BANGOR – Back in late June, as I awaited my helicopter ride out of a remote military encampment hard by Afghanistan’s rugged border with Pakistan, Maine Army National Guard Capt. Paul Bosse and I had what was for the time being a very off-the-record, very sobering conversation.
It was about the many dangers still facing the 148 members of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Mountain Infantry at Combat Outpost Dand wa Patan – right smack in the middle of a region where the Taliban and other insurgents can be here, there and everywhere yet simultaneously nowhere to be seen.
Less than halfway through its nine-month deployment, Bravo Company had yet to lose a single soldier. But summer was now upon them – and with it, a widely expected uptick in insurgent activity.
“Think your luck will hold out?” I asked Bosse.
“I hope so,” he replied. “But there’s no way I’d guarantee it.”
Thursday afternoon, as the last planeload of Bravo Company’s soldiers disappeared into a wave of wives, children and other well-wishers at the Armed Forces Reserve Center, I sat down with Bosse in a quiet side room and, first and foremost, congratulated the 37-year old company commander on getting every last one of his men home.
Click for the rest of the column by Bill Nemitz in the Maine Sunday Telegram.