One year ago this weekend, I was in the lead vehicle in a convoy that set out to help the local people in Afghanistan. My head phones were on to communicate with others in my truck and I was stealing glimpses out of a small section of the front window to prevent getting car sick. Our team bounced around the countryside past vineyards and grape drying huts. We noticed a disturbance in the soil in the middle of the dirt road. The truck commander instructed the driver to veer around it and as we did a deafening explosion resonated through each of our headsets. The back end of my truck kicked up. I was concerned I was going to hit my head on the ceiling. Just prior to leaving the base, I had cinched down my seatbelt more than usual. I was just millimeters from the roof. I saw dirt out the side window tear off the view of the vineyards and replace it with a field of brown for a moment. I felt gravity invite me then pulled me back to earth. My right elbow struck a metal box next to me and delivered an incredible pain. The truck began to settle into position and then stopped. Tan dust began to suffocate what little air we had. I looked across from me then to my left, checking on each member in the truck. I unbuckled. I waited a couple of seconds then rose up to open the escape hatch. I cringed waiting for a complex attack to ensue. I anticipated I would be met with machine gun fire. I raised the hatch. My gunner was still in position pulling duty. I checked outside of my vehicle, saw the sky above and the ground below. There was no immediate attack. I got up on the roof and assisted each team member out. A security element was formed. When night fell, we continued our mission. We were successful in setting up a police security station, demonstrating to the locals how they could have sustainable potable water using things in their local area, met with village elders and providing security for the local people.
With all that being said. I know the man responsible for attempting to kill me. I worked with him. He knew our missions because he was the Afghan Army Leader who planned them with us. He was also working for the Taliban. He was corrupt on so many levels and his world came crashing down on him one day. He happened to be with us several vehicles back.
I was bitterly angry. I met with my friend and chaplain. I told him I knew I should forgive the man but I found it very difficult. Our role was to help people being oppressed. He attempted to permanently separate me from my family and I was mad. I experienced a lot of mortars, RPGs, and rockets. This made me truly angry. I became edgy, short tempered, and quick to fire off a sarcastic remark over the next few weeks. I prayed for forgiveness and I do to this very day. I pray for him that he tried to murder me. I pray for myself due to the anger I developed.
My role was to help people. I was not a combatant. This man valued money over human life.
I forgive you and pray that God will forgive you.