The Definition of True Bravery

When I hear of Afghanistan, I imagine a war where the two sides clearly fight face to face.  But to my surprise, the war in Afghanistan is anything but a fight that is face to face.  The fight is more tactical and covert than imagined.  Retired SMSgt Rex Temple shared his experience in Afghanistan and it has really given me a better insight of what the war against the Taliban is like.

SMSgt Rex Temple speaking about his team members, all of which returned to the United States unharmed and received Bronze Stars for their service (Photo by: Shelby Register 2012)

Always watching over your shoulder, not know if there is an ambush set-up or if you’re about to hit a mine is what the war against the Taliban is like. As soon as the troops step in to Afghanistan, they are risking their lives; the Taliban instantly mark them as a target.  Even knowing this they still press forward with their mission to eliminate the Taliban.  They face unexpected situations head-on and without any hesitation.  They understand the true meaning of Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous quote, “there is nothing fear but fear itself.”  The bravery the troops have is beyond my imaginations; I cannot even see myself in their shoes, doing what they do day in and day out.

Their enemy is the Taliban.  The Taliban have no rules when it comes to war.  They hide in caves and fire RPG’s (rocket-propelled grenades) at the troops and then run away and prepare another attack.  They hide behind buildings, ready to ambush or pull the trigger on a bomb.  They incite fear into villagers to make sure they do not give intelligence or any sort of help to the troops; they will go as far as making an example of a villager (killing one) to accomplish this.  They brainwash villages into believing everyone is an enemy except the Taliban.  They incite fear into children who want to learn by spraying acid in their face and trying to keep them away from education.  This is who the Taliban are.

Combat Outpost Afghanistan 2009 (Photo by: Rex Temple)

The only way to break the Taliban’s fearful grip on the villagers is by developing a relationship with them and this is one of the many things the troops do.  They go on humanitarian missions to give food supplies, school supplies and various other items to villagers.  Even on these humanitarian missions, the troops risk their lives for the villager of Afghanistan.  They bring school supplies to children that allow them to attend school.  Among the villagers, there may even be hidden Taliban members but even then the troops treat all the villagers equally, hoping to change the hearts of all from within.  Many times, these same Taliban members come and attack the troops a few days after they received supplies from the troops but the troops keep calm and face the threat without hesitation.

This is what true bravery is.  The troops risking their lives 24/7 to eradicate the Taliban, risking their lives to bring food to villagers to help them make it through the winter, risking their lives to give children school supplies and put a smile on their face, and risking their lives to make this world a better place.  Their bravery is unwavering, and stands firm in the face of terror.  Support our troops!


Definition of Bravery. (Image by

One way to help the troops in Afghanistan is to help raise school supplies for the children in Afghanistan. Click here for more information.

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About krupal10

I am a junior at USF studying Biology. I am interesting medicine and hope to become a doctor in the future.
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1 Response to The Definition of True Bravery

  1. monadee says:

    A European journalist recently made a documentary that gives explains how Taliban fighters ambush the American and other NATO troops. It is called Behind the Masks. You can watch it here:

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