Small Wars Journal

Us and Them

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Us and Them: A Personal Essay

by Phat Doan

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The Journey...

July 6th, 2010, there was no turning back. We resigned our full-time jobs, put our educations on hold, said goodbye to our family and friends and prepared for the unknown adventure to come. Two months later, dusts swallowed the plane combat landing from the empty sky. Our hearts sunk as we raced off the plane under the cover of darkness. Thoughts of snipers and mortar observers, from the million stories we've heard, immediately crossed our minds. Picking up our ruck-sacks, reality finally hit us as we walked through the quiet, lifeless land. The moon shined with little light reflecting; grasping our weapons tightly, we tried to make out the familiar faces of our friends looking for any little comfort. So it began...

Download the Full Article: Us and Them

Phat Doan is a graduate student at University of Utah, pursuing M.P.H. from the School of Medicine and M.P.A. from the Center for Public Policy & Administration. He is currently deployed to Afghanistan with 118th Engineer Co (SAPPER). This essay is dedicated in loving memory of SFC James E. Thode, KIA December 2nd, 2010 in Khost Province, Afghanistan.

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Tue, 05/31/2011 - 2:03pm

An excellent account and with the lessons learnt. One wonders if the author is in a minority of those who served in Afghanistan.

Maybe here on SWJ people who have influence will read it and make a difference.