Sebastian Junger ’84 on TED: Why veterans miss war

By A.N. Kini '13

[Sebastian Junger '84] Civilians don’t miss war – but soldiers often do. Filmmaker and writer Sebastian Junger ’84 gave a TED talk on his experience embedded with American soldiers at Restrepo, Afghanistan.

Sebastian Junger co-directed the Oscar-nominated documentary RESTREPO and is the author of The Perfect Storm and War. Sebastian recently directed KORENGAL, which picks up where RESTREPO left off – and was the #1 independent release at the box office last weekend.

In this TED talk, Sebastian illustrates the “altered state of mind” that comes with war:

I'm going to ask and try to answer, in some ways, kind of an uncomfortable question. Both civilians, obviously, and soldiers suffer in war; I don't think any civilian has ever missed the war that they were subjected to. I've been covering wars for almost 20 years, and one of the remarkable things for me is how many soldiers find themselves missing it. How is it someone can go through the worst experience imaginable, and come home, back to their home, and their family, their country, and miss the war? How does that work? What does it mean? We have to answer that question, because if we don't, it'll be impossible to bring soldiers back to a place in society where they belong, and I think it'll also be impossible to stop war, if we don't understand how that mechanism works.

The problem is that war does not have a simple, neat truth, one simple, neat truth.

Watch on TED…

Image thumb: c/o TED

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