I don't bring this up much, but once upon a time I was an Army grunt immediately post high school. I was a senior and vividly remember 9/11. Anyway, fast forward a bit and I'm in basic train 4 months after my graduation. Landed boots on the ground in Afghanistan for my first tour 4/20/2004, OEF V.
I knew back then that the Afghan National Army(ANA) was weak but damn did I not realize just how weak they were. It is 14 years later and they are far worse than I could ever have imagined. They've been overrun in a matter of months and realistically could control the country by the end of the year. All those stupid hearts and mind missions, all those talks with the village elders, the wells dug, generators given away, national elections, and weeks long missions - all of it pissed away because they can't/won't stand up for themselves. Reports of soldiers leaving their uniforms so they could blend in civilians makes my blood boil. All the guys that got chewed up or worse.
I rarely get upset but I'm legitimately angry. What was the point of it all?
This is me doing a word find in 100+(probably) degree heat. We lived in those wood frame tents for 9 months.
I'm doing a reunion next week with the guys I went there with. Some are still one. At least one is SF and will most likely have to go back.
I don't know where I'm going with all this but I just needed to vent a bit.
HMMWV pic for your time. I'm 2nd from the right with my head down.