If you haven’t seen it, I suggest checking out The Fighting Season and learning a little more about what you absolutely won’t see in the news at all. Produced by Ricky Schroeder, this documentary series spends time on the ground in Afghanistan in current times as our military is drawing down and preparing to pull out of country for good…for now.
As anyone is aware, there is no news coming out of Afghanistan, not because there is no news to report, but because the MSM doesn’t care, doesn’t see a story and doesn’t think it is worth it. However, we still have young men and women there EVERY SINGLE DAY fighting and getting shot and wounded to support and continue our efforts for the last 14 years.
This series follows along with a platoon from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (a unit I fought along with in 2006-2007) and with 2/504th Airborne Battalion out of the 82nd Airborne Division and a Police Mentoring team in Afghanistan. It may have been 8 years since I was last there as a soldier (5 years since I was there as a military contractor) but watching this brings it all back. It was like I never left, as the negotiations, the Afghan National Police, the Afghan National Army, the people, the scenery, the dirt are no different than they were since the last time I was there.
From the casual observer it probably looks like not much has progressed over the years and for some parts of the country and the military and police I am sure that is the case. We used to say “two steps forward, one step back”, and it probably looks worse than that. However if what I saw in this series in an indication of the entire country and it’s forces then I can tell you a lot of progress has been made. Afghan progress is not the same pace as American progress, nor will it ever be. You can’t measure them against out standards, just like you can’t measure life in Hawaii against life in New York City.
The 6-part series gives the viewer a small glimpse of the life of the every day soldier in Afghanistan today. From the Infantryman in a patrol on the ground to a Battalion Commander trying to plan a operation and his staff going through MDMP (Military Decision Making Process).
They are not long episodes and are worth the time to watch. Educate yourself, do more than wear a flag shirt on the 4th, and share patriotic memes on Facebook on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. You don’t have to go through Basic Training, you don’t have to live in the suck, you don’t even have to break a sweat. Just watch and educate yourself. Of course you need DirectTV or a friend with it to see it right now. Hopefully it comes out on other channels soon or at least NetFlix.