Monday, August 10, 2009

British Captain gives account from Afghanistan few others ever hear

I never get tired of reading pieces like this. I get upset over them but I know its healing for them to write. Once in a while someone comes along with the soul of a poet pulling us in to what he's writing to the point where we cannot be a distant observer.

You can question the military campaign in Afghanistan, the same way most questioned it for Iraq. You can question the lack of care when they get back home and need help because of their wounds, physical ones as well as TBI and PTSD, question the lack of planning and supplies as well as the lack of change of plans that actually work. You can question all you want but what most of us agree on is the men and women with their lives on the line deserve a hell of a lot more attention than any nation has given them. Please read this and then say a prayer both occupations have peaceful solutions soon so they all go back to their homes and families and then pray we finally get our act together to take care of what they need us for.

One Young Captain Offers Brutally Honest Account Of Dealing With Life, And Death, In Afghanistan
The Independent

In the first ever unauthorised dispatch from an officer on the frontline, one young Captain offers a brutally honest account of life in Afghanistan, revealing the pain of losing comrades, the frustration at the lack of equipment, and the sense that the conflict seems unending and, at times, unwinnable.

The author's name has been withheld.

My motivation is simple. Writing this helps vent off some of the frustration at what is happening out here in Afghanistan to those serving in the British Army, where death and serious injury are sickeningly common occurrences.

Before coming here, I had done two tours in Iraq which saw fierce fighting against the enemy. But, sometimes out here I feel I might as well be on my first tour, as a novice second lieutenant instead of a so-called senior captain with over eight years experience in the Army, due to a shocking rate of attrition that I have never encountered before.

Commentators keep citing previous figures for casualty rates in the Falkland's conflict, as well as the years in Northern Ireland, suggesting that, spread over the time we have been in Afghanistan, the figures here are not that bad.

How reassuring. For a moment I thought the rates might be quite bad; but thank goodness I have been shown that what we are experiencing is in fact a tolerable "medium" number of casualties.

Can we really only analyse the death and injury rate, or view it as a cause for concern, once we get past a certain benchmark or once the average number outstrips a previous average? I had hoped that human progression was a bit more advanced than that, and that there might be more to the situation than a comparison of statistics.
read more here
One Young Captain Offers Brutally Honest Account

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