Red carpet jitters, vet at Oscars

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Photo: Matt Sayles, AP; Caption: Tim Hetheriington, second left and Sebastian Junger, far right, of the documentary 'Restrepo' arrive with Staff Sgt. Aron Hijar, third from left, and Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belki, in dress blues, before the 83rd Academy Awards on Feb. 27, 2011, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Calif.

What could possibly scare a soldier after serving a tour in Afghanistan’s enemy-infested Korengal Valley?

For Korengal veteran Staff Sgt. Aron Hijar, the anticipation of meeting Hollywood’s scintillating stars at late-February’s Academy Awards caused him repeated anxiety attacks, he told USA Today.

“Keeping your cool under fire is not nearly as big a deal as keeping your cool in front of people you’ve idolized your whole life,” said Hijar, one of the soldiers from the Oscar-nominated documentary “Restrepo.”  He was hoping to see Al Pacino, reported the paper.  “This is otherworldly. You don’t exactly train for this in the military.”

Hijar accompanied “Restrepo” filmmakers Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger at the ceremony.  The documentarians chronicled combat life at an isolated outpost in the deadly valley during 2007-08.

Considering Hijar’s jitters, how have your at-home fears changed since redeploying from a combat theater?  Let us know.  Post a comment.

[via USA Today]
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