The Long Walk Quotes

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The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows by Brian Castner
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The Long Walk Quotes Showing 1-14 of 14
“When dressing my son before his hockey games, I am always careful with the gear, with each legging, each strap and buckle... Not only are his slight legs swallowed by the wide pads, but his chest and arms are covered only by a tight shirt, accentuating the contrast. Next the puffy upper-body protector, insulated sleeves, and jersey overtop. The final step is the helmet. I start crying as I place it on his head, cinch down the chin cup, and close the cage over his face... I just put my seven-year-old son in a bomb suit and sent him on the Long Walk.
p 183”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
tags: ptsd
“I’m back. I’m still here. I never left.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“The Crazy feeling builds and builds. It never stops, it never ends, there is no relief.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“My wife is alone in our full bed too. Her husband, the father of her children, never came back from Iraq. When I deployed the first time she asked her grandmother for advice. Her grandfather served in Africa and Europe in World War II. Her grandmother would know what to do.
“How do I live with him being gone? How do I help him when he comes home?” my wife asked.
“He won’t come home,” her grandmother answered. “The war will kill him one way or the other. I hope for you that he dies while he is there. Otherwise the war will kill him at home. With you.”
My wife’s grandfather died of a heart attack on the living-room floor, long before she was born. It took a decade or two for World War II to kill him. When would my war kill me?”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“The Air Force was confused about what it wanted me to be when I grew up. I applied for an ROTC scholarship out of high school because I wanted to be an astronaut. None of my teachers had ever broken the news to me that I couldn’t fly into space, so the third-grade dream remained.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“So when I arrived in Saudi Arabia in August of 2001, as there was no chemical, biological, or nuclear war going on, all I prepared for was to be bored until it was time to go home. Obviously, that plan failed.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“But the shock wears off, more quickly for some, but eventually for most. Fast food and alcohol are seductive, and I didn’t fight too hard. Your old routine is easy to fall back into, preferences and tastes return. It’s not hard to be a fussy, overstuffed American. After a couple of months, home is no longer foreign, and you are free to resume your old life. I thought I did. Resume my old life, that is. I was wrong.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“Your first sign something may be amiss comes quickly, the moment you get off the plane at the airport in Baltimore. After months of deprivation, American excess is overwhelming. Crowds of self-important bustling businessmen. Shrill and impatient advertising that saturates your eyes and ears. Five choices of restaurant, with a hundred menu items each, only a half-minute walk away at all times. In the land you just left, dinners are uniformly brown and served on trays when served at all. I was disoriented by the choice, the lights, the infinite variety of gummy candy that filled an entire wall of the convenience store, a gluttonous buffet repeated every four gates. The simple pleasure of a cup of coffee after a good night’s sleep, sleep you haven’t had since you received your deployment orders, seems overly simple when reunited with such a vast volume of overindulgent options.

But the shock wears off, more quickly for some, but eventually for most. Fast food and alcohol are seductive, and I didn’t fight too hard. Your old routine is easy to fall back into, preferences and tastes return. It’s not hard to be a fussy, overstuffed American. After a couple of months, home is no longer foreign, and you are free to resume your old life.

I thought I did. Resume my old life, that is. I was wrong.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“There is no relaxation. You feel no different. You’re just Crazy in the goddamn sunshine. Every day. All the time.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“We knew there would be a fire before we blew them. There wasn’t much helping it. The wind caught the flames right away and whipped the wheat field into a frenzy, blowing toward the primeval mud-walled village a couple of acres away. There was an irrigation ditch running in between, so it probably wouldn’t spread. Probably. There was nothing we could do, so we left. I never heard if our fire spread. Trey’s certainly did. Two weeks later, when he blew a cordless-telephone/mortar combo on the side of a different road far west of Kirkuk, a spark snared the nearby wheat field, almost ripe with the winter crop. His fire didn’t burn down the village, but it did destroy the entire harvest.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“We didn’t go to that village much before the fire, but we were back regularly afterward. The town rioted, and with no Americans available to slake their thirst for reprisal, the mob attacked the only symbol of governmental control available, storming their local Iraqi Police substation, killing everyone with a uniform inside. They hung the bodies in makeshift gibbets from the roof, and formed their own militia to guard the village from the attack they knew was coming.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“Maybe we should try not to burn down any more fields,” I mentioned at dinner one night after the operation to re-seize the town. “Maybe they shouldn’t put out IEDs in the first place,” was the unanimous reply.”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“War, the true mother of invention,”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows
“A foot in a box. Someone had put a foot in a box. I laughed. I couldn’t help it. They must have found the foot at the scene, and stuck it in the box for safekeeping. It makes sense, right? Why not put the foot in the box?”
Brian Castner, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows