Evan Kocher on Killing or Being Killed
Question: How do you prepare to shoot people and be shot at?
Eric Kocher: With us, I don’t think we... most military don’t look at it that way. We don’t calculate that I might not come home. That’s like a factor that’s never calculated into our decision making process. Our biggest thing is we might let the guy down next to us. So for us it’s our training to kind of go over there and execute our mission. That’s our biggest thing, and the Marine Corp pushes that mission accomplishment, mission accomplishment and troop welfare, and I think with that mindset we go in, we’re already pretty prepared for what’s going to go on. You know, for me engaging the enemy or anything, I always kind of thought I was doing what I was trained to do, and I kind of separated emotion from it, and I’ve gotten better at it over the years. Every deployment I went back, I understood that emotion is only weakness over here. For me, I must think objectively. I don’t... General Mattis always has a phrase, “No better friend. No worse enemy,” and I think it’s like the best thing, ‘cause really it’s- it kind of explains what the fighting man has to kind of do over there, but it’s very hard. It’s hard to go over there without emotion. You know, after one of your friends gets hit by a roadside bomb, it’s hard not to be pissed, but the truth is you gotta realize hey this is the nature of the beast. I gotta drive on. I’m not going to take it out on other Iraqis that aren’t involved.
Question: How did you get injured?
Eric Kocher: I got hit by a Rockefeller grenade, on April 7th, 2004 in that initial push going into Fallujah. For me, we got slammed going into an ambush, and we were the point vehicle. It actually blew off my assistant team leader- both his hands, Eddie Wright. It broke my arm, blew off my trigger finger, and it wounded everyone else in my vehicle. What we did we pushed out of the kill zone and actually got stuck in a secondary kill zone where we were surrounded by about 26 guys, and we had to do medical aid to ourselves. I put a tourniquet on, and one of my young lance corporals, Lance Corporal Maison actually tourniquetted up Eddie, but for us, It’s actually kind of funny. It’s that Marine Corp humor that you see throughout the series. Eddie rides in the back seat cracking jokes, and the guy has no hands, and for me it’s like com breeds com. So I’m like, “Shit. If this guys laughing about this, you know, how can I be worried? I’m definitely not as bad as he is.” And he actually made a bad situation kind of somewhat entertaining, and then we just went back, and we just executed what we trained for, ‘cause in high levels of stress you always resort back to your last highest level of training. For me, this was my third combat tour. So it wasn’t like I was worried. I just kind of... everything was muscle memory. I did what we had to do to survive it. We got back out of the kill zone, and probably about an hour and a half- two hours later, we were medivacced back out of there.
Question: Why go back after being blown up once?
I always kind of promised that I was going to make things right for Eddie. I was kind of...you know, after seeing him in the hospital, it actually brought me to tears seeing him in the ICU.
Question: What did you mean by "make it right for Eddie"?
Eric Kocher: It’s hard to say. I don’t want to just say I want to go kill a bunch of people to get back, you know, revenge, because then again that’s kind of using my emotion part, but I wanted to make it feel like that we were wounded that day for something, you know. It wasn’t for nothing. I wanted to get back there and try and fix the problems Iraq had, and if that meant fight, it meant fight. If that meant fixing infrastructure or work with the local Iraqis. Do whatever I can, whatever’s in my power to make that place better, and I learned a lot, because my fourth and fifth tours were totally different than what you see in Generation Kill. A lot of what I did is actually live with Iraqi’s with a 24-man platoon. We created kind of an atmosphere where they could be safe where they’re around. We learned off them. We learned everything form how to cook their flat bread, their hobas [ph?}, to how to hook up Italian porn on their TV’s to teaching them how to patrol. You know, and working with these people closely and trying to get rid of everything from the criminal element that’s like running loose in Iraq to work with the terrorists and other elements that are there, ‘cause it’s very complex, and I learned so much more my fourth and fifth tour than I could ever imagine. I mean, I kind of look back at my first multiple tours, and it’s like, “Wow.” If I knew what I knew now, you know, we could have done such a better job back then.
Recorded on: 7/17/08
Kocher talks about being injured in 2004.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Water may be far more abundant on the lunar surface than previously thought.
- Scientists have long thought that water exists on the lunar surface, but it wasn't until 2018 that ice was first discovered on the moon.
- A study published Monday used NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy to confirm the presence of molecular water..
- A second study suggests that shadowy regions on the lunar surface may also contain more ice than previously thought.
