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In WAR, Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat--the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. Through the experiences of these young men at war, he shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis.
artillery starts working the far ridgeline where Wildcat thinks they see enemy movement. Kearney lies prone on the hill making marks on his map and calling in artillery strikes along enemy escape routes. He wants helicopters to pick up First Platoon and drop them along the five-nine gridline south of Landigal so that they can block enemy movement into the inaccessible southern end of the valley. Meanwhile, Second Platoon will push down from the north. While Kearney is on the radio Hijar yells
do right there.” Raeon lights his cigarette and exhales. “I go on leave in like two weeks,” he says. “It’s not how I wanted to go, though.” 3 THAT NIGHT THE MEN SLEEP WITH A HAND GRENADE in one hand and their 9 mil in the other. Instead of one man pulling guard while two men sleep, it’s the other way around, two-and-one. All night long enemy fighters have been observed walking from Yaka Chine to Landigal and then on up the mountain, and Kearney finally requests a bomb drop. The
will come out, scan around, there’s another guy just chillin’ on a rooftop.” BDUs are what the Army calls foliage-based camouflage. O’Byrne is whispering into his radio that wearing them is a killable offense, just like carrying a radio or a gun, but Patterson isn’t sure. (Patterson is the platoon sergeant, but he’s leading the patrol because Gillespie is away on leave.) After a few minutes the fighters disappear from sight and I watch the expression on O’Byrne’s face go foul. He’s lost his
spotter whose job will be to call corrections in to the mortarman and the Dishka gunner. Once those have us pinned down the other men will come up the hill to kill us. Kearney has a decision to make: he can take out the spotter with A-10 gun runs and ruin their plan, or he can let it unfold and hope to kill more of them when they come over the top. It doesn’t take him long to decide. “Maybe it would have been better to let them mass for an attack, but this late in the game it’s just not worth
for a penalty kick — when the kicker can no longer change his mind about where to send the ball — is around a quarter of a second. In other words, if the goalkeeper waits until the kicker’s foot is less than a quarter second from the ball and then dives in one direction, the kicker doesn’t have enough time to adjust his kick. Given that quarter-second cutoff, the distance at which you might literally be able to “dodge a bullet” is around 800 yards. You’d need a quarter second to register the