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No Diplomacy


Copyright 2018 Andrew Lafleche

www.AJLafleche.com

Published by Pub House Books

www.PubHouseBooks.com




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Table of Contents

Preface

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Afterword

About the Author

Other books by Andrew Lafleche

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For Anja

Preface

Ever since I came back, you’ve been telling me that something is wrong. That I should talk about it. Why? So you can live vicariously through my half-truths. Even if I told you, you could never understand. That’s the great problem with consciousness: how does it feel? Philosopher Thomas Nigel, in his article entitled “What is it like to be a bat?” addresses the subjective character of experience. You could know all there is to know about how a bat maneuvers its way through the night by sonar, but in the end you still don’t know how it feels to be a bat. Without actually experiencing the moment, you never will. Alas, I am exhausted by everyone else’s atrocious stories that I now submit my own.

The first thing you’ll undoubtedly ask is if I’ve killed someone? What a cowardly poised question.

I should strike you. Have I killed someone?

Vicarious faggot.

Somebody once asked me why we didn’t notice the bomb that blew us up and nearly ended our meagre existence.

Really? Why didn’t we uncover the strategically placed IED that was specifically positioned to cause the most destruction to opposing combatants?

Fuck you.

Maybe that morning we thought it would be exciting to play a game of Russian roulette.

How was it? Really? A casual “how was it?”

Go to hell.

That’s why I don’t talk to herd’s people.

Stupid questions invite stupid answers.

Here you go.








CHAPTER ONE



Once upon a time not long ago, I was savouring the sweet aroma of a neatly poured glass of Johnny Walker Black Label when in my stupor I conjured up the idea of going to war. How grand! I could nobly volunteer my services, receive a sizable paycheck, be trained to become effective with all sorts of weaponry and then travel abroad to go exercise these newly acquired skills on third world peasants. A quick comparison of the large number of soldiers who have deployed and returned from Afghanistan versus the significantly lower number of soldiers who have deployed and not returned led me to believe that my odds of survival were pretty good.

If you ever want to evaluate the risk of something, run the numbers. Numbers don’t lie.

A couple more glasses of scotch and several invigorating combat videos later, I completed the recruiting center’s online application to become an infanteer. When I did not receive an instant response to my honest efforts, I decided to continue to saturate my body with whiskey.

In the morning, I continued on my merry little way, not giving a second thought about the army. Imagine my surprise when I received a call from a Master something or a Sergeant type individual a few months later. He was inquiring whether I was still interested in enlisting with the Forces.

Sure, I thought. Why not?

We arranged a date for an interview and aptitude test, the latter which I aced or nearly so, landing myself in the ninety-seventh percentile. This allowed me the opportunity to select virtually any trade in the military. Despite being encouraged to consider one of the more glamorous positions, I decided to adhere to my initial choice of becoming an infantry soldier. I figured they could go fuck themselves; I wanted to do the shit I saw in the movies.

A little hung over and still able to taste the coke in the back of my throat from partying the night before, I didn’t have the patience to dance. Infantry it was.

All this nonsense bores me, but I wanted to illustrate to you the whimsical decision it was to sign up. It’s nauseating to hear about some mythical sacrifice I’ve made or about how noble it was for me to stand up for democracy or risk my life for this country.

Patriotism’s a joke.

If you were born ‘there,’ or anywhere else that’s away from ‘here’ for that matter, you’d be just as fucking patriotic.

Don’t act all high and mighty because you won the ovarian lottery by being born in the country where Jesus was. You had just as much control over that, as you do over what I tell you.

Likewise, it’s just as appalling for you to tell me how you would have enlisted if it wasn’t for some ‘insert your cowardly excuse here.’

But I digress.

The purpose of the second meeting with ‘Sarge’ was to sign a large yellow contract and inform me that I would leave in a week’s time in order to begin the upcoming basic training cycle.

My boss wasn’t too happy that I didn’t give him the heads up or adequate notice or whatever, but I didn’t care; I was going to war. With any luck he’d see me on the front page of some newspaper praising my heroic efforts. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen; a picture of me with a sunflower tucked into the scrim of my helmet did end up circulating online news.

I packed my bags, boarded a shitty little plane in some back country airport, and took off for thirteen weeks of washed-up soldiers trying to shove their dicks in my ass.







CHAPTER TWO



If I could go back and do basic training again I don’t think I’d make it.

They’d cut me for sure.

You see, unless you’re trying to get some check in the box in order to progress your career, the only soldiers who staff the basic training facilities are there to be kept away from their units. Insubordination would be my death. Basic training and battle school systematically removes the hard-core assholes, the punks who only signed up to prove something to someone elsewhere. The system is far from perfect, so undoubtedly some of those pricks make it through and continue to get promoted and posted up the ranks only to lead new troops to certain death or dismemberment. Three of which people were fired from my tour for countless indiscretions causing much harm to many of my comrades.

Or, they remain tucked away at the schools to keep them from causing said early demise.

The army is similar to high school in some ways, a bunch of boys who never grew up. Myself included. People seeking refuge in something bigger than themselves, looking to attribute meaning to this otherwise accidental existence. It’s sort of amusing to witness the inner workings of our Armed Forces.

Before I knew it, I was a full-fledged regular force soldier, lowest on the rank structure and in line for every shitty task that came up.

I began training for my tour in Afghanistan.

After not enough time at the shooting range, too many sleepless nights, and a tremendous amount of alcohol, I was ready to deploy to The Sandbox.

Sometimes we called Afghanistan, The Sandbox.

I share all of this with you as though speaking in a single breath and the time passed quickly for me, but in reality training took somewhere in the range of two tedious years to complete. If interested in that bullshit, you can tantalize your desire to ‘experience’ the details in the nauseating array of already published tales which line some section of your favourite book store.







