Before you read this column, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, "What was my most difficult task of the day, today?" While we all have our struggles, chances are that your answer wasn't "staying alive." Take another look in the mirror and ask yourself, "What did I stand for today?" Hopefully, your answers include, "my family, my friends, and my job." These are all the most noble of our daily aspirations; however most of us cannot say that on this day, we stood for our very own way of life. The concept is a deep one, and one that many lucky Americans, myself included, do not have to worry about on a daily basis. While we sit and stress about rent, taxes, and providing for our families while building our dream car, many Latino soldiers serving in the U.S. Military's "Operation Enduring Freedom" offensive in Afghanistan are faced with these challenges every day. Trust me, navigating our Lowriders through the pot holed streets of Los Angeles pales in comparison to travelling on the Kabul-to-Jalalabad Highway, a 40-mile stretch of road that features so many casualties that "people stopped counting them a long time ago." Keep in mind that this is without considering war casualties.
Operation Enduring Freedom was launched in response to the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. in October 7, 2001. The offensive became a joint effort between U.S. and British forces aimed at capturing Osama Bin Laden and his Al Queda Militia as well as Afghanistan's Taliban Forces, all of which have been widely believed to be responsible for that catastrophic attack on the U.S., which crumbled New York City's World Trade Towers, and nearly destroyed the Pentagon. Like the U.S. conflict in Vietnam, this is not a war without gray area, as Bin Laden himself is not an Afghanistan national, and the Taliban are more widely believed to be offering safe harbor for Al Queda forces than they are for attacking the U.S. directly. Before we tread into political waters, I'd like to point out that this is not an article with an agenda, as many Americans remain confused and conflicted about why we are risking American lives, White, Black, and Latino, for a cause that is not so concretely defined. Feel free to do your own research on the subject and form your own opinion on the matter, we are focused more on the fact that there are Latino soldiers fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan on behalf of the American way of life, and they should be supported unconditionally for it.