From the Editor
Son of Abraham – LtCol Asad Khan
CorpsStories January 2005 Editorial
Before talking to him, not dreaming he’d give me significant interview time, I perceived him as desperately wanting to hibernate with his wife and children – staying away from yet another journalist wanting to talk about that state-side event. What I would discover to be an overshadowing, non-life-threatening – bordering on non-news – all the same difficult, event.
All due to Duncan. An outraged Duncan. Who is Duncan? He’s a retired Marine author known for his blunt assessments, which can be wrenchingly accurate.
I can’t recall how many conversations Dunk and I had about the colonel. I’d call him with my questions or thoughts about some Marine-related issue or another, but within minutes, Dunk would bring the conversation around to the Khan story. The Khan tragedy. The vastly misconceived colonel.
That’s probably because Duncan has the healthiest distain for the press of any known Marine author (not to say there wouldn’t be a raging battle amongst scribes for that description).
But why was Duncan telling me? I am just a part-time devotee to a very narrow aspect of journalism. With a non-commercial publication, I felt there was little I could do to clarify the colonel in the media.
Duncan knew what the reader might learn about CorpsStories. This editor really couldn’t care less about the hiring and firing of officers. The ascending and descending turns of Marine careers just does not matter to me.
I’m a spectator. An ordinary American journalist trying to avert poverty and live a productive life for my Father, the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s it, it’s not complicated.
But I have noticed something. Some Marines live incredibly sacrificing lives. And I like to write. And the two conspire to introduce you to the depth of LtCol Asad Khan.
Oh, Dunk and I have noticed another thing. Reality, what matters in this life, is not what’s read on the cover of many a newspaper.
If you’re a parent, reality is whom you tuck in at night, and whom you stay home from work for, to bring them back to health. If you’re a wife, reality is whom you sleep with at night, and whom you want to reconcile with because that argument left you distracted all day.
And when that child, husband or otherwise loved one comes home in a casket, your reality takes a sharp turn for the worse.
For Colonel Khan nothing takes precedence over the mission. But he’s invested years of strategizing, sacrificing and negotiating to bring his Marines home alive.
To date, CorpsStories has revealed to you the most positive news available about the lives of more than 400 fine, but fallen, Marines.
One, and only one of these Marines belong to Asad Khan.
This matters to the world of anti-war individuals and nations, yet mainstream journalism has yet to publish one story with the lead focusing on Khan’s amazing victory in Afghanistan last year.
From where I stand, the whole world should be rejoicing over his success. This should be a model for warfare, not dismissed into the undocumented battlefield wins of this life.
Despite his triumphs, his humility and realism were never far from the front during our talks.
The most haunting remark lingers with me. He said of his son’s future commanders in a military career now budding at the Naval Academy, “I hope they won’t throw his life away.”
Meriwether Ball, Editor