The official Sebastian Junger community
Dear Mr. Junger, Some time ago I tried to send you an email, and I am not sure you received it. So I will recapitulate it here for you on this lovely site.
For several years my first cousins and I planned a trip to Barbados, the homeland of our parental Grandmother, Rosalyn Goddard. It was something we all had to save up to do for quite awhile too!
Before the trip, I had purchased your book WAR. I had seen/heard some of your insightful interviews and since my children had served in both the Army and Air Force details to Iraq (first wave) and Afghanistan, and many of my friends families were serving, I had bought the book to read on the plane to gain more knowledge about the Middle East.
What a powerful story you have told. I could not take my nose out of that book. When I arrived in Barbados, my first day on the beach, the book never left my hands as I sat by the Caribbean sea. I think the sea was blue or maybe green or turquoise, I am not sure. The book took on a life of its own. It would not leave my hands. I cursed your writing for being SO GOOD. I cursed the war, then all wars, and then Man for being so stupid, hopeful, greedy, raw, hungry, romantic, insane, reckless and brave! Finally, my cousin Karen, whose brother we lost in Viet Nam, wrestled the book from me and said: Stop reading this damn book, it is upsetting all of us to hear you carry on!. Then she began reading it. Aloud. We all agreed your voice is enthralling, as your words leapt from the pages. They gave me back my book, and since that trip two of my cousins also purchased WAR to read.
My Fredericktowne Rotary Club is involved with Veteran projects. We have Ft. Detrick in our town of Frederick MD, and my Rotary Club has many projects for and with our troops. We also meet the planes coming back from overseas at Baltimore Washington International Airport a couple of times a month. It never fails to be food for my soul to meet and greet those brave men and women. Once I met a young dark complexed young woman who was pushing her luggage with two rifle cases on top. I had to ask her about them, and went over after shaking her hand to ask how and why she carried weapons. She was a Marine. She smiled and said they were her personal weapons as she was a Sharpshooter. She was just returning from Afghanistan. I was in total awe of this tiny little girl, and blurted out ~ We're so glad you are home safe! Welcome Home! She said, oh I am just visiting and then I am going back. My jobs not done. ~~~Again I said something very stupid:But it's so dangerous! ~~~ (Mr Junger, her next words really made an impression on me, and echoed your book), as she continued and said: I'll go back and finish my job. They never SEE ME coming! ~~ Talk about brave. Well you can and you do and you are.
Thank you for telling a great, true story.
Wishing you good health, safe travels and the best of everything,
Hi Leslie -
What a nice note, thank you so much. I'm glad your family gave the book back to you...
I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me about your reaction to my work. You may find Restrepo interesting - thats the name of a documentary I made with my colleague, Tim Hetherington, about the same unit. It goes together with the book very well; you can rent it on Netflix.
Either way, thank you again - and have a great summer -