The Edge of War

I found this in my drafts, apparently I was feeling a bit maudlin while in Afghanistan deep in my pogness. It’s not awful, if not a bit over the top, so I figured I’d post it.

We find ourselves on the edge of war.



An odd thing to say about a combat tour I know, but one that anyone here who is being honest with themselves will know to be true. In the distance we hear the firing of artillery, the clap of small arms fire, and yes the occasional impact of inbound indirect fire. But to say we know war is to use the word in it’s thinnest context, let us say instead we reside on the edge, the precipice of battle. Like the spectators of old, who sat on mountain tops and watched the smoke of guns and listened to the screams of the dying in detached entertainment.



This is not to say we do not serve a purpose, nor to claim that stresses do not exist here. For anyone who says that if you do not sit in the fox hole, than you have no stress is wrong at best and a purposeful asshole at worst. Our stress is there, it is simply different. Despite the unlikeliness the possibility of death from above exists, we live our lives outside, in a thunderstorm. The chance that lightning will strike where you stand is miniscule, but your body is on edge nonetheless. Still anyone that would claim our situation is akin to real combat is a fool, or a braggart who wishes to be more important than he is.


It’s hard sometimes to remember that we serve any purpose, so far from the action that we work to affect. It can be disheartening, a drag on your spirit to know that there are men in the same uniform out there, beyond the safety of walls putting themselves in danger while you sit behind a desk. Some of these men may look upon us with disdain or contempt, and they may have earned that right, but we do serve a purpose. No machine can work without all of it’s parts, whether it be the engine of the infantry, or the gears and cogs of support. We may not be the part that everyone looks at first, and glorifies in their minds, but we are important.



Our struggles are different, and yes more often than not far lesser than those that find themselves in the midst of the battles we listen to. But our struggles exist, we are away from home, away from our families, and away from the things we love.



We find ourselves on the edge of war.



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