Memorial Day in Afghanistan

Remembering SGT Roger P. Pena on Memorial Day in NYC, and later while in the company of Afghan troops during my second tour in Afghanistan.

True Boots

Memorial wall at the Craig Hospital at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan Memorial wall at the Craig Hospital at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, honoring the medical personnel who were killed in 2006-2007

There are so many stories, so many names, so many people to remember from my tours in Afghanistan.  My first year in Afghanistan, I stood and saluted at many Fallen Comrades ceremonies at Bagram Airfield as fallen troops were transported to the flightline for their return home.  An astonishing number of medics and medical staff from my task force that year were killed by both enemy fire and by accidents during combat operations.  An even more astonishing number of troops from 10th Mountain Division, the large command to which I belonged, were killed during that year as well.  There are too many names and individual stories to list here.

I’ve written twice for WNYC’s “The Takeaway” as sort of snapshots of remembrance for Memorial Day.  One was written in NYC in…

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