Thursday, April 15, 2021

My Last War (Almost) Ends

U.S. Army Stryker vehicle in Afghanistan

 In 2012, I was on a roster of soldiers who were supposed to deploy to Afghanistan with a Pennsylvania National Guard Stryker Brigade.  President Obama cancelled the deployment.  It was the fourth and last war I volunteered for.

Nearly all of the Afghanistan veterans in my unit agreed the country is beautiful.  Many wanted to go back. During the 20 years this war lasted, many did go some on multiple tours.

Now the longest American war is over. President Biden said we will be out by September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the attack on America that led to our invasion of Afghanistan.  

The British and the Russians both suffered major defeats in Afghanistan. The country has a reputation as "the graveyard of empires."  

My fondest memories of the deployment that wasn't was training with these guys:

I am glad to see American troops will be leaving Afghanistan.  Soon after we leave, the Taliban will be in charge, the corrupt officials in Kabul will escape the country or be executed and life in that country will return to horrible under the fucked up fundamentalists of the Taliban.  

I will be re-reading my favorite book of 2020 about the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The thesis of the book is every war is fought twice, on the field and in memory.  Nothing Ever Dies is about the war fought in Vietnam and about every war ever fought. 

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