November 11, 2011
A Remembrance Day entry
Sometimes I find myself longing for the stark simplicity of life at a combat outpost. Sometimes I find normal, everyday life to be boring, mundane, insignificant and dull, particularly when compared to the rush and thrill and terror of combat. Sometimes I miss Afghanistan, no matter how insane that thought may seem to the average person.
I miss the daily tragic comedy of life in that place: The insane fearlessness of the Afghan National Army. The goofy, Keystone Kops-meet-Lawrence of Arabia ways of the Afghan Police. The craftiness of our foe, which was surprising given his routine displays of stupidity. The sturdy stoicism, yet outright welcoming nature, of the local elders and kids...
Yeah. This. It changes you, this war thing. For some better, for some worse (for the Afghans, mostly worse), and for too many, utterly ruins them. Paula, and our OMLT warrant officers three (Roberge, Wilson and Brown) who were good to me but didn't come home: thought of you today. Just like every year. Great memories, glad for what it taught me as a person and a man, maybe we even did some good, and still, far far too high a cost. Even if it was just them, and it wasn't.
"endearingly macho" -- Mark Steyn
"wonderfully detailed analysis" -- John Allemang, Globe and Mail
"unusually candid" -- Tom Ricks, Foreignpolicy.com
Bill & Bob
Ghosts of Alex