Posted 11/22/16 (Tue)
By Sydney Glasoe Caraballo
The platoon sergeant scans the expanse of desert sand in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The Helmand River, which provides water to the region, interrupts the desert with opium poppy fields and other crops such as sunflowers, sugar beets, cotton and wheat. For now the sergeant’s daily task is to protect and lead his platoon through this rural territory while they patrol for roadside bombs hidden by Taliban insurgents.
Daily, he anticipates home – more than 7,000 miles away – where he will return to his life as a farmer, teacher, coach, husband and father. As he nears the end of his second war deployment, Rodney Johnson contemplates permanent instead of perpetual homecomings.