Letters: Afghanistan

Listeners respond to the story from Afghanistan. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read from listeners' e-mails.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Its time now for your letters and we received a lot of appreciative email about a story we aired last week from Afghanistan.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

One day after a massive bomb tore apart in armored vehicle killing two American soldiers, troops returned to the scene to recover the vehicle. It was still burning. NPRs Graham Smith went with them and they talked to Graham about how they were feeling after the bombing. Heres Sergeant Josh Stokes.

Sergeant JOSH STOKES (Stryker Brigade Combat Team): Im a soldier. I know how to fight. Ive done it before. Ive been in plenty of situations where I needed to fight, but I hate being a mine detector.

SMITH: He questions whether the Strykers are right for Afghanistan. They did well in the cities of Iraq on well-paved roads.

(Soundbite of engine)

SMITH: But in Afghanistan, they often get stuck in loose soil or muddy fields.

Sgt. STOKES: In my opinion, Strykers dont need to be in this country. You look from here all the way up to Bagram, if you drive up Route One, you see nothing but littered Russian vehicles from when the Russians were here. This has to be air power.

BLOCK: Thank you, was the message from Patrick Butler(ph) of Durham, Connecticut. He writes that the story in his words, made the war real to me, for the first time. Mr. Butler continues, I was chilled and afraid for them all.

SIEGEL: This is from Peter Sobonnas(ph) of Mount Airy, Maryland. By words and sounds alone, the piece was able to capture the tension, fear and courage of the brigade, as they risk their lives to salvage an overturned burning troops transport within sight of the Taliban. But the story was far more than that. Darkness protected the salvage mission, yet the soldiers spoke of a greater darkness relating to the lost of their comrades and compassion for those they were defending.

BLOCK: Thanks for your thanks and your critiques. You too can send us a note at npr.org, click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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