Vegas Victim and War Veteran’s Last Facebook Post Is Sobering Look at Combat
Christopher Roybal was one of the 59 people who died on Sunday (Oct. 1) following a mass shooting at Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. The 28-year-old Navy veteran served two tours in Afghanistan, and in a sobering Facebook post -- which would be his last -- Roybal addressed what it's like to be shot at.
It's a question he says he was asked plenty of times and, in light of the massacre that occurred on Sunday, one that rings too true for those 22,000 who were in attendance at the festival.
"What's it like being shot at?" he writes at the start of his lengthy post. "A question people ask because it's something that less that 1% of our American population will ever experience. Especially one on a daily basis. My response has always been the same, not one filled with a sense of pride or ego, but an answer filled with truth and genuine fear/anger.
"I was excited for my first taste of what real combat would be. What it would be like to be a real gunfighter in the modern day Wild Wild West. My first fight was something I never will forget," he said of his first visit to Afghanistan. "Finishing up what was supposed to be a quick four-hour foot patrol, I remember placing my hand on the Stryker and telling Bella how well she did. Hearing the most distinct sounds of a whip cracking and pinging of metal off of the vehicle I just had my hand resting on is something that most see in movies."
He later admits that he wasn't sure what to feel or how to feel on that initial day of combat. He says he never experienced fear, but other overwhelming states took over.
"Sensory overload...followed by the most amount of natural adrenaline that could never be duplicated through a needle. I was excited, angry, and manic. Ready to take on what became normal everyday life in the months to follow. Taking on the fight head on, grabbing the figurative 'bull by the horns.'
"Unfortunately, as the fights continue and as they as increase in numbers and violence, that excitement fades and the anger is all that's left," he reflects. "The anger stays, long after your friends have died, the lives you've taken are buried and your boots are placed neatly in a box in some storage unit. Still covered in the dirt you've refused to wash off for fear of forgetting the most raw emotions you as a human being will ever feel again.
"What's it like to be shot at? It's a nightmare no amount of drugs, no amount of therapy and no amount of drunk talks with your war veteran buddies will ever be able to escape," he concedes.
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