The Iraqi-American gap is far wider than the civilian-military gap, but maybe writers can help close it.
I never got used to sweating at night. Middle of the day, under the blaze of the Iraqi desert sun, helmet and body armor a primitive dutch oven, sure, it made sense. But to have your t-shirt and underwear wet and stuck to your skin at two in the morning, somehow that was worse.
For two blissful days, I dreamed a dream awake. Realization exceeded expectations. I stepped fully and completely outside of any daily routine, any typical habit, and took a plunge in the uncomfortably cold water of pinnacle experience. And I may have even been pretty good at it.