I can understand how you felt going through the change of believer to non-believer.
I remember a few years ago reading about a fellow atheist. The man was from England. He was raised in the Church of England. He went to services all the time. During World War II he was a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force (RAF). Prior to going out on a mission he did when he had always done; he went to services. They held them prior to the missions for the flight crews. You’ve seen it in the movies. They Americans did it too.
Well there he was sitting there listening to the minister go on. Then it dawned on him. There was a guy just like him but on the enemy side. He was sitting in church services too. They bother were being told they were doing “God’s Will.” And that they were both being blessed to go out and kill their fellow man.
The absurdity of it all just struck him all at once. He lost his faith / belief at that moment. He never went back to church or believed in God after that.
As far as the M-16A2, I'm sure that our experiences were far different. I am assuming that you may have spent 18? months in Afghanistan carrying around the equivalent of an 8 pound rock. I spent months on end on the rifle range shooting MC and intramural rifle and pistol matches, cradling my rifle like a precious child and sweet talking each round into the black. So, I can see how your view and my own would differ. And on a side note, while I was still in, I viewed my rifle as a bit of a burden.
I see you put "fun" in quotes. Yes, I did miss it, buy I have no regrets. I spent six years in, one in Okinawa, a month in Thailand, and some good times in Cali, and several years on the East coast. Good times.
Welcome to A/N and the fishing and outdoor group. I was also enlisted in the MC. Last stationed at Lejeune. I still live in the area and occasionally get over to Havelock. Your story is great. I am glad to see another like minded person in NC. It seems as though we are greatly outnumbered.
Welcome Ann, I found your story very interesting. It's always more interesting when its about a deconverted preachers kid. The best source I found on the internet to overcome religion is
The Happy Heretic - Judith Hayes. She changed my life in one day. Like you, I was religious as a youth, but was always skeptical deep down. Finally, I found losing God was a huge relief. It had become too difficult to believe anymore. I have been God free for almost 10 years. I will tell you, its not easy, but its for real. Good luck