Finding Closure Through 'Zero Dark Thirty' - NYTimes.com
Jared Sperli stashed this in war
For me, the film “Zero Dark Thirty” brought back memories of my time as a platoon leader in Afghanistan. And in an unexpected way, it provided me some sense of closure.
There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path:
After the initial adrenaline and shock faded, I felt pride – as well as guilt, because my pride resulted from killing a man. I subdued my conflicted feelings by relying on the crutch of professionalism: it was part of the job. But to be honest, I have yet to fully address and comprehend the event. And I know many of my peers have gone through worse.
Our aggression that night was most likely born out of frustration. For that year, our platoon, like many others in Afghanistan, chased a ghost of an enemy. The only tangible signs of our adversary were sickening explosions, bullets cracking overhead and complaints from villagers.
I do not presume to know exactly what went through the mind of the Navy SEALs member who killed Osama bin Laden. While his training undoubtedly prepared him, the act of killing the world’s most-wanted terrorist probably demarcated chapters in his life, just as it did for my squad leader. He, too, was trained and mentally prepared for taking life, but the real thing can be quite overwhelming.