Finally, We're Getting a TV Series With Real SOF Stories From Iraq And Afghanistan

Entertainment
A scene from HISTORY Channel's "The Warfighters" a new documentary series executive produced by Peter Berg that airs Nov. 10, Veterans Day.
Photo via HISTORY Channel

On April 7, 2004, Eddie Wright was an assistant team leader with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion near Fallujah, Iraq, when the convoy he was in was caught in a deadly ambush. A rocket-propelled grenade slammed into Wright’s Humvee, and the ensuing blast took both his hands and a chunk of his leg.


The Marines of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company — one of the most decorated platoons for heroism in a single action in the War on Terror — dismounted and assaulted the enemy, estimated to be anywhere between 30 and 100 strong. They fought through fear, chaos, and enemy positions alike, remaining calm in the face of overwhelming fire, and ultimately, won the day. But victory came at a heavy price. Their platoon commander, Capt. Brent Morel, was fatally wounded leading the assault on the enemy position.

Related: This Is The Iraq War Documentary Every Veteran Must See »

This story is just one of the four instances of heroism, sacrifice, and battlefield bravery depicted in the HISTORY Channel’s upcoming documentary series, “The Warfighters.”

Through a mix of reenactments, intimate interviews, and footage shot by the veterans themselves, “The Warfighters” offers a rare look into the secretive world of special operations and similar elite units. Since 2001, the military’s special operations forces have been on the front lines of the Global War on Terror. Their stories are those of men who saw the horrors and heroism of war in Iraq and Afghanistan firsthand.

All too often, TV documentaries approach combat in an almost voyeuristic fashion: “As the Marines prepare to breach the door, there’s no telling what lies beyond,” murmurs some throaty narrator, before adding, “Find out after this commercial break.” Suspense is forced, and tension added in lieu of reflection. However, that’s where “The Warfighters” sets itself apart.

The series has no narration aside from the veterans themselves, and their personal accounts of combat and the camaraderie that exists in a tight-knit unit under fire are the driving forces behind the series.

The reenactments themselves are the quality you’d expect from a blockbuster war movie, not a television documentary series, but unlike a big budget film, “The Warfighters” doesn’t glamorize combat. It’s gritty, bloody, and chaotic, with the camera lurching left and right, while the men who are being represented on screen talk the viewer through each moment in visceral detail.

“The Warfighters” is executive produced by Peter Berg, who also directed “Lone Survivor” and “Friday Night Lights.” It premieres Nov. 11, Veterans Day, on the HISTORY Channel with a four-episode marathon beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time.

It sure would be nice to know what the hell is going on in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently claimed the U.S. military had killed more than 1,000 Taliban fighters in little more than a week – because body counts worked so well in Vietnam – and President Donald Trump said during his speech commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that the United States had gone on the offensive against the Taliban.

"The last four days, we have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before, and that will continue," Trump said, without elaborating further.

It's clear that Afghanistan is the new hotness, but the only people who aren't talking about how the strategic situation has changed since Trump abruptly ended peace talks with the Taliban via tweet are the U.S. military leaders in charge of actually fighting the war.

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Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.

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In this May 28, 2019 file photo, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader, second left, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow, Russia. (Associated Press/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.

The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.

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Joe Heller (Legacy.com)

Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.

"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.

The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.

Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.

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A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.

William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.

He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.

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