The vast majority of Americans cannot comprehend the reality of combat. Media portrayals, no matter how seemingly realistic, only dimly reflect the true nature of what it means to come under fire from an enemy.
Films like “Lone Survivor” and “American Sniper” may be gripping, but the reality is even more intense, unsettling — and consequential.
Serving in Afghanistan in 2006-2007 with the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division, my platoon and I engaged Taliban combatants repeatedly along the Pakistan border area. My platoon was deployed 485 days, with one of the highest casualty rates of the entire war.
The hardest lesson I learned was that in a combat situation, sheer uncertainty stalks you constantly. Amid that uncertainty, you’re forced to make instantaneous >To grasp the price of that uncertainty, consider the case of Clint Lorance — a 29-year-old U.S. Army lieutenant sentenced to military prison for ordering his men to fire upon Afghan nationals he believed were a threat. The facts suggest the punishment rendered to Lorance is a stark injustice — and is a chilling example to all who have had to make tough decisions in complex combat situations.
Here’s what we know:
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