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Days Ahead

From a Lance Cpl in 2nd Battalion 1st Marines

“You could feel the encroaching and sobering thoughts before Kabul bearing down heavier after every minute—doubt, confusion, fear—it overcame us, like waves– the undeniable tension; even the most stoic of faces became facades for crippling anxiety.

The rumor mill began to spin. ‘1/8 Marines outnumbered, impossible to deter the Afghan mob.’ ‘Taking Pop Shots.’ ‘Hostile engagements.’ All the shit that you were told was supposed to make you rock hard as infantrymen, yet as they were then, they remain now, bullshit feelings designed to keep the soldier interested.

That night, Marines had gathered by the Wi-Fi-tent. For some, they made peace–making efforts to a loved one. For others, to recon. I opened Twitter and searched Kabul.

“Taliban completely secures Kabul, surrounding HKIA”

“Afghan people swarm onto tarmac”

“C-17s having difficulties landing”

“American forces have lost control”

In the morning when I loaded my magazines, I made sure to keep one round in my breast pocket. Just in case.”

- LCPL 2nd Battalion 1st Marines

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