One day last summer, in the back of a bug-like armored truck in southern Afghanistan, an American infantryman my own age asked me a question, one I’ve heard countless times from countless soldiers when they learn that at home, I study at an Ivy League college: What do they think of all this back there, in your world?I knew what answer he expected because of the surprise that registers on such soldiers’ faces when I offer a different one. He expected that in my world of left-leaning professors and privileged students, the war he and his unit were waging would be viewed with scorn or disgust, and maybe that he and his profession would be, too.That wasn’t the case, I told him. From his expression, what I told him was worse: that in my world (if it really is my world, but that’s another question) most students — young people who are his peers, at least in terms of age and video games and music — rarely spare his war more than a passing thought.Now back in college after spending much of a yearlong hiatus embedded with American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is a reality I’m used to, one that I understand but still find disturbing: For me, it’s easy to forget that there’s a health care debate or an immigration one. But for almost everyone I know at school, even my closest friends, it’s easy to forget there’s a war — let alone two of them.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Well, at least one: Wes Morgan, AKA Tintin, appears today on the New York Times' At War blog.
Yeah, that's the same blog that Ink Spots hero C.J. Chivers writes for. Not that we feel insignificant or anything.