Yearning For Afghanistan

Learning to brush teeth in Afghanistan.

Learning to brush teeth in Afghanistan.

Correction: This is an Afghani soldier.

American soldier with Afghani children

Iraq must be doing better because even the AP indirectly acknowledges it:

Spc. Grover Gebhart has spent nine months at a small post on a Sunni-Shiite fault line in western Baghdad. But the 21-year-old soldier on his first tour in Iraq feels he’s missing the real war — in Afghanistan, where his brother is fighting the Taliban.

Military officials say violence in Iraq is at its lowest point in the past four years.

With violence in Iraq at its lowest level in four years and the war in Afghanistan at a peak, the soldiers serving at patrol station Maverick say Gebhart’s view is increasingly common, especially among younger soldiers looking to prove themselves in battle.

“I’ve heard it a lot since I got here,” said 2nd Lt. Karl Kuechenmeister, a 2007 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who arrived in Iraq about a week ago.

The reporter goes on to report that only the newbies want to go back, but since anecdotes are news, I have some of my own. I corresponded via email from a soldier yesterday who was talking about serving again after taking a break after serving in Iraq. He wants to go to Afghanistan now:

And yeah, I am going back because it is getting worse. I want to do what I can to help the country. When I saw the glee in the little girls eyes when they got comic books and crayons etc after years of being refused such things, I just needed to help anyway I could.

A seasoned soldier (and if I can get his permission, I’ll use his name since he blogs, too) wants to go back and fight to help people in a 3rd world country have what we have in America. It is absolutely humbling to know that thousands of American men and women are actively choosing to serve not just America’s interests, but those of the less fortunate in the world fighting for freedom. Amazing.

Cross-posted at

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