last night, steve and i watched taxi to the dark side, a 2007 oscar winning documentary about US interrogation policies in iraq and afghanistan.  the documentary is incredibly powerful, sad and sometimes even difficult to watch!  it's amazing how much research went into the movie.  and to think that no officer or administrative official got hammered in that whole deal is absolutely mind-blowing. and today, i watched this online documentary, sent to me by my partner in crime, from my air force nursing days at eglin AFB.  the documentary is about a group of US soldiers deployed to the wardak province, afghanistan, in early 2009 (my guess is that these same guys are still there). some of the scenes captured in this documentary are incredible...and powerful.  if you have a free half-hour, it's definitely worth the watch.  the link was accompanied by the following email message, from steve in afghanistan (not my steve; i have no idea who this person is or his association with the military).

As you read futher and open the link below you will find 8 thumbnail pictures across the top of the page.  Simply click on each thumbnail for a suberb presentation of life in Afghanistan for our troops. Even though it is in a totally different environment and as much as 35 plus years later, I swear that  most of the attitudes and comments are the same as those expressed in Viet Nam.  I imagine that the same could be said by anyone serving during Operation Desert Storm, Iraq, Korea, WWII, or any if the other armed conflicts that we have been involved


Hi All, Having worked with nearly 100 reporters during my time here in Afghanistan, I have seen a lot of good products (and not so good products) come out.  Simply put, the mission of my soldiers and I is to "tell the soldier's story."  And this product here, without question, is something I wish every American and Canadian could see.

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.  I know that I send out a lot of stories about life here, but if you look at only ONE thing, make it this.

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.

I don't think I have ever asked anyone to ever forward anything along to the people on your own distro lists.  But this is a first:  if you are as moved as I am by this documentary, I ask you to forward it on.  So many people ask, "what is life like as a soldier?"  This is without a doubt the best answer I could ever give after nearly 18 years in the Army. Steve

associated press' wardak soldiers online documentary