10 October 2013
This essay is based on Combat High written by Sebastian Junger first published in Newsweek Magazine in 2010. The article was adapted from the author's book War which describes life in a platoon in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. He spent fourteen months during 2007 and 2008 embedded in the platoon. Junger points out the costs of the war in terms of the soldiers psychological aspects, explaining how being in combat can be damaging. Another cost of war is caused by lack of proper medical and psychological care to returning soldiers to help in the re-insertion to society.
War is brutal, imagine young men far away from the comforts of western modern life as we know it, no running water, no communications with the external world nor any kind of entertainment, wanting of close relationships such as close friends, girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse, parents, that make us who we are as individuals. Situated in a strange place full of people wanting to hurt them. In spite of all lacking somebody has to carry the war burden, somebody has to stand up for all the things we enjoy as a society, someone has to fight for our freedom, and there they are.
It was another hot day at the hilltop in Afghanistan when combat called for action. American soldiers caught the enemy in the open and without enough cover, soon the valley turned into one enormous shooting gallery. The action seemed casual, soldiers acted without much thinking, like riding a bicycle as it came all natural like of second nature. In a matter of minutes it was all over, the scouts reported over the radio they saw a guy crawl in the mountainside without a leg they watched until he stopped moving and announced his death. Everyone at the camp cheered. This was to the non combatant bothersome, but the cheering had a more profound meaning and it was that the dead enemy could not hurt anyone else. are represented at the ground, after all, these young guys have... [continues]
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