Training can only teach you so much. There are certain things that you can’t understand unless you’ve lived it. Surviving a firefight is one of those things. The tension is high, and adrenaline fuels your every move. Every moment is life and death as grenades fly and bullets whistle past your ears.

Some find that first firefight terrifying, while others feel exhilarated in ways they never imagined they could. These are 10 short but insightful realizations about the first time you, the Task & Purpose readers, survived a firefight.

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