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Ex-Sniper Said Every Confirmed Kill Felt Very Personal And Emotional And He Never Got Used To It

Ex-Sniper Said Every Confirmed Kill Felt Very Personal And Emotional And He Never Got Used To It

Nicholas Irving had 33 confirmed kills while working as a sniper

A soldier-turned-author has discussed the emotional impacts he felt while working as a special operations sniper for the US military. 

Nicholas Irving, who's also known by the nickname The Reaper, became the first Black sniper in the 3rd Ranger Battalion to be deployed in combat, during which time he racked up 33 confirmed kills over four months during a tour of Afghanistan.

The former soldier was inspired to become a sniper both through watching films and because of his parents, who were both in the army. He went through basic training and airborne school, then went on a selection course for rangers of which he was one of just seven people to graduate, out of an initial 85-plus candidates.

Irving joined the 3rd Ranger Battalion after graduating from the selection course, and after three deployments to Iraq he went to sniper school.

In an interview with Valuetainment, Irving recalled his first sniper kill which he made when he was just 18 years old.

He described dreaming about it for 'many many years' afterwards, saying: "As a sniper, it was a separation, I think, of how close it was. Like being able to see something and the intent behind it was more personal, so the sniper kills set everything apart from any other kill, and every sniper kill that I had was all weird... not weird but they all felt different."

Irving went on to say he never got used to killing people as a sniper, recalling how he would go through a 'weird set of emotions'.

"The model for our sniper community is 'without warning, without remorse', and [the] 'without warning part', nine times out of 10 it was what happened, but the remorse part for me personally was every single time," he continued. "I felt some weird way about it, I don't know if it was coming from a religious background... but it was weird, it was a weird experience for me, after the fact."

Nicholas Irving had 33 confirmed kills as a sniper.

Following his first kill in Iraq, Irving remembered going to a facility with internet access and calling his dad, who told him they 'don't talk about that stuff'.

"I was like, 'dad I killed somebody', and he was like 'hey don't talk about that'," the former soldier recalled. "We never talked about it after, but it was my very first kill ever in combat."

Irving expressed belief his feelings over the kills would never completely go away, but after he welcomed his son into the world he felt changed 'in a good way' and was able to put more of his actions behind him for the benefit of his son.

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Featured Image Credit: Valuetainment/YouTube/Nicholas Irving

Topics: Military, US News, Viral