Artist Profile: Ben Cantwell

As long as humans have engaged in conflict, participants have used art and imagery to help communicate their experiences. While words can so often fall short or fail to elicit an emotional reaction, art can transport you instantly and directly to a place in time, generating empathy and understanding when they are otherwise absent. Art […]

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Hair Club For Men

When I think back on my time in Afghanistan, I don’t remember being stressed. I remember fear, occasionally, when shit felt like it was out of control or something loud and sudden caught you by surprise, but not stress, not the way I’ve felt it at desk jobs when orders start to fall behind. Not […]

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American Pastime

It was midway through the deployment, probably sometime in November. The weather was changing quickly, and it was that perfect fall evening where back home, you’d be wearing sweatshirts again and people would be talking about pumpkin flavored shit at Starbucks. We didn’t have anything pumpkin flavored to remind us of home at COP Eredvi, […]

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Going Back

 Brian told me this would happen. We sat beneath the concrete recon bunker outside our hooch at Leatherneck passing the time before our flight back to Kyrgyzstan smoking cigs by the pack and bullshitting, and he told me I’d want to come back. I couldn’t imagine it at the time, so exhausted by Georgians and […]

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The Talk-On

 Despite all the awesome and terrible powers of the US military and our highest achievements in advanced targeting, sometimes the best method for you to help a pilot drop a bomb on someone’s head is simply to tell him where to drop it. There’s a name for that critical conversation in the military:  the “talk-on“. […]

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Line of Departure

I’ve been tossing around the idea of starting some kind of serial (can’t bring myself to call it a blog) for some time now.  I took over 50 pages of handwritten notes on a deployment to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province that was unique in so many ways, along with experiences from nearly 12 years in units […]

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