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(51,069 posts)
Sun Nov 5, 2023, 05:35 PM Nov 2023

A Secret War, Strange New Wounds, and Silence From the Pentagon [View all]


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When Javier Ortiz came home from a secret mission in Syria, the ghost of a dead girl appeared to him in his kitchen. She was pale and covered in chalky dust, as if hit by an explosion, and her eyes stared at him with a glare as dark and heavy as oil.

The 21-year-old Marine was part of an artillery gun crew that fought against the Islamic State, and he knew that his unit’s huge cannons had killed hundreds of enemy fighters. The ghost, he was sure, was their revenge.

A shiver went through him. He backed into another room in his apartment near Camp Pendleton in California and flicked on the lights, certain that he was imagining things. She was still there.

A few days later, in the barracks not far away, a 22-year-old Marine named Austin Powell pounded on his neighbor’s door in tears and stammered: “There’s something in my room! I’m hearing something in my room!”


Long read, but definitely worth the time.
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