Close Read: Nine Boys and a War

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In this September 11, 2010 photo, a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter prepares to departs from a forward operating base in Zhari District, southern Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) |

Ten boys went out to gather firewood in a valley in Afghanistan on Tuesday. Only one came home; his name is Hemad, and this is what he had to say, as quoted in the Times:

We were almost done collecting the wood when suddenly we saw the helicopters come.... There were two of them. The helicopters hovered over us, scanned us and we saw a green flash from the helicopters. Then they flew back high up, and in a second round they hovered over us and started shooting. They fired a rocket which landed on a tree. The tree branches fell over me and shrapnel hit my right hand and my side.

Read the whole story at The New Yorker

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