07 August 2009

Wardak Soldiers

From our friend LTC Steve Osterholzer with the 10th Mountain Division in Wardak Province, Afghanistan:

Several months ago we brought in a film crew from the Associated Press and embedded them with our soldiers in Wardak province. They have produced an unbelievable documentary that I'm sending you the link to.

The film crew embedded down to the lowest level, the "soldiers being soldiers" level. This is a web documentary in which it shows soldiers, raw and unvarnished, without an officer in sight. They swear and they bitch yes... but they, far better than I do, tell the story of the fight here and why it matters.

There are 8 sections, each a couple of minutes long, each focusing on a different theme: sacrifice, their thoughts on Afghanistan and the world, facing death, why we fight, and what life is like here every day. The images they capture are extremely moving and powerful: villagers bringing soldiers cups of tea, children, soldiers on patrol in the mud and searching villages for weapons caches, and what it's like living in a smelly tent for 12 months where you shower only every few weeks and where friend and enemy look the same.

It is, quite simply, as close as you can get to being here without being here.

Watch the 8 segments of Wardak Soldiers here. You'll wish they were longer...

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