Diary of a U.S. Marine

Diary of a U.S. Marine

Cpl. Jack Hausmann narrates a 3-part video of his experience in Afghanistan during a major assault that pushed U.S. soldiers behind enemy lines. (AP)

Operation Strike of the Sword was the largest Marine air assault since the Vietnam War. This Associated Press 3-part project presents a “grunt’s-eye view” of the first days of the offensive, concentrating on Cpl. Hausmann’s personal thoughts about going into battle, and his impressions of the hard-working Afghani people he is assigned to defend.

Although no actual combat is shown in the videos, the narrative explores the true nature of modern warfare — fearful anticipation of the unknown as the operation begins, endless hours spent on dangerous patrols, and the crushing boredom of sitting in the heat in full battle gear waiting for something to happen. In one scene, an injured Marine is evacuated by helicopter, and we are reminded that some of these young warriors will not return home.

In Part One, we are introduced to Cpl. Hausmann, who is writing in his diary — a stack of dirty, rumpled pages of notebook paper — as he sits in the dirt and waits for orders. His thoughts about being a Marine and not showing fear are especially poignant as the camera scans the worried faces of his fellow soldiers.

CHANNEL: Associated Press

Photojournalist: Raul Gallego Abellan
Narration: Marine Cpl. Jack Hausmann