I recently came across this article about American troops in Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of a French OMLT (Operational Mentoring Liaison Teams) infantryman, and it’s quite an amazing perspective. I’ve never taken the time to consider what it’s really like on the front lines, aside from watching movies like Black Hawk Down, Lone Survivor and Hacksaw Ridge. These movies mold my thoughts towards our military and give a sense of what our veterans have experienced. Reading firsthand accounts from an unbiased opinion gave me a stronger sense of pride of what our military represents as a whole.
Here’s what the foreign infantryman had to say.
“We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while – they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army – one that the movies brought to the public as series showing “ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events”. Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company. They have a very strong American accent – the language they speak seems to be not even English. How many times did I have to write down what I wanted to say rather than waste precious minutes trying various pronunciations of a seemingly common word? Whatever state they are from, no two accents are alike and they themselves admit that in some crisis situations they have difficulties understanding each other.