Even though hearing protection was available, it wasn't always used as "required." Any soldier, marine, sailor, air crapper who has ever been on a flight line, an airborne operation, helicopters, armor, infantry in the field, or combat can tell you punching something in your ears as the guns go off ain't the first priority. I did have HP, but I also suffered a high frequency hearing loss and have tinnitus after 25 years on active duty. HP helped, but it did not the issue. I volunteered, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it, I accept the consequences of my actions. I would still spend time on active duty if I had to do it all over again.
[This message has been edited by terata (edited 2/17/2013 8:13p).]