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The Afghanistan war, through the eyes of a soldier's wife

To most people, the Afghanistan war conjures images of Taliban fighters and poppy fields. But the image I recall is my toddler son blowing video-chat kisses from home to his daddy and a governor in Afghanistan.

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When you think of the war in Afghanistan, what images come to mind? Taliban fighters? Burqa-clad women? Poppy fields? Debating politicians? War protesters?

The most recent image that comes to my mind is my toddler son blowing kisses to the governor of Shah Wali Kot District.

That affectionate ending to a recent video chat with my husband, a US soldier deployed in Kandahar Province, may seem to be an ironically pleasant way to think about a long and painful war.

But amid the US troop surge there, and with so much at stake, isn't it also odd to view the war only through the violence-soaked lens of the media?

It's said that Americans have never before been so disconnected from the soldiers who are fighting on their behalf. You can change that. Find a family with a loved one serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Listen to their stories. Learn how they see the war – and how they cope with kin in combat.

It's funny what I'm used to, eight months into my husband's year-long deployment.

Never knowing when he'll be able to call is something I've had to accept. I carry my cellphone 24/7, just in case that call comes.

Sometimes it comes when I'm in a meeting or walking up the stairs with my baby in one arm and a bag of groceries in the other – all while holding an umbrella to shield us from a downpour. I've learned to laugh at these scenarios. What else can I do?


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