I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because school is back in session and along with that working part-time and ROTC. However, I have had the blessing of being able to continue doing some independent reading (besides the endless pages of political science, history, and short stories I have to read for class).

In a period of a week and a half I began and finished an incredible nonfiction book by Vanity Fair editor and New York Times correspondent Sebastian Junger: War

If you asked me: what is the best book you have read this year? I would have to answer that War by Sebastian Junger is the one.

In no way ever done before, Junger lives for a 3-4 months alongside a platoon of infantryman in no-man’s land Afghanistan: the Korengal Valley. I would love to go on and write forever about this book; however, if I were to do that I would feel as if I were taking away from you the opportunity of engaging in the adventure which is reading it and the journey that Sebastian Junger takes us through.

I will, however, leave you with a quote that really grabbed hold of me while I was reading. Hopefully this isn’t much of a spoiler but it is definitely something worth sharing:

“Civilians balk at recognizing that one of the most traumatic things about combat is having to give it up. War is so obviously evil and wrong that the idea there could be anything good to it almost feels like a profanity. And yet throughout history, men like Mac and Rice and O’Byrne have come to find themselves desperately missing what should have been the worst experience of their lives. To a combat vet, the civilian world can seem frivolous and dull, with very little at stake and all the wrong people in power. These men come home and quickly find themselves getting berated by a rear-base major who’s never seen combat or arguing with their girlfriend about some domestic issues they don’t even understand. When men say they miss combat, it’s not that the actually miss getting shot at–you;d have to be deraged–it’s that they miss being in a world where everything is important and nothing is taken for granted. They miss being in a world where human relations are entirely governed by whether you can trust the other person with your life.”

War, Book Three: Love, Chapter 4

Sebastian Junger