U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nathan Knapke
Sometime after I returned from a deployment in Afghanistan in 2010, Sebastian Junger and the late Tim Hetherington’s documentary film “Restrepo” was released. Many service members anticipated the documentary, and having gone through a U.S. Army leadership school with many of the film’s enlisted soldiers a year prior and my former mentor being a public affairs liaison to the unit, I was among the curious. A year later in 2011, my unit was tasked to close the door on operations in Iraq. As resources became limited and mail service stopped, Junger’s “War” was passed around and read throughout our offices.
The Oscar-nominated Danish foreign film titled “A War” sweeps the viewer into its story as the opening scene follows a light infantry unit hit by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in southern Afghanistan.
The nonprofit hunger-relief charity, Feeding America, recently released a study that concluded one out of four households with a current military member required assistance from the group’s 196 networks of food banks throughout the United States in 2012.
Strike up a conversation about contraceptive rights and sexual assault at a social gathering and you’ll likely find yourself shunned, dismissed, deemed inappropriate or labeled a real Debbie Downer. They are emotion-inducing subjects to the highest degree and very personal, individual topics of choice to share publicly, despite one’s political, religious, or ethical stance. If the topic is discussed, it’s typically out of convenience or necessity.