Escape From Afghanistan, by Nathan Sessler
Publisher: War Writers’ Campaign; September 18, 2015
We have experienced travel nightmares in our lives, but imagine finishing up a tour in Afghanistan and everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong, as you try to make it home. “Escape From Afghanistan” is a short story by Nathan Sessler detailing his trip back home to the United States and how wonderful it is to finally get home.
Sessler started preparing for his departure well in advance, as instructed, but the day he arrived at the airport, he discovered that nothing had been confirmed and his tickets had been canceled. Thus begins Sessler’s waiting, begging and pleading in a string of airports in attempts to get to North Carolina. Sessler’s journey includes flying into Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, to Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, to Germany, to Atlanta, to Charlotte, and then home. Along the way, he encounters people that are rude, but also people that are kind and helpful. He goes through a rocket attack on a runway and at one point has to catch a ride aboard a C-17 cargo carrying only caskets holding deceased soldiers. After several airports and many days of waiting and hoping, Sessler finally returns home to North Carolina.
“Escape from Afghanistan” is a short story that is very well written and includes hope, humor, happiness, anger and frustration. Sessler has provided an honest depiction of trying to get home from a foreign country, but still reminding us of what to be grateful for and when you just need to laugh! Initially, I wished there were more to this story, but after reflecting on it for a while, I realize that he said what he needed to say. Sessler’s descriptive and vivid language will pull you into the story while also making you feel as if you are right there witnessing it all. I thoroughly enjoyed this different perspective of soldiers’ lives who are deployed overseas, and definitely recommend this short story.
Visit War Writers’ Campaign page to learn more about the author and the War Writers’ Campaign: http://www.warwriterscampaign.org/#!2015-authors/c17yf
*I received a copy of this short story from the author in exchange for an honest review.