We have heard the story a thousand times.
Soldier goes to war.
Soldier loses his way during the war.
Soldier begins a downwards spiral.
It’s a story, as a civilian, we never fully understand but can always sympathize with.
War is heavy.
When we don’t understand why we are there, it’s even more difficult to wrap our heads around.
Do the ends really justify the means?
In this story published on REI’s YouTube channel we see through the eyes of one soldier how experiencing a region in a new light can help heal old wounds.
This story is about a group of ex military members, all of whom were involved in the Iraq war, return to Iraq to experience the region not as invaders but as visitors.
The second visit helps these soldiers to deal with painful memories from the war but it also gives civilians watching this story better understand what these soldiers are going through.
It also goes to show that the picture the media paints of an area like describing the world from behind a key hole.
Iraq is a beautiful country with a wonderful culture worth exploring and interacting with.
The negativity of the war reflects only a small fraction of the region.
Iraq in the larger scheme is worth exploring.
Our entire world politics seems to be fear based these days.
We react quickly based on what we’re afraid of rather than taking the time to interact with the world in a way that promotes understanding and global conciliation.