Wednesday, August 1, 2007


The Things They Carried

"You may recall from a previous Sandbox essay how Ski treated a wounded Taliban soldier. Upon seeing the wounded man, Ski immediately grabbed his Combat Life Saver medical bag and moved to begin treating the fallen enemy. Ski told me how the wounded enemy was looking at him with fear in his eyes, expecting Ski to finish him off. When the Taliban realized Ski was trying to save him, he relaxed and put his hand over his heart. In Afghanistan, it's customary among men to put their hand over their heart as a sign of deep respect and thanks. This image of mutual compassion from unlikely sources, in an unlikely place, summed up what having Ski as a partner was like. No matter what the circumstances, Ski would choose the right path and do the right thing. Here, in the heat and dust of war, despite the mental and physical fatigue that cracked our minds and bodies, his moral compass was always pointing in the right direction. In Afghanistan, it never faltered when it mattered."

(Name: CAPT Benjamin Tupper
Posting date: 7/30/07
Returned from: Afghanistan
Hometown: Syracuse, New York)


jarvenpa said...

I flitted here from Lori Witzel's space, and am glad I did so. This is very moving--and I certainly relate to the rest of your posts and your vivid art, thank you.

am said...

Thanks for visiting, jarvenpa. I left a message at your space some time ago and have often been moved by your writing. I relate to many of your experiences. The area of Northern California where you live is one where I have a sense of "home."