Saturday, June 4, 2011


Photo by Tim Hetherington.
Sergeant Tanner Stichter, Second Platoon, Battle Company, of the Second Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley.

Dave and I watched the Afghanistan war documentary Restrepo for the first time last night. Still thinking about it this am. Very heavy. Very emotional. Logged onto the movie website, learned more about the soldiers, Restrepo film makers Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, and then ran into some very sad news. Tim Hetherington, photographer and war photo journalist was killed in April of 2011 while covering the war in Libya.

Tim Hetherington (December 5,1970-April 20, 2011)
I am deeply saddened by the loss of one of the men who gave the world, Restrepo.This morning I was reminded to continue to pray for the guys putting themselves on the line in ways that are unimaginable, even after you see "the real story' on film. The burden they carry while in war, does not dissipate after they leave the battle field. In reference to PTSD,  Restrepo soldiers said... "I can't sleep. The nightmares are constant."  "They are still trying to figure out what to do with people like us because we were out there so long."

This morning, I opened my Bible to II Corinthians (Chapter 1: 8-11). I couldn't believe that even today, the words I was reading seemed strangely so fitting to the story of bravery, fear, and hope documented in Restrepo. They reminded me what to do whenever I think about this horrible war and our nation's beloved warriors--our friends, brothers, nephews, fathers, sons and daughters.
We do not want you to be uninformed brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. In deed, in our hearts, we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then, many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

More on the movie, the soldiers and Tim here

One of the Restrepo soldiers Brendan O'byrne has started a website and a community to help others battling PTSD (he suffered too but says he is OK now) so they "don't have to keep fighting alone". If you know of someone who needs help, here's the link. (He also tells you how to send a care package to guys still deployed. I love it!)