From the March issue of Evolve. Download today:
Video by Ian Wittenber
Something about Oklahoma City. A bomb went off. I was nine about to turn ten. Cartoons weren’t on that afternoon because it was all news. Then something about the Twin Towers. A girl runs out of class, crying. Her Dad might have been in the building. I’m sixteen. On the news, they’re riding tanks toward Baghdad. The reporter seems excited. Will Ferrell is in a sketch and they joke about invading Kandahar. I don’t know where that is.
I catch a whiff of a now familiar stink as I step off the plane. Kandahar smells the same as Bagram. At least it’s warmer. I laugh to myself. I’d forgotten for a moment why I’m here. Mark shakes my hand, introduces me to Adam. Both have wives waiting for them in the US. So did Don at Bagram. So has almost every guy I’ve met out here.
They hand me a plaque with my name on it, thanking me for coming all the way out here. I’m nine again. Then sixteen. It all seemed distant until now.
This is real. This affects people. It’s not on TV. I remember why I came all the way out here. For the first time, I feel responsible for telling someone else’s story.
Evolve strives to partner with smart, talented, hard-working writers, filmmakers and photographers on stories they are passionate to tell.
Please take a look at what we’ve previously published, and if you’d like to be considered, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a 200-word story proposal, a brief bio, and links to previously published work. If you don’t have a specific story in mind, we often assign producers subjects to cover, and are willing to work with prospective contributors to find a project that is of mutual interest. Applicants without examples of recent work, however, will not be considered.
On a less frequent basis, we are also willing to purchase re-publication rights to a story. If you’ve written or produced a piece you believe would fit within these digital pages, we are open to that discussion. Please send a link to email@example.com.
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