...
Kramer: Frank, you were a boy too! And it was war! Ah, it was a crazy time for everyone.
Frank: Tell that to Bobby Colby! All that kid wanted to do was go home! Well, he went home, alright! With a crater in his colon the size of a cutlet! We had to sit him on a cork the entire 18-hour flight home!
Kramer: Frank, now listen to me! 200 Jewish singles need you! This is your chance to make it all right again!
Seinfeld, "The Fatigues"


And so I sit here at this bar
I'm not a hero, I'm not a movie star
I've got my beer, I've got my stories to tell
But they won't tell you what it's like in hell
Red flowers bursting down below us
Those people didn't even know us
We didn't know if we would live or die,
We didn't know if it was wrong or right
We didn't know if we would live or die,
I bombed Korea every night
CAKE, "I Bombed Korea"

And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M16?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only nineteen.
Redgum, "I Was Only 19 (A Walk In The Light Green)"

Oh, gather 'round me, and listen while I speak
Of a war where Hell is six feet deep!
And all along the shore, where cannons still roar,
They're haunting my dreams, they're still there when I sleep!
Sabaton, 典o Hell and Back


These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them,
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men's extrication.
Wilfred Owen, "Mental Cases"

from passing by the roses strewn
at the feet of the fallen and feeling
the names of the dead on the cold, wet
stone, there became a certain
satisfaction in breathing

and even more in realizing we still could.
sound-dispute, "Vietnam"

Do they matter - those dreams in the pit?
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won't say that you池e mad;
For they know that you've fought for your country,
And no one will worry a bit.

I realize: I am not answerable for
The fate of those who perished in the war,
For every younger pal or senior vet
Left yonder; nor is anybody saying
That I could save them, but fell short of saving,
No one says that, and yet, and yet, and yet...
A. Twardowski, "And yet..."

    Video Games 

The people I killed...they're not comin' back, Leo. What's left for ME!?
Maximilian, Anarchy Reigns

Their fires lit up the night. All across Lake Rumare, like stars come to earth. It was beautiful, really.
I had a medal. It had someone's face on it. I threw it away, after. It didn't help.
I finally understand what it all means. What its all for. The killing. And the dying.

There's only so much fight in a person. Only so much death you can take before...
Commander Shepard, Mass Effect 3

Soldier: You know, Captain, we drove through this whole city to find you. We... we saw things. If you don't mind me asking, what was it like? How did you survive all this?
Walker: ...Who said I did?

The winter after the curse was lifted, hundreds of veteran orcs like me were lost to despair. Our minds were finally free, yes... Free to relive all of the unthinkable acts that we had performed under the Legion's influence. I think it was the sounds of the draenei children that unnerved most of them... You never forget... Have you ever been to Jaggedswine Farm? When the swine are of age for the slaughter... It's that sound. The sound of the swine being killed... It resonates the loudest. Those are hard times for us older veterans.
Varok Saurfang, World of Warcraft

    Web Original 

The Chief: Is it possible that you were living out a war flashback, Sarge?
Sarge: Aye.
The Chief: Let's go ahead and say that's what happened.
Sarge: It would explain a lot.

    Western Animation 

It's not that I don't want to remember. I have to remember... for those who can't.
Ratchet, Transformers Animated

Lately I've been thinking about all the people I've had to kill. God, the first five, ten times you take a life it's eerie, you remember every detail. I can see all their faces, one had a beard. Each time I pulled the trigger I tied a little knot in my memory that no amount of whisky could loosen. Course, eventually I stopped caring, now I can put a bullet through a man's head while thinking about how much KFC to pick up on my way home. It's usually no more than a bucket. The sick part is I've come to love it, snuffing out lives, I crave it! I feel like an angel of death, the messenger of eternal darkness, a merciless demon with an unquenchable th- oh they just put more orange chicken in the buffet, gotta run.
Stan Smith, American Dad!