CHAPTER THREE



Fast forward to the future, which is inevitably the past, and we boarded another shitty plane to fly us to a third party destination. From there we flew to a secret base ‘that doesn’t exist’, in order to board a military flight. This last plane would insert us into Afghanistan. The vacationing soldiers at the secret base (who I refer to as ‘vacationing’ because they’ll never see combat or risk anything except obesity and sexually transmitted diseases) stamped my passport incorrectly, causing a significant hassle returning to Canada on leave. Unfortunately, while fabricating mine, they made it appear as if I’d been in Dubai for only twenty-four hours.

Who visits Dubai for one day?

Anyways, Afghanistan is beautiful.

I mean that. The contrast of the desert sand with its foliage heightens the greens to a level I’ve never seen either before or since. It’s vibrant; like gazing into the Secret Garden while tumbling down the Rabbit Hole.

It’s also one of the many reasons why Afghanistan is the greatest place in the world. If there weren’t so many assholes residing there, I’d genuinely consider paying a visit. Maybe even relocating. Why not? The pot plants are larger than Christmas trees and grow in fields three times the size of those which accommodate football. Ounces of hash are only a few bucks American, and you can buy ten dollar cell phones that come with unlimited airtime plans.

Yes sir, get rid of the bullies and watch Afghanistan become the next best vacation destination.

Kandahar Airfield. KAF. The super-base housing thousands of international soldiers, many of whom never leave their air conditioned offices or accommodations. These are the ‘soldiers’ who complain about the lineups at Tim Horton’s and participate in ball hockey tournaments. KAF is where all the celebrities visit.

That’s not entirely true.

One time we were graced by the presence of celebrities at our camp. They dismounted the helicopter and scurried into the only concrete building we had, while we all waited outside to meet them. After a short time with us roasting in the desert sun and them swapping niceties with the self-appointed elite inside, they hurried back onto the chopper which would escort them safely back to wherever they came from.

If you want to remember how to spell desert correctly, as opposed to dessert, think to yourself “which would you rather have multiples of: the scorching heat of the sun, or succulent sweets?” There’s a double ‘s’ in the latter.

Oh yes, before I forget, eat shit KAFites (the people who live in KAF). You jack us up because our combats are dirty and speckled with blood. You reprimand us because our boots aren’t bloused and the hair on our face is not neatly shaven.

How about you live outside the wire for six months or more and eat rations for every meal?

How about you live with the ever plaguing question of whether your next step will be your last?

Get fucked.

These are the majority of people coming back with PTSD and making a big stink that they’re combat veterans. These are the majority of people who shut the fuck up in the presence of an infanteer, engineer, or any other front line soldier.

I know, I know, the people ‘serving’ there are just as necessary as we are. We couldn’t operate without their support, because they supply our rations and gear and blah, blah, blah.

You shouldn’t wear the same medal as us.

Period.







CHAPTER FOUR



Kandahar Air Field. We arrived, were briefed, and then issued our mission-specific gear. We were then bussed to a secure range so that we could test our weapons before boarding the helicopter that would relocate us to our new home for the next two hundred and some-odd days. We had a good laugh at the range because some multi-star general negligently discharged his weapon and got away with it. One of our guys did the same thing after a couple of sleepless nights on operation but was charged sixteen hundred bucks. It probably had something to do with the fact that our guy almost shot the person riding in the vehicle in front of his, but whatever. One of the benefits of being a Higher-up, I guess.

I think that this general was the same dude who was fired for fucking his clerk. It doesn’t matter though; they’re all the same egotistical pricks anyways. Remember that murdering, rapist Colonel from Trenton?

The next morning, while heading to the mess hall for breakfast just before mounting the helicopter which would fly us to our camp, a rocket was launched into the grid of KAF.

“Rocket Attack. Rocket Attack,” boomed over the loudspeakers.

You should have seen all the people rushing for cover. Don’t these pricks realize that once the alarm sounds, it’s likely too late? Laughing hysterically, we snapped a selfie to document the occasion, before snagging the empty spaces in the food line-up. If we had to do a tour in KAF, we probably would have been sent home for treating the base with the contempt it deserves.

After breakfast, a bus transported us across the base to the airstrip, where we were lined up in a pretty little row. One little, two little, three little idiots, all dressed up to die.

The exhaust from the helicopter’s engine singed my face as we filed into its fuselage.

I don’t remember how long the flight was, but several evasive maneuvers later we began our descent into Strong Point ‘can’t tell you the name’.







CHAPTER FIVE



Have you ever seen the film Jarhead? Welcome to the suck.

Having been privy to a blast, I can tell you first-hand that the scene where the guy is having all those mortars pop off around him, and it’s dark and hazy and he can’t hear shit, is pretty bang on the actual event.

Jarhead is the only war movie I’ve ever enjoyed. I once tried watching Generation Kill while over there and almost lost my mind.

I guess I should set the stage for you. There was some superhero operation underway involving our small-armed officer in charge; quite literally, one of his arms was micro-sized. It was fucking freaky. Well, he had developed a plan.

Actually, first let’s get back to his arm. One time I had to shake this monstrosity while receiving a promotion and my hand swallowed his like a whore’s vagina would swallow a cock. It was like rolling a hotdog down the hall.

Anyways, back to the brilliant plan. He developed the bright idea to deploy all of the members of our camp except for six who were to be held back in order to maintain security. I was one of those six; I may have even been in charge. I figured, fuck it. If shit was to go down we wouldn’t stand a chance, so I smoked a bowl of Afghanistan’s finest and booted up my laptop to watch Generation Kill.


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