He feels guilty sometimes too about some of what he did and saw, but unless he’s had a drink or two, he doesn’t talk about that stuff.
He quietly departed his village alone and traveled to Kabul, where he began sleeping on the floor of a friend’s apartment. Without a job, he couldn’t afford to bring his wife and daughter with him, so they remained with Zabi’s father, who swore to protect them.
Understanding Veteran Suicide
The War Horse is collecting demographic information about verifiable suicides among Post-9/11 veterans. By filling out our confidential form you are helping us identify suicides and other untold stories from war.
Take Our Survey
The Marine Corps taught me that despair and violence was renewing. In boot camp I shouted “kill” 100 times a day, and went to two church services back-to-back on Sundays. I prayed to kill. It would mark me, and yes, I believed, it would save me.
The reality, I think, is that I made no difference at all. They were never going to understand American-style policing. As long as the Afghans thought it was OK to treat women like property, like killing a woman was equivalent to killing a goat, then they were never going to understand higher-level concepts like voting, or free speech, or feminism.
A WAR THAT BEGAN AS CHILDREN
Wars were small, quick affairs involving special operators, U.N. peacekeepers and long-range bombers. A decade later, I found myself going back and forth with an antiwar protestor after covering a rally at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for the student newspaper. I was learning an early lesson in journalism: admit personal views at your own risk.
Read Derrick and Ian's story.
Alyssa’s teacher took her to the counselor’s office where Veronica was waiting. “My mom looked at me and told me Papi wasn’t coming home,” Alyssa said. “I didn’t know what she meant. She just looked at me and said, ‘He died.’”
Things were the same for Anthony, who was three. He walked into pre-school that morning expecting good news. Instead, he was told he’d never see his father again.
How Kyle Carpenter Came Back From Death
His fellow Marines, doctors and his family questioned whether he would survive, or if he did, what his quality of life would be. This is the story of his recovery.
Our detailed standards for trauma reporting are inspired by The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.
Discover More About The War Horse
How we are going to Make the war horse a reality
With a responsive growth plan and responsible use of donor funds, The War Horse will release stories and site features in stages that ensure we adhere to our Standards of Trauma and Legal Reporting Practices.
JOURNALISM WITH EVERYONE'S STORY IN MIND
The War Horse is a database-driven investigative journalism outlet that publishes reporting focused on the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Armed Forces.
THE HOME OF THE ECHOES PROJECT
The first fully digital collection of multimedia profiles for each of the U.S. service members and interpreters killed in action since 9/11.
Donations Drive Our Journalism
100% of all donations and in-kind services are used to fund our mission and explore the untold stories from Post-9/11 conflict.