On July 2nd, Bagram Airfield was closed permanently, marking the end of America’s longest war. My inbox has been full of troops who passed through the gates of the base over its 20 year life. Many believe that, as our forces withdrew, so too did all the goodwill we built up in the region over two decades. Others who believe there will be an uptick in PTSD-related suicides.
I would like to personally thank every man and woman who served in the war in Afghanistan. Your service helped keep us all safe on the home front, please know it. At Chive Charities and theCHIVE, we focus on helping the individual. And in helping the individual, you raise awareness for the cause. The following is the story of Combat Translator/ Interpreter Haleem Wafa.
When you’re out on your first patrol in Taliban country, the fear of roadside bombs is as ever-present as the enemy combatants. Haleem Wafa sat next to a new soldier on patrol. Many newbies had a habit of hugging their legs in a sort of the-floor-is-lava kind of way. You can hardly blame them. The damage done to extremities, particularly ones legs, are well documented. And the threat of being blown up is very real.
Haleem was monitoring the chatter on his radio. He was picking up an odd conversation about watermelons. It seemed fairly innocuous at first until he heard a man say, “The red mist won’t be from the watermelons.”