I’m starting to brainstorm for the next cool thing.
It’s been a bit over six months since I flew back from Kuwait. I’d like to think the experience changed me forever, but that would be a lie. I look back on the photos and my posts from that trip and it’s like another world, one of many I get to dive into briefly as a reporter.
But unlike most other trips, it’s the one with the story most worth telling. I’m in the midst of War, the book by Sebastian Junger about the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. His descriptions have dredged up feelings and memories from my brief trip and reminded me of some of the lessons I learned.
It’s an incredible feeling, to read a book like that and feel a bit like you understand. I’ve read many classics in the genre, from The Things They Carried to The Forever War, but the fear and the camaraderie experienced by soldiers was only abstract. Now when Junger describes the stress soldiers feel waiting to be attacked, I get it. I remember my night ride to Camp Delta in the back of an MRAP, feeling woefully vulnerable, like I was in the middle of a drum about to get pounded.
Those memories scare me, but they also remind me of what is still going on out there, what kinds of stories are always happening. I love my job and have no intention of leaving it, but I am starting to look for a way to tell more of those stories. Where will the next one come from?