Very large text size "There's a war going on. There's real fighting going on. Every fing day. Never-before-seen combat footage shows what it is like to be in the trenches in My Fighting Season. Michael J.
MacLeod In , Myers and his comrades were part of a hastily assembled new unit comprised mostly of new recruits with no combat experience, and they were given no time to cohere in non-combat assignments. Instead, they were thrown into action against committed foreign Taliban fighters.
What follows in the first instalment of this six-part series is perhaps as close as most Australian civilians will get to real experience of battle. Advertisement The body-camera footage makes the flat desert landscape leap and dance as soldiers sprint for cover under sudden machine-gun fire.
When they reach the relative safety of old bomb craters or earthen village walls, their microphones capture the gasps of exertion that come from running for one's life under the weight of a kilogram pack. Then an unseen but resounding explosion — followed by radio silence from the soldiers on the other side of the village — brings minutes of gut-churning uncertainty.
Have they all been killed by an IED?
Years later, safely seated in a stateside TV studio, individual soldiers add more detail with their own recollections about such things as the long, sharp wooden thorns they impaled themselves on when diving for cover, the difficulty of getting cumbersome unmanned aerial vehicles aloft under machine-gun fire, and the frustration of trying to get to grips with an enemy that wears no uniform and makes clever use of hit-and-run tactics.
The series treats the soldiers and their experiences with respect and without sensationalism — not that it needs the body-camera action to be any more sensational.
It also gives the viewer a chance to wind down watching the soldiers blowing off steam afterwards. Not all viewers, though will end up as philosophical as Sergeant Braden Matejek, who was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in this battle.
Recalling how he gave a little Afghan girl a Pop-Tart only to watch her feed it to her younger brother, he characterises Afghanistan as "one of the best worst places to be".
That's one way of looking at it. Most Viewed in Culture.