Credits: NASA/Daniel Rutter<p>Still, it's not as if the moon is dripping wet. The observations suggest that a cubic meter of the lunar surface (in the Clavius crater site, at least) contains water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million. That's roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water. In comparison, the same plot of land in the Sahara desert contains about 100 times more water.</p><p>But a second study suggests other parts of the lunar surface also contain water — and potentially lots of it. Also publishing their findings in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1198-9#_blank" target="_blank">Nature Astronomy</a> on Monday, the researchers used the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to study "cold traps" near the moon's polar regions. These areas of the lunar surface are permanently covered in shadows. In fact, about 0.15 percent of the lunar surface is permanently shadowed, and it's here that water could remain frozen for millions of years.</p><p>Some of these permanently shadowed regions are huge, extending more than a kilometer wide. But others span just 1 cm. These smaller "micro cold traps" are much more abundant than previously thought, and they're spread out across more regions of the lunar surface, according to the new research.</p>
Credit: dottedyeti via AdobeStock<p>Still, the second study didn't confirm that ice is embedded in micro cold traps. But if there is, it would mean that water would be much more accessible to astronauts, considering they wouldn't have to travel into deep, shadowy craters to extract water.</p><p>Greater accessibility to water would not only make it easier for astronauts to get drinking water, but could also enable them to generate rocket fuel and power.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Water is a valuable resource, for both scientific purposes and for use by our explorers," said Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist in the advanced exploration systems division for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, in a statement. "If we can use the resources at the Moon, then we can carry less water and more equipment to help enable new scientific discoveries."</p>
A study finds 1.8 billion trees and shrubs in the Sahara desert.
- AI analysis of satellite images sees trees and shrubs where human eyes can't.
- At the western edge of the Sahara is more significant vegetation than previously suspected.
- Machine learning trained to recognize trees completed the detailed study in hours.
Why this matters<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2MDQ1OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTkyODg5NX0.O3S2DRTyAxh-JZqxGKj9KkC6ndZAloEh4hKhpcyeFDQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="3770d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3c27b79d4c0600fb6ebb82e650cabec0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Area in which trees were located
Credit: University of Copenhagen<p>As important as trees are in fighting climate change, scientists need to know what trees there are, and where, and the study's finding represents a significant addition to the global tree inventory.</p><p>The vegetation Brandt and his colleagues have identified is in the Western Sahara, a region of about 1.3 million square kilometers that includes the desert, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahel" target="_blank">the Sahel</a>, and the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/subhumid-zones" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">sub-humid zones</a> of West Africa.</p><p>These trees and shrubs have been left out of previous tabulations of carbon-processing worldwide forests. Says Brandt, "Trees outside of forested areas are usually not included in climate models, and we know very little about their carbon stocks. They are basically a white spot on maps and an unknown component in the global carbon cycle."</p><p>In addition to being valuable climate-change information, the research can help facilitate strategic development of the region in which the vegetation grows due to a greater understanding of local ecosystems.</p>
Trained for trees<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2MDQ3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTk5NTI3NH0.fR-n1I2DHBIRPLvXv4g0PVM8ciZwSLWorBUUw2wc-Vk/img.jpg?width=980" id="e02c0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="79955b13661dca8b6e19007935129af1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Credit: Martin Brandt/University of Copenhagen<p>There's been an assumption that there's hardly enough vegetation outside of forested areas to be worth counting in areas such as this one. As a result the study represents the first time a significant number of trees — likely in the hundreds of millions when shrubs are subtracted from the overall figure — have been catalogued in the drylands region.</p><p>Members of the university's Department of Computer Science trained a machine-learning module to recognize trees by feeding it thousands of pictures of them. This training left the AI be capable of spotting trees in the tiny details of satellite images supplied by NASA. The task took the AI just hours — it would take a human years to perform an equivalent analysis.</p><p>"This technology has enormous potential when it comes to documenting changes on a global scale and ultimately, in contributing towards global climate goals," says co-author Christian Igel. "It is a motivation for us to develop this type of beneficial artificial intelligence."</p><p>"Indeed," says Brandt says, "I think it marks the beginning of a new scientific era."</p>
Looking ahead and beyond<p>The researchers hope to further refine their AI to provide a more detailed accounting of the trees it identifies in satellite photos.</p><p>The study's senior author, Rasmus Fensholt, says, "we are also interested in using satellites to determine tree species, as tree types are significant in relation to their value to local populations who use wood resources as part of their livelihoods. Trees and their fruit are consumed by both livestock and humans, and when preserved in the fields, trees have a positive effect on crop yields because they improve the balance of water and nutrients."</p><p>Ahead is an expansion of the team's tree hunt to a larger area of Africa, with the long-term goal being the creation of a more comprehensive and accurate global database of trees that grow beyond the boundaries of forests.</p>
Tea and coffee have known health benefits, but now we know they can work together.
Credit: NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels
- A new study finds drinking large amounts of coffee and tea lowers the risk of death in some adults by nearly two thirds.
- This is the first study to suggest the known benefits of these drinks are additive.
- The findings are great, but only directly apply to certain people.