‘The good life was so elusive…’

“Handouts, they got me down
I had to regain my confidence
So I got into camouflage
The girls, they love to see you shoot.”

>>I Love a Man in a Uniform, Gang of Four

Pretty amazing, intense photo set following a teenage soldier for 2.25 years from recruitment, to enlistment, to deployment and the challenges of life going back and forth from training/combat to home. The full multimedia feature (videos and articles, etc.) is here.

Hail to the Internet. Even if this were the longest of feature stories back in the print age, they’d use at most — what, 10? 15? of these photos with a print feature in the weekend paper? Now none of the photos and legwork go to waste.

For some reason, the rotation of girlfriends (and two engagements, and the girls gazing with hope) struck me most. Humans at this age seldom have a grasp of what’s going on or what they’ll face in life. Which makes them the most malleable, of course, and combined with their athletic resilience makes them ideal raw material for strategic combat. That’s always an interesting context for me, and the innocent search for a spouse as “the one” just adds to it.

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One thought on “‘The good life was so elusive…’”

  1. what got me most (okay, I have NOT seen/read the WHOLE thing yet, so…) was his friend Buddah crying after he left.

    I can handle my own pain regarding loss, no problem, I’m used to it. But It makes me cry to see other innocents cry. (I’m not saying he’s totally innocent, he’s probably had his share of petty theft and date rape), but he’s innocent in that he’s never felt this kind of loss before. and that picture of him, shit, I have two step-sons, and I almost lost it when I saw one of them cry like this.

    that’s probably why I can never have kids of my own, I don’t want any child to feel the pain of loss like I’ve felt. And if I were ever the cause of their pain, damn, that would be the end for me.

    (*sniff* I’m not crying, shut up!)

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