A French Infantryman’s View of American Soldiers

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Full story here.

Excerpt

Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine (Heh. More like Waffle House and McDonalds) – they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo.  Our frames are amusingly skinny to them – we are wimps, even the strongest of us – and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans.

 

Here we discover America as it is often depicted: their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by promiscuity and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley.  Honor, motherland – everything here reminds of that: the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels.  Even if recruits often originate from the hearth of American cities and gang territory, no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner.  Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location: books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission.  And that is a first shock to our preconceptions: the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.

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