Daily VideoJune 11, 2010
Author Depicts Reality of Afghan War Combat
When journalist and author Sebastian Junger embedded himself with a small group of soldiers in an isolated outpost called Restrepo in the Afghan mountains, he quickly realized that he couldn’t remain impartial. Instead, he bonded with the men in the platoon and learned what it was like to live in a state of war without the Internet, running water or connection to the outside world. He recorded his experiences in a new book, titled War, and a documentary named Restrepo.
Junger says the soldiers demonstrated extraordinary acts of courage, such as stepping into the line of fire to defend their outpost or reach an injured comrade. But, none of the soldiers considered their actions courageous and insisted that anyone would have done the same in a similar situation. Junger also observed how, despite the difficult conditions at Restrepo, the soldiers missed it after they left because of the sense of extreme belonging and co-dependence they felt while there.
After Junger and the soldiers left their outpost, American forces eventually pulled out of the area completely and intentionally destroyed Restrepo. Junger says the soldiers feel very conflicted about their role in the war, since their outpost essentially became enemy territory again.
“The affiliation that I experienced with these guys, the affection I had for them, frankly, the subjectivity that started to occur in my journalism really began to interest me, because I realized that my feelings for them roughly mirrored their feelings for each other.” – Sebastian Junger, author and journalist
“What really is going on is that, in that place, each man there is necessary to everyone else. He has a completely secure position within that small group.” – Sebastian Junger, author and journalist
Warm Up Questions
1. Where is Afghanistan?
2. What is the terrain like in Afghanistan? Why might it be difficult to fight a war there?
1. Do you think Junger is still a credible journalist even though he wasn’t able to remain an impartial observer when he went to Restrepo? Why or why not?
2. According to the video, what did the men in the platoon say they missed about being at Restrepo? Did you find this surprising? Why or why not?
3. Junger says he approached his time at Restrepo believing that combat “doesn’t change very much for the soldier on the ground, war to war, century to century.” Based on what you know about previous wars and based on what you saw in the video, do you agree with him? Why or why not?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
The U.S. and North Korea exchanged threats Monday after Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the demilitarized zone between North an South Korea. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
West coast scientists are studying a deadly bat disease called white-nose syndrome after it spread to Washington state from the Northeast last year where it has killed more than 5.5 million bats since 2006. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The Senate confirmed U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch Friday in a 54-45 vote, following a contentious week of opposition from Democrats prompted Republicans to change Senate rules in order to push the vote through. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The U.S. launched nearly 60 missiles aimed at strategic air force targets in Syria Thursday night in retaliation for the Syrian’s government’s use of chemical weapons which killed at least 100 civilians on Tuesday. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
April 6, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the day Congress declared war and the U.S. entered World War I. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld