Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
What It’s Like To Finally Understand The Realities Of War
Sebastian Junger is used to telling other people’s stories. The 53-year-old journalist has been documenting other people’s lives for more than 20 years.
Best known for his compelling coverage of the war in Afghanistan, Junger released a book called “War,” in 2010 that closely examines the nature of combat. The book follows his embed with a platoon of U.S. soldiers deployed in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. He and his colleague, the late photojournalist Tim Hetherington, were also nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for their documentary, “Restrepo,” a visual extension of Junger’s book.
On July 11, 2012, Junger spoke at an event posted by the Moth, a nonprofit organization that hosts live storytelling events around the world, sharing one of his own war stories. Junger’s story was recorded and released as part the Moth Radio Hour podcast series on Aug. 18, 2015.“I’m used to talking and explaining how things work. And then I started to understand that’s not what the Moth is. What you’re really doing is telling a story and allow people to understand something more deeply,” Junger says on the podcast, referring to crafting the story he shared that night.
Moth stories are some of the “most important, most defining stories of a person’s life,” according to producing director Sarah Austin Jenness. In this instance, Junger recounts the day he learned about the death of Hetherington on Twitter. Hetherington was killed by a mortar on April 20, 2011, while covering the Libyan civil war in the city of Misrata.
That same day, Junger received an email from a Vietnam veteran from Texas who he and Hetherington both knew. He references it as part of his Moth story. The email read:
Sebastian, I’m so sorry about Tim. But I have to tell you something. It might sound callous, I gotta tell you. You guys with your books and your movie, you came very close to understanding the truth about war. But you didn’t get all the way. The core reality of war isn’t that you might get killed out there. It’s that you’re guaranteed to lose your brothers. And in some ways, you guys didn’t understand the first thing about war. And now, Sebastian, you’ve lost a brother, and you understand everything there is to know about it.
Junger didn’t find the note callous. He agrees with the veteran’s perspective.
Junger has continued to grapple with the experiences he had in Korengal and with the loss of his “brother.” He directed a documentary released in 2013 by HBO called “Which Way Is The Front Line? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington” — a tribute to the career of the accomplished photographer. In the film, Junger references the email he received from the Vietnam vet about the reality of war.
Junger also released a second documentary in 2014 called “Korengal” that turned unused footage from his Afghanistan embed into the story of the relationships forged in combat. His most recent film, “The Last Patrol,” premiered on HBO last year and followed a 300-mile trek he took with two combat veterans featured in his previous documentaries, as well as Spanish photojournalist Guillermo Cervera, who was with Hetherington when he died. It was a trip Junger and Hetherington originally planned to take together.
You can listen to Junger’s full Moth story here.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."