How To Make Amends

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Army Lieut. Colonel David Oclander knows a thing about trying to turn lemons into lemonade in Afghanistan:

In 2010 I was responsible for the accidental death of two little girls in a remote village in Southern Afghanistan. The events occurred in a village that sat in the middle of a critical valley that the Afghan Army and my Infantry Battalion from the 82nd Airborne Division had just fought very hard to gain control of. During a night patrol my company commander fired an infrared illumination round because there was a report of potential enemy activity. The canister that released the parachute flare was blown off course due to unexpected high-altitude crosswinds. The canister crashed through the roof of a house and landed squarely in the middle of the bed where the two little girls were sleeping. The round crushed both girls and slightly wounded their mother.

Read Oclander’s insights into the culture and customs of Afghanistan on Small Wars Journal.