Facing Fears While Hearing a Firefight While embedded as a trainer with the Afghan national army, a U.S. Army National Guard Captain hears a harrowing transmission over the military radio: men from his group involved in a pitched battle.
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Facing Fears While Hearing a Firefight

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Facing Fears While Hearing a Firefight

Facing Fears While Hearing a Firefight

Facing Fears While Hearing a Firefight

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While embedded as a trainer with the Afghan national army, a U.S. Army National Guard Captain hears a harrowing transmission over the military radio: men from his group involved in a pitched battle.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Commentator Benjamin Tupper lives and works with Afghan men, and sometimes faces death with them. He is a captain in the U.S. Army National Guard and one of a small group of military trainers embedded with the Afghan army. Training, in this case, can include leading Afghan soldiers in battle and it can also include losing them.

BENJAMIN TUPPER: But you can't run away from the war. When I returned to the TAC in the morning, the radio squawked with the normal administrative chatter of movements, reports and updates. The office was filled with my teammates in their usual upbeat banter. I relax and join in the small talk.

INSKEEP: My fear of being alone last night came back. Listening to the fight unfold on the radio, feeling as if I were being drawn into it, all in the last moments before this soldier was killed - alone. I'm glad I ran through the darkness last night.

INSKEEP: That's commentary from Benjamin Tupper. He's a captain in the Army National Guard, embedded with the Afghan National Army.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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