Bravo Company: An Afghanistan Deployment and Its Aftermath
Author Ben Kesling will be onsite on November 10, 2022 to participate in a book talk and sign books.
A timely and searing account of the American war in Afghanistan
In Bravo Company, journalist and combat veteran Ben Kesling tells the story of the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of the men of one unit, part of a combat-hardened parachute infantry regiment in the 82nd Airborne Division. A decade ago, the soldiers of Bravo Company deployed to Afghanistan for a tour in Kandahar’s notorious Arghandab Valley. By the time they made it home, three soldiers had been killed in action, a dozen more had lost limbs, and an astonishing half of the company had Purple Hearts.
In the decade since, two of the soldiers have died by suicide, more than a dozen have tried, and others admit they’ve considered it. Declared at “extraordinary risk” by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Bravo Company was chosen as test subjects for a new approach to the veteran crisis, focusing less on isolated individuals and more on the group.
Written with an insider’s eye and ear, and drawing on extensive interviews and original reporting, Bravo Company follows the men from their initial enlistment and training, through their deployment and a major shift in their mission, and then on to what has happened in the decade since; as they returned to combat in other units or moved on with their lives as civilians, or struggled to. This is a powerful, insightful, and memorable account of a war that didn’t end for these soldiers just because Bravo Company came home.
About the Author
Ben Kesling is a correspondent with The Wall Street Journal in the Chicago bureau where he focuses on domestic security and veterans issues. He was previously a national security and veterans issues reporter at the Journal's bureau in Washington. He also has experience as a foreign and combat correspondent.
Ben graduated from Wabash College and has a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. He attended Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. He also served as a Marine Corps Infantry officer with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a two-day Jeopardy! champion.