Re-Evaluating Schmidle’s Article

Schmidle wrote an article in the New York Times about the navy seals that killed Osama bin Laden. Many criticized him in his writing because he did not have a first-hand account of the operation. His information came from second and even third-hand informants. I too criticized his article until watching “Restrepo”, a documentary on the second platoon that was on a fifteen month deployment to the Korangal Valley, which is considered one of the most dangerous war zones in Afghanistan. In this video I saw soldiers die while others broke down, I saw them having fun and crouching down in fear. This documentary showed the fear of war. Soldiers spend 15 months, sometimes more, sometimes less, in a war zone; 15 months in fear. I can’t imagine going through that; while watching the documentary I was in fear for the entire hour and a half, and I could barely manage that. I can’t imagine 15 months of constant fear and constant worry. That makes all your memories from the certain place a little fuzzy or maybe it turns them into the way “you” saw the event unfold. In reading O’Brien’s piece on war stories and how many war stories aren’t truth yet in some ways they are. I know it sounds complicated and confusing, but at the end of the day one needs to ask the question “What is truth?” In his book O’Brien discusses how war stories can never be told in one hundred percent truth because each soldier will have a different memory.

In light of these two pieces Schmidle may be criticized, but even if he had spoken to the Navy Seals and obtained all of their stories, the puzzle pieces still would only match up as if they belonged to two different puzzles. Because each one will remember each event with a little bit different of an outlook. They will remember it in their own way and in their own light. That brings us back to the question “What is the truth?” Because for all we know Schmidle’s article is the truth, or not but it does piece together as much of the truth as possible and a war story is never the complete truth.

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