[pjw] NEWS: 18-year-old soldier to serve in Afghanistan 18 years after conflict began - ABC 10/5

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sun Oct 13 18:07:15 EDT 2019

PJW supporters
As if to prove the point we were making with our 9/11 event, this news 
story appeared on Monday, the anniversary of the Afghan war.

>From the article:

    Nines is among 15,364 active-duty enlisted Army members who are 18 --
    1,052 of whom were born after the 9/11 attacks and 725 of whom were
    born after Oct. 7, 2001, and are still just 17.

It boggles the mind.
--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

18-year-old US soldier to serve in Afghanistan 18 years after conflict began
      * By luis martinez   Oct 7, 2019, 5:06 AM ET

    Pvt. Hunter Nines is about to join a war nearly as old as he is.

    The 18-year-old discussed with ABC News his impending [75]combat
    deployment to Afghanistan -- his first with the Army.

    "I didn't have a lot of thoughts on Afghanistan in particular," said
    Nines, who was 7 months old when U.S. troops first arrived there. "I
    honestly just had the notion of I wanted to serve, and wherever that
    is, that's where I'll go."

    "I'm just excited to go and do my job," he added.

    The Blackhawk helicopter mechanic will be serving with the 10th
    Mountain Division's 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, which soon will be
    deployed to Afghanistan for the sixth time.

    Nines will be following in the footsteps of 775,000 other Americans
    who've served at least one tour in Afghanistan since Oct. 7, 2001, when
    U.S. troops first arrived to target al-Qaeda following the attacks of
    Sept. 11 in New York and Washington.

    Nines said he hasn't given much thought to the fact he'll be serving in
    a conflict that's been going on since he was an infant.

    "Honestly, I don't think a lot about it," he added. "All I know is that
    I've got a job to do, and that we're still over there right now and
    it's not done yet."

    "I'm going to do what I've been trained to do," he added.

    The Rocky Point, North Carolina, native joined the Army last year at
    the age of 17 after his parents gave permission, which is required for
    Army recruits younger than 18.

    Department of Defense statistics reflect the increasing shift in
    demographics of service members such as Nines who were babies or not
    even yet born on Sept. 11, 2001, which led to what's become America's
    longest war.

    Nines is among 15,364 active-duty enlisted Army members who are 18 --
    1,052 of whom were born after the 9/11 attacks and 725 of whom were
    born after Oct. 7, 2001, and are still just 17.

    The Marine Corps, for comparison, counts 28,048 active-duty Marines
    aged 17 to 19.
    PHOTO: 18-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan US Army
    18-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan

    Nines acknowledges that the 9/11 attacks played only a small factor
    in his decision to enlist.

    "This was a lot different for me growing up and stuff because certainly
    a lot of people they saw it happen on TV," he said. "But, I mean, I
    read about it in history, and I've learned about these things."

    Nines said a bigger influence on his decision to enlist was hearing
    about positive experience in the armed forces from friends and

    "I really liked the camaraderie they had and the care and interest they
    showed in me wanting to pursue it, and it's something that I just
    always really wanted to do," he added.

    Nines' unit has a long history in Afghanistan. Elements of that the
    10th Mountain Division were among the first to arrive in late 2001. The
    deployment of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade will mark the 34th time
    an element of the 10th Mountain Division has served in Afghanistan
    since then.

    Nines estimates "about 95%" of his non-commissioned officers have
    served in Afghanistan before and have provided him with practical
    advice about his deployment.

    "From what they've told me, it's more maintenance, more work, more
    flying -- obviously more missions since we're going to be overseas --
    but nothing really a lot different than doing my job back home," he

    Reflecting on how dangerous Afghanistan remains, Nines said he'll also
    serve as a door gunner during missions transporting troops and
    equipment. So far this year, 17 American service members have been
    killed in combat in Afghanistan, the deadliest year there for U.S.
    forces since the combat mission officially ended in December 2014.

    Most of the 14,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan now serve in a NATO-led
    mission to advise and assist Afghanistan's security forces in their
    fight against the Taliban and ISIS affiliates.

    But while Afghan security forces have improved, that's included
    engaging in heavy fighting with Taliban forces that now control almost
    half the country.

    President Donald Trump has advocated withdrawing U.S. forces from
    Afghanistan, but in early September he ended peace talks with the
    Taliban after an American soldier was killed in Kabul.

    It remains unclear if those talks could result in a full military
    withdrawal from Afghanistan. It's possible U.S. forces still could be
    there when Nines' Army contract expires in six years.

    Nines acknowledged there's always going to be uncertainty surrounding
    the security situation in Afghanistan.

    "It's nothing that I'm nervous about," he said. "It's more of just
    anticipation and excitement."

    ABC News' Elizabeth McLaughlin contributed to this report.

    75. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-service-member-killed-afghanistan-1st-combat-death/story?id=65643062

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