War is life multiplied by some number that no one has ever heard of.— Sebastian Junger
The most blissful Sebastian Junger quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
The only thing that makes battle psychologically tolerable is the brotherhood among soldiers. You need each other to get by.
The Army might screw you and your girlfriend might dump you and the enemy might kill you, but the shared commitment to safeguard one another’s lives is unnegotiable and only deepens with time. The willingness to die for another person is a form of love that even religions fail to inspire, and the experience of it changes a person profoundly.
Each Javelin round costs $80,000, and the idea that it's fired by a guy who doesn't make that in a year at a guy who doesn't make that in a lifetime is somehow so outrageous it almost makes the war seem winnable.
At 19, your brain hasn't finished wiring itself.
So the first time you have a good friend die, most people don't go through that at 19. Soldiers do. They're facing life in this accelerated, compressed form, and a lot of times, they're not ready for it.
Maybe the ultimate wound is the one that makes you miss the war you got it in.
In some ways, risk-taking is the ultimate act of self-indulgence , an obscene insult to the preciousness of life. And yet, how can one dismiss something that persists despite every reasonable theory that it shouldn't?
Combat isn't where you might die -- though that does happen -- it's where you find out whether you get to keep on living. Don't underestimate the power of that revelation. Don't underestimate the things young men will wager in order to play that game one more time.
No matter how many people you kill, using a machine gun in battle is not a war crime because it does not cause unnecessary suffering; it simply performs its job horrifyingly well.
The negative effects of combat were nightmares, and I'd get jumpy around certain noises and stuff, but you'd have that after a car accident or a bad divorce. Life's filled with trauma. You don't need to go to war to find it it's going to find you. We all deal with it, and the effects go away after awhile. At least they did for me.
I don't think journalists in World War II were objective about the Nazis, and I don't think they should have been.
The army consists of the first infantry division and eight million replacements.
Bad news is dramatic. It makes good TV. If there's a firefight on the same day that a school opens up, the media will show the firefight even though the school is way more important and will affect the community for much longer.
Firemen don't talk about whether a burning warehouse is worth saving.
I was surprised how open and unguarded the military was.
I expected more scrutiny, more supervision from command.
I don't think people would climb mountains or jump off bridges with parachutes or kayak Class V rapids if those things didn't offer the brief and horrible illusion of imminent death. They would just be complicated, time-consuming endeavors that we'd steer well clear of because they got in the way of real life.
Traditional Albanian society was based on a clan system and was further divided into brotherhoods and bajraks. The bajrak system identified a local leader, called a bajrakar, who could be counted on to provide a certain number of men for military duty.
I have been working since I was 20, and I'm 38.
I actually once averaged out what I had made over my professional life. I think I could have made that much as a waiter or an insurance salesman. You know, I spent so many years in my 20's making $10,000 a year.
The coward’s fear of death stems in large part from his incapacity to love anything but his own body. The inability to participate in others’ lives stands in the way of his developing any inner resources sufficient to overcome the terror of death. — J. Glenn Gary, The Warriors
A grenade launcher will easily take out a tank;
a Molotov cocktail placed in its air intake will destroy one as well.
Of the primary emotions, fear is the one that bears most directly on survival.
Children show fear. Adults try not to, maybe because it's shameful, or, in some circumstances, dangerous. The fear response is automatic, though, and your body runs through its reflexes whether you want it to or not.
I'm a good liberal, and I grew up in a very liberal family and had very strongly held beliefs.
People who do really dangerous tasks can't afford to sit around and discuss the merits of what they're doing.
An adventure is a situation where the outcome is not entirely within your control. It is up to fate, in other words
In my eyes Marlantes has become the pre-eminent literary voice on war of our generation. He is a natural storyteller and a deeply profound thinker who not only illuminates war for civilians, but also offers a kind of spiritual guidance to vets themselves. As this generation of warriors comes home, they will be enormously helped by what Marlantes has written. I’m sure he will literally save lives.
War is a lot of things and it's useless to pretend that exciting isn't one of them. (pg. 144)
My wife, Daniela, and I live in an old house from 1810 with three fireplaces at the end of a dead-end dirt road on Cape Cod, so I turn the trees into firewood for us and a friend of mine sells the rest.
I had grown up during Vietnam. I had no connections to the U.S. military, and I had a pretty cynical default opinion about the U.S. military.
War affected my family a lot, and I was quite curious about it.
I first went off to war in the early 90's as a journalist, partly out of curiosity and partly because I needed a career. War reporting has been very glamorous and exciting, and everything else that young men like.
I decided to start a medical training program for freelancers, only freelancers.
They're the ones who are doing most of the combat reporting. They're taking most of the risks. They're absorbing most of the casualties. And they're the most underserved and under-resourced of everyone in the entire news business.
Who wants a life of ease? And who wants a life in the office that you hate, and who wants to play golf?
I think objectivity is like this strange myth that people think you're supposed to achieve, but actually, the dirty little secret is that it's not attainable any more than pure justice is attainable by the courts.
I hope I get married one day.
I think human society for tens of thousands of years has sent young men out in small groups to do things that are necessary but very dangerous. And they've always gotten killed doing it. And they've always turned it into a matter of honor and a way of gaining acceptance back into society if they survived.
Well, you got to remember, bin Laden killed 3,000 Americans and, in some ways, he and his ideology killed tens of thousands of his fellow Muslims, including Pakistanis. I understand that that was provocative and complicated for Pakistan, but only if you accept the idea that he was an acceptable member of Pakistani society.
Here's an easy way to see if a war movie is being truthful: If you see an explosion on a faraway hillside and the sound of the explosion and the detonation of the bomb happen at the same time - if they're putting the sound and the vision together in the same moment - they're going toward our cultural understanding of war, not the reality of war.
No one will remember that President Obama supported the Arab Spring if it eventually fails and the region collapses back into the political Dark Ages. If we actively engage these movements with advice, with money, and, when necessary, with military force, then we get a vote in how it all turns out.
All journalists hope that their work will inspire a broader conversation.
I think that's just what journalism is.
I’ve stopped war reporting. I realized that I’d answered all of my questions about war and about myself.
My reporting in Africa wouldn't be political per se, but it's certainly the point of my reporting - and of a lot of other reporters I know: Human suffering is bad, and if reporting stories about it brings it to light and someone does something, that's part of the point of journalism. And it's a thin line between that and activism, and you have to be careful about that.
There's no reason to do anything twice, and certainly no reason to do something that almost killed you.
The cause doesn't have to be righteous and battle doesn't have to be winnable;
but over and over again throughout history, men have chosen to die in battle with their friends rather than to flee on their own and survive.
How do men act on a sinking ship? Do they hold each other? Do they pass around the whisky? Do they cry?
I went to Afghanistan in '96 to write about terrorist training camps south of Jalalabad and Tora Bora, in the mountains. I was there right before the Taliban took over, literally a few weeks before they took Kabul. The frontline wasn't terribly active, but it was definitely there. And they swept into power.
The attacks of 9/11 came out of Afghanistan.
It was a failed state, a rogue nation. That's why al Qaeda was there in the first place.
It's fun to have money, but the more money I get, the less interesting it becomes. If you don't have very much, you have to think about it. If you are starving, you become interested in food. If you are struggling to pay the bills, money becomes tragically important.