There is no greater sacrifice than what our service men and women do for this country. Each day they are no doubt risking their lives and sacrificing many of their own freedoms for their family and friends as well as millions of American’s they’ve never even met. They are a proud group of selfless people, living in less-than-comfortable conditions every day so that many in this country can have the freedoms that they enjoy on a day to day basis.
Coming home is one of the most anticipated moments in Marine’s life. Seeing their loved ones is one of the sweetest of victories, but after living in a combat environment for seven months it can be a hard transition back into civilian life. It is no different for the Battleground Afghanistan crew. After seven long months of fighting the Golf Company is finally heading back to American soil. With one more mission to complete before heading come, the group maintains unrelenting focus on the mission ahead but greatly anticipate their journey home.
In this episode of Battleground Afghanistan: Homeward Bound we are witness to the Golf platoon’s last mission and their reflection of life on the battleground as well as life after deployment. The simple pleasures they take shelter in on the dessert fields of Afghanistan remind them of home but the uncertainty of returning to civilian life weighs on the minds of many of the men as they are no stranger to the process.
Sgt Jeffrey Kurek: When you’re here yeah you’re happy that you’re here and, and you’re glad that you’re doing the job that you enlisted for, but you’re always talking about home. Usually the first month is pretty difficult just re-adjusting. They always give us those briefs, you know. Your kids depending on what age group they are will react differently to you. If they’re extremely young, they may not realize that you’re their father at first.
Sgt Bryan Barrow: I really can’t tell people much about my experiences here back home as much as I love every single family member that I have and all of my friends; 1. They won’t understand and 2. I don’t know, it’s just like… the more they’ll probably worry, you know. They worry enough as it is and I’m not going to put that on them.
Capt Ben Middendorf: At least all these men have seen combat and they’ve seen a fair amount of it. I think they take less things for granted than they use to. The hard part for them will hit them when they actually get home. You go back home that’s when it’s going to get a little bit tougher cause here you got your buddies and everything else. When their parents start asking them what was it like or their friends ask “hey did you kill anybody?” Oh yeah they did, they’re going to look at you different.
Cpl Brandon Unis: I’m going home. So, it’s kind of exciting. And then I get out of the marine corp, you know. The economy the way it is these days and trying to find jobs; I guess it’s almost impossible. It’s going to be a leap of faith; but, you know, here goes nothing. It really grows you up real quick you know. I joined right out of high school you know you’re just a kid at that point. Then, you know, you go through all this stuff and it really transforms you into an adult. You see it when you go home, you know.
Watch the homecoming of true American Hero’s on Battleground Afghanistan tonight MON JUL 29 9PM ET on National Geographic Channel.