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May 21, 2021 48 min

This episode contains strong language and scenes of war that some may find distressing. 

In 2010, James Dao, then a military affairs reporter for The New York Times, began following a battalion of U.S. soldiers headed for Afghanistan.

Two soldiers caught his attention: Adrian Bonenberger, a single, 32-year-old captain, and Tamara Sullivan, a 30-year-old sergeant and mother of two.

As President Biden prepares to withdraw troops from Afghanistan this fall, we revisit those interviews and follow up with the two soldiers.

Guest: James Dao, the Metro editor for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • In 2010, over the course of the year, James followed one battalion’s wrenching deployment to Afghanistan. Read the beginning of his reporting here.
  • An exploration of how decisions weighed heavily on Adrian Bonenberger, a junior officer.
  • In 2011, after a year in combat, there were many unexpected perils of coming home.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

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