Battle on the Home Front: A Journalist Documents Life After War

November 12, 2014 4:42 PM

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This is the first time I've been truly alone in what feels like weeks. I feel like I've been living the life of a ghost. Groundless, rootless, floating from above, watching everyone else's life unfold before me. It's a strange thing. Since Afghanistan in July 2009, I haven't really had a home. I've been crashing and paying rent, uncomfortably in Brooklyn and Watertown, but most of the time I am on the road, traveling across the country to listen to anyone who will speak with me. It's been hard, but I'm finding that the families are the ones who understand what I am doing more than anyone else... even more than the guys in the army. They just seem to get it.

I have been living in and out of families' tragedies for the past three months, as they happen before my eyes. In February, I traveled to Dirk Terpstra's house in Michigan. Dirk at age 26 killed himself in a family friend's yard on the night of Feb. 24, 2010. His friends called him "Terpstra" or sim...

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