The Panjwai Podcast is an interview-based recurrent podcast series focused on the combat experiences of veterans who served in the Panjwai District of Afghanistan. Our initial focus will be on the men who served with us in B Company 1-64th Armor Regiment at Sperwan Ghar in 2012. Our hope is to take their stories, along with primary source documents and video and photo records, and publish a book about the unit’s experiences in combat, tentatively titled “Patrolling Panjwai: Journal of an Infantry Company at War”. Once we have enough source material to complete the book, we plan to expand our conversations to include veterans from other units and time periods.
Our goal is to present an earnest, honest, and complete representation of veterans’ combat experiences in Panjwai and at Sperwan Ghar. We wish to build a narrative that is well informed, well rounded, and allows the space for a multi layered conversation. To that end, we intend to bring guests onto the podcast with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, such as EOD technicians, military working dog handlers, helicopter pilots, commanders, and other enabling forces. By weaving our own thoughts and views in with this selection of guests, we hope to achieve our end goal, a complete retelling of the experiences of combat forces in Panjwai and Sperwan Ghar.
Our conversations will undoubtedly bring criticism of command structures, the US military and government, the Afghan military and government, and on occasion an individual. Our conversations will also certainly call praise to the actions of individual soldiers, given that soldiers themselves are the pivot that war is contingent upon. We will explore these topics no matter the cause, no matter the reason, and no matter the historicity of the political and social milieu of the moment.
We hope to present a more grounded version of particular narratives about military service that are either misguided or blatantly erroneous. This may require the listener to hold, in a different and more accountable light, certain foundational concepts about soldiers at war. This will include the true definition of bravery and courage, resilience and fortitude, trauma, and the many complexities that are naturally linked to the experience of combat.
What we present will not be a compilation of war stories for the sake of self aggrandizement or one-ups-manship. We are not here to revel in war. We are not here to promote any narrative of political bias or partisanship. Our ambition is to provide an authentic and human retelling of our experiences, those we served with, and others who served in combat in Panjwai, Afghanistan.