A Soldier's Story: The drawdown begins
CNN's Jason Carroll talks to U.S. troops in Afghanistan about adjusting to life after war.
September 24th, 2011
08:06 AM ET

A Soldier's Story: The drawdown begins

A Soldier's Story is a project that I've been involved with for the past two years.

It began simply out of desire to re-engage viewers about the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

I sensed many viewers were becoming apathetic to hearing stories about the war partly because the U.S. has been at war for so long.

Watch A Soldier's Story tonight at 10:30 ET on CNN.

I thought one of the best ways to get people interested again was to make it personal.

So we created A Soldier's Story, which is a project where we follow soldiers over a period of time into battle.

[cnn-video url="http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2011/08/08/exp.am.carroll.coming.home.cnn"%5D

This weekend's half -hour special is the final installment of our work.

This time, we take a look at some of the critical questions surrounding the drawdown of troops. Is this the right time? Are Afghan security forces ready to take over? We get answers from the experts. Not the pundits or politicians, but from the soldiers on the front line.

People like 1st Sgt. Randy Shorter. Shorter is a combat veteran, who we have followed into his fourth deployment. He has strong opinions about where coalition forces and the Afghan security forces stand.

We'll also show you how soldiers are finding the insurgents who are trying to disrupt peace by planting roadside bombs. Despite 10 years of fighting, it is still a difficult process; one that involves skill and a bit of luck.

The interviews you will see are candid and answer not only questions about security.

The soldiers speak frankly about the second battle they face - the emotional struggle many are expecting to face once their deployment is over and they return home.

Much of what you will hear will be in the soldiers' own words. I hope you will see, as I did. there is much more to the men and women who sign up and risk their lives to defend their country.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • U.S. • World
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. bobcat2u.

    @gung hoe

    The Afghanistan and Iraqi people didn't attack our homeland either. So I guess I don't understand your point.

    September 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • cominhome

      I am one of the Soldiers on the long road home out of Iraq. You say the citizens of of Iraq and Afghanistan didnt attack us..where do you think those that did trained? where did their support come from? Granted most of the people just want to live and raise a family just like us, however those arent the ones we have been fighting here. We have been fighting the very ones who prey on others weakness. I only wish you could see the interview done of a man who said he was glad we came here because it was a long journey to the United States to kill Americans, and he was saddened he wouldn't be able to kill American babies. I have walked the roads in Ramadi, Haditha, Nasariya, I have watched the morning traffic in Tikrit. I think I know what people here are like. I gladly welcome you to come over and see for yourself. There are flights all the time. However be warned the knife they use to behead you with will be dirty and unclean as they consider you, or you will be turned into a human seminal sewer in some "prison". Unless of course you have been here and have those thoughts, however I don't think so. But it's your opinion, and now mine has been said, so I guess we will just disagree.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u.


      I am truly sorry you misconstrued my comment. If you will go back one page on these blogs, you will see the post of how I really feel about the job you guys are doing.
      As a viet nam veteran who pounded the mud there, I am very well aware of the atrocities of war. So we actually have nothing to disagree on. God speed to you and the rest of our warriors who are about to come home. And god protect the ones who fight on.

      September 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nightshade.

    Welcome to my world.

    September 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©


    I'm sorry.

    September 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • nightshade.

      Thank you for your sympathy. lol

      September 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nightshade.

    @One bad apple

    That seems to be a very fitting name for you all that trash you're spewing. You are obviously one of those types who have no idea what you are talking about and just like to disparage the names of those you don't know. Why don't you come face to face with one us viet nam vets and talk your crap. I gaurantee you won't get many words out of your mouth.

    September 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jazzzzzz

    @Oh, Please:

    Those who truly know Jehovah will only hear *his* words, not those of man.

    September 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gung hoe

    @ bobcat2u In response to your blog to me earlier .What I was reffering to was their people are the taliban and al queida forces that we are fighting over there which if we have to fight them myself would rather fight over there than here lets not forget they attacked us not once but twice And bobcat as in any war there is collateral damage,but with tech it has been cut down considerably from even nam

    September 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 14TANGO

    He is a sergeant 1st class not 1sg

    September 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |

    THANK YOU 1-506TH CURRAHEE. You guys are awesome in my book. Even though my son Eriel Valdes is gone. I will always remember you guys. You help me get through a rough time in my life. And will always be in our families heart's. LOVE YOU MOMMA DEE

    September 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. casual observer

    Yeah, I doubt if any NAZI pharmakia was brought back after WW2. Why would Uncke Sam bring back the good stuff? He probably just brought back advanced weapons and bankers. All the nazi's who developed mind-altering drugs were killed and their drugs destroyed before you could get at them. Righghght.That would explain Werner von Braun being the father of NASA and why were hardlt spend a dime changeing our minds with drugs.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. casual observer

    Haven't spent a dime changeing our national mind with drugs, rather.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. casual onserver

    Drafted Americans had no choice. It's as if she can make Canada and prisons disappear in her own mind. (time to baclpeddle and take more drugs)

    September 26, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. War

    Simple cases imvolving invasions and occupations. There are no more wars. It's either an invasion or an occupation going on, not a war.

    September 27, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
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