My brother is getting married this year, and I learned yesterday that the man leading the ceremony was a childhood friend of ours, an army officer. Another friend of mine (from the same group of friends, incidentally), a private, has been in Afghanistan since March. I got some news from him recently. Everything is fine, but I am worried about him. I wonder how he gets through such life in such environment. In his email, he compared the current war to the movie Jesus of Nazareth (I swear I did not make that one up), except with tanks and cell phones. I have never been much into army except maybe when I was a very young child and I liked the uniform. I never cared about hierarchies and indoctrination. I do understand that violence is sometimes a necessity, that such violence has to be regulated by professionals, that we need an army and a police (I am very much a Machiavellian in that regard), but I never liked it. However, and partly because a good number of my friends are now soldiers, I have learned to appreciate it, or at least appreciate the people in it. I mentioned this before. I am also glad that my friends do love their job. It might sound silly, but it reminds me that they are still humans.
Anyway, learning that he was in Afghanistan made me thoughtful. When this war started, I knew I would be touched by it, but I did not grasp the reality of it. Afghanistan seemed so far away. It is still, but paradoxically it is also so much closer than it ever was.
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