Hurt Locker (the film); Michael Yon in Afghanistan – a terrific blog

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Time marches and sprints at frequent intervals so three passed since my last entry.

At this Friday’s USNA Alumni Luncheon, our two guests will be a former Army Captain who graduated from West Point in 2002 and a USNA grad also of class year 2002. The Captain became an engineer and found himself in Iraq in 2003 digging-up IEDs (improvised explosive devices), including 155mm artillery shells hidden in the carcass of a dead dog. The Navy lieutenant, a pilot, faced better equipped bombers when he arrived in 2005. Luckily, he had more sophisticated detection euipment along with more experienced support on the ground.

From our USNA Chapter Secretary:
USNAAA NC Triangle Chapter VP Chris Perrien has suggested that some helpful background reading for Friday’s meeting can be found in the dispatches of journalist/blogger Michael Yon, particularly his dispatches from Iraq in 2007 and the first half of 2008 (though his posts from Afghanistan since August 2008 are equally compelling).

Before going to Yon’s site, you might wish to familiarize yourself with him and his work through his Wikipedia entry.

This recommendation does not constitute a blanket endorsement of any of Yon’s statements about either the Iraq or Afghan wars (which are complex and difficult to classify)–it’s just a pointer to an up-close-and-personal account of what the war looks like from the soldier’s point of view.

Recommend the film, Hurt Locker. Was it shot in Iraq? live? Gritty texture of film and the silly-serious bravado of the main character is captivating, regardless of your politics. Why do people do these things?! How do they do these things?! And Michael Yon appears to be one of them. Who got us into this policeman’s nightmare of Iraq? How did anyone think that we could make a democracy of such people in such cultures in such a climate and environment. What would they do to us if they could?!