In the fall of 1982 I was drafted into the Soviet Army. 5th Guards Motor Rifle Division, 101st Battalion. I am of Muslim heritage from the northern Caucus region. I was never a practicing Muslim. About half 5tb GMRD comes from Muslim areas. We were stationed in western Afghanistan, my Battalion HQ was in Herat. I patrolled to the border of USSR and Iran mostly. Twice I escorted trucks to Mazar i Sharif maybe 10 times. Not bad those trips. As a MR unit, we had wheeled vehicles. Because I am 6’4″ tall,I learned to drive BTR-60 and BRDM-2. I could stick my head out the hatch, still reach pedals. We escorted trucks to Kandahar about 10 times. Since there were also tracked vehicles, we didn’t always drive at top speed, which was bad for us.
7.62×51 NATO or 7.62x54r could only penetrate the sides at close range. 7.62×39 not at all. My gunner was killed when a round penetrated the side, ricochetted into his body, just below the ribs. He died instantly. It was bad.
I drank a lot in USSR, then got to USA and kept drinking. I got sober in 2010. I have fatty liver and diabetes. Stopped taking all meds about 2 months ago. I pee myself almost every day. I don’t care if I live or die anymore. Not suicidal, but don’t go live either. I can’t go to VA, not USA vet. Maybe can hang out with USA vets who feel like me, start to feel like I care again.