War and bloodshed are two words and visual imagery people associate soldiers with. Bullets flying around or the overall destruction is what the mainstream media typically shows its audience. Hence it’s what people commonly picture about them.
Civilians expect soldiers to be actively involved in the war 24/7. Whether they’re plotting strategies, reloading ammo, or cleaning their equipment and making sure they function just fine, soldiers are envisioned to be consumed and preoccupied with everything war-related when they’re deployed. However, people fail to consider that soldiers also have dull and ordinary moments during their deployment beyond all these actions.
Deployment for soldiers means months of being away from the comfort of their houses and the company of loved ones.
During this, they can also be subjected to long rigorous training and drills to keep them in good condition or long distressing hours of waiting for any movement from their opposing troops. To others, this enclosed setting may negatively impact their attitudes and mentality, negatively influencing their physical performance. Some soldiers have learned to cope with the gloomy and strict environment to avoid this. They spend time doing activities that can keep them occupied and be in a good space. These activities don’t need to be strenuous and could be fun, such as the wartime escapades in Francis Dutch’s book.
They work out
There’s no better way to keep the edge and stress off than sweating them out. Working out has been scientifically proven to improve people’s mood by releasing “happy” chemicals into the brain. And other than being an excellent way to release stress, it also helps the soldiers keep fit and be in their best condition, hence perpetually ready if anything was to go down unexpectedly. While working out may become a routine as they do regularly in training and drills, soldiers may still enjoy working out.
They watch movies
And they can do anything in their power to do so. Whether this means pirating or downloading them on their gadgets or purchasing a subscription and splitting the bill within the troop, soldiers take their mind off the impending damage by enjoying a great movie. Additionally, watching movies, especially family-oriented ones, can also be an effective cure for homesickness. Movies are a good pick-me-up or distraction whenever soldiers feel down or troubled about upcoming events. They may watch together through someone’s laptop or on their own through their phones – however, they want to watch movies, it can still help get their minds off their situation and boost their morale when necessary.
They take videos of themselves
If you scroll through Tiktok or any social media platform, you’ll see quite a few selections of military content – soldiers in their military uniforms filming anything under the sun. Most of the time, soldiers do this because they believe their routines in their camps can be enjoyable from the citizens’ perspective. Or simply because they’re bored and their phones are the closest means of entertainment they have. Filming something may also make them feel normal, even only for a short time. It also gives the impression that they aren’t on their way toward war and are spending a typical day out when they joke around on film. Having it documented and posted online is also an excellent way to preserve memories of the experience.
When they aren’t camping on enemy grounds, these soldiers can lounge and relax in their tents, enjoying whatever activity they can come up with. And when they aren’t charging toward their enemies, they can be out playfully wrestling each other in exchange for easy, dumb dares or money for bets. Beyond their duty to serve and sacrifice, these soldiers are firstly humans who are capable of doing ordinary and mundane things even in their deployment.