A timely, powerful, and sweeping portrait of a company of men who went to war in Afghanistan, their troubled deployment, and their lives since returning home
“An honest account of bravery, sacrifice, and what it means to seek redemption. As a veteran of combat himself, Ben Kesling is able to intimately and honestly document war and its aftermath in ways others haven’t.” —Jake Tapper, CNN anchor
In Bravo Company, journalist and veteran Ben Kesling tells the story of the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of the men of one unit, part of a combat-hardened parachute infantry regiment in the 82nd Airborne Division. A decade ago, the soldiers of Bravo Company deployed to Afghanistan for a tour in Kandahar’s notorious Arghandab Valley. By the time they made it home, three soldiers had been killed in action, a dozen more had lost limbs, and nearly half of the company had Purple Hearts.
In the decade since, two of the soldiers have died by suicide, more than a dozen have tried, and others admit they’ve considered it. Declared an “extraordinary risk” by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the members of Bravo Company were chosen as test subjects for a new approach to the veteran crisis, focusing less on individuals and more on the group.
Bravo Company has an insider’s eye and ear, and draws on extensive interviews and original reporting. It follows the men from their initial enlistment and training, through their deployment and a major shift in their mission, and then on to what has happened in the decade since as they returned to combat in other units or moved on with their lives as civilians, or struggled to do so. This is a powerful, insightful, and memorable account of a war that didn’t end for these soldiers just because they came home.