Monday, October 18, 2004

Well, I'm back

...after having spent nearly a year in Afghanistan. My profound observation of the day: It wasn't at all what I expected.

I got through my time there without doing anything particularly heroic - fortunately, without being in a situation where doing anything heroic was required or expected. I've been to war, been to combat, and I still don't have the slightest idea how I would react to a Saving Private Ryan moment when things go really, really bad. Having had the slightest taste of what that would be like, I have an even more profound respect for the soldiers who have gone through the real thing. (Something most people probably don't consider about exceptional acts of heroism - in order for the conditions for heroics to exist, things have to go terribly, terribly wrong.)

Looking back on everything, I'm grateful for two things - I came back in one piece, and I didn't do anything stupid that would have caused someone else not to come back in one piece.


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