Guest Authors

Rollin' in Hash


18 January 2009

Our people in the fighting tell their stories better than anyone.  This photo-essay just came to me from Afghanistan.  Our soldiers are not professional writers, nor photographers, but they are very good at what they do.  The rawness and simplicity of this powerful essay rings truer than any of us writers/photographers seem to be able to capture.  It also reminds me of why I am so happy to be in the United States, away from the fighting, and how much I distress about not covering our people when they are in need.

Please Click for Essay


Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Paul S. · 13 years ago
    I'm reading Bing West's "The Village." Too many damn similarities. At least General Petraeus is onboard this time; our warriors need a winnable plan and our support.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Elliemae · 13 years ago
    I appreciated seeing these photos. I like that the Soldier was so candid. God Bless him and his team. They are in my prayers. I hope he will send in again.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    john h. · 13 years ago
    Been there done that. In 1974, I hitch hiked through Europe, Turkey and Iran to Afghanistan. I remember getting on a bus at the afghan border post with Iran, and within an hour, the bus stopped for tea. You could buy hash cakes the sizes of dinner plates for 5 dollars American at the tea stop. Many hours later, the final stop was Herat. Thanks to to the indiscretion of youth, I thought it was lit up like Las Vegas. In the morning, Herat became a ubiquitous terra cotta landscape, everything was mud with light earth tones. Dry and hard. 5 years later, the underlying economy of hash and opium seems to be still firing and financing the ambitions of those who want power for the sake of power. I would eat raw brown opium balls daily to off set the gastrointestinal malaise so common to the region. Everything a youth could desire was available in open markets. Once I left the middle east, it was 10 years before i would allow myself one aspirin to offset a fever. I didn't drink a cup of coffee for five years so much was my aversion to hash, opium and other stimulants. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same).

    Godspeed Michael Yon. Stay well, stay alive, and congratulations on your award.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chris Tipton · 13 years ago
    I just want to say that I have two brothers in the U.S. ARMY.One is over at Camp Bocca fighting this war ,so I want to tell every soldier over there to stay safe and come home soon.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    mcmaddy · 13 years ago
    Michael, thanks for the photos. That part of Afghanistan looks desolate, maybe all of it looks like that, even the mountainous regions. We hate that our military has to be there and endure terrain, the mud, the hash, the heroin and the Taliban.

    Even if the allied forces wipe out the Taliban, there will be other factions that move in to deal in the illicit drug trade. Is there no way to introduce other crops and produce that the Afghans can grow to stop them from growing drug crops? Furnish them with the farming implements, fuel and education to farm and support their families. We can only hope, I guess.

    So many good lives lost for such a foul cause that the Taliban espouses and the remains of our valiant warriors are scattered across such a desolate, unforgiving terrain. And they do it for their country and for us! How can we ever thank them enough? That's just it, we can't.

    The Arizona Cardinals won the NFC Championship Sunday and they are going to the Super Bowl. They have dedicated the game to Pat Tillman, their player that left their team at the height of his career and became a Ranger in Afghanistan, only to be killed there. He is no more, or less important than those who have given their lives before, or after him, but he embodies the strength and values of our great country! May they all rest in Peace!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    C-dog · 13 years ago
    Thank you for all you do for our men and women in harms way. My son returned safely from Afghanistan in 08. Fighting the "bad guys" is hell.
    That pile of hash is unbelieveable!!
    I pray for you and our troops daily. Keep up the good work. "May the force be with you!"
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Aunt Sally · 13 years ago
    Michael, Please keep us posted about books written etc by yourself and the other winners of
    the weblog awards. I finally got a paperback of Ernie Pyle's writings and cannot wait to read
    it. Wishing we could cease using ALL drugs here in USA then the demand would be way lower
    and it could go by tunnels to other countries. We'd have lot less crime and home break ins if
    people could get along without their daily buzz. Love this story and pix. Soldiers totally tell
    it exactly like it is.......Bless them all and you too. Stay safe and come home soon.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Aaron · 13 years ago
    This type of information is so valuable. Thank you for hosting it Michael, and thank you for sending it along, sir.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Roger Moore · 13 years ago
    Mr.Yon, Keep up the good work. You give a non biased view we need to hear. My son returned from Iraq Sept 08. You wrote an article about one of his missions in the northern sector. I would like to read it again and try to save it this time. He was with 4/6 armored cal dark horse. He flew the blackhawk on a mission where several soldiers were killed and several hurt, but all got out and to the hospital. His name is WO Thomas Alan Moore.
    If you could, direct me to the area in your archives to find the story. Thanks Roger Moore
  • This commment is unpublished.
    NorCalMike · 13 years ago
    Mr. Yon,
    Thank you for posting these photos. My brother is in Afghanistan. He is not much of a writer so I don't get much correspondence from him. It was interesting seeing some of the stuff he sees.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bob McCarton · 13 years ago
    Thank you for your straight up honest and truthful reporting on Iran and Afghanistan. I enjoy your reports, pictures and was blown away by your book.
    I was watching Fox and Friends last week and they ran a story about your law suit agianst Mike Moore. Fox and Friends had many kind words about you. Righfully so!!!
    God Bless you MIke. Perhaps we can meet one day.

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Many methods are available to keep the work rolling. Click the image for a more info.



Quick Link to Paypal

Recurring Donation

QR Code

QR Code


To support using Venmo, send to:


My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:


Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: