The War Project: Sgt. Carlos Reynaldo Farias

Susannah Breslin has published a new entry on The War Project: a first-hand account written by Sgt. Carlos Reynaldo Farias (shown above) a few days after a firefight that took place on June 6, 2007, near Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in which one of his fellow Army soldiers died.

Sgt. Carlos Farias served in Charlie Company, 1st Platoon, 1-508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He was deployed to Afghanistan from January 2007 to April 2008. "I wrote [this] days after the event," he wrote in an email. "The day was hell. … I documented it to help me get over the situation, a venting process if you will. It did help some but even at that for weeks I could not sleep fearing that either one of the members of my team or myself would die in the coming missions."

Sgt. Farias' story contains graphic violence and strong language. Snip:

They picked him up and I saw the back of his head, bloody, with an exit wound. I really don't want to explain but for documental purposes I must. It was dark red with black hues around his eye, almost like someone just got a bucket of blood and poured it all over him. The back of his head I did see but not up close. It was horrible, it was a dark crimson mess of flesh. God bless him. D— said when he assessed his vitals he pulled him near and grabbed the back of his head, froze, felt his hand go into his head and looked at R—– and said, "He's dead."

The fear you feel from all this is immense, but Thank God that we train so hard. I don't believe I could've done it if it wasn't for our training. My legs were jello and my head was spinning and felt like Hell, actual biblical Hell opened a portal and demons were flying all about, but you have to keep a cool head, you must if you have any hope to survive and keep your buddy alive … and I fucking knew I didn't wanna see anyone else die.

LETTER: Sgt. Carlos Reynaldo Farias (