Sebastian Junger

  • Aired:  06/10/14
  •  | Views: 18,778

Sebastian Junger discusses his documentary "Korengal" and brainstorms ways that soldiers could positively impact society after returning home from war. (7:16)

>> WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, BESTSELLINGAUTHOR, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER,

HIS NEW DOCUMENTARY IS CALLED"KORENGAL."

>> THIS ONE'S FOR YOU, AMERICA.

>> FOR A WHILE THERE, I STARTED,I STARTED THINKING THAT GOD

HATES ME. AND LIKE I SAID, I'MNOT RELIGIOUS OR ANYTHING, BUT

I FELT LIKE THERE WAS THIS HATEFOR ME BECAUSE I DID SINS,

YOU KNOW, I SINNED.

>> PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THEPROGRAM SEBASTIAN JUNGER.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]SIR.

HOW ARE YOU, MAN?

>> I'M GOOD.

>> Jon: GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

>> YOU TOO.

>> Jon: I'M ALWAYS HAPPY TOSEE YOU IN ONE PIECE.

>> YEAH, ME TOO.

ME TOO.

>> Jon: SO THAT, IT'SINTERESTING.

AT THE END OF THAT CLIP, SO THATGENTLEMAN WHO WAS TALKING, HE

WAS TALKING ABOUT HE FELT THATGOD HATES HIM.

AS THAT CONTINUES, HE SAYS, BUTTHE THING I HATE MOST IS WHEN

PEOPLE SAY TO ME, HEY, MAN, YOUDID WHAT YOU HAD TO DO.

>> YEAH.

WHAT HE HATED ABOUT THAT IS HEFELT LIKE IT WAS AN ATTEMPT TO

END THE CONVERSATION.

SOLDIERS FEEL THAT CIVILIANSSEND THEM TO WAR.

IT'S NOT THE SOLDIER'S WAR, IT'SOUR WAR, AND THEN THEY COME

BACK, AND THE MORAL PROBLEMS OFWAR, THE CIVILIANS DON'T REALLY

WANT TO TALK ABOUT.

AND SO THEY SAY, YOU DID WHATYOU HAD TO DO, CAN WE STOP

TALKING ABOUT IT. THAT'S WHAT HEHATES ABOUT IT.

>> AND HE EVEN SAID, HE SAID,LOOK, I DIDN'T DO WHAT I HAD TO

DO, I CHOSE TO DO IT. I'M,I'M A SOLDIER.

I VOLUNTEERED.

AND, IT'S VERY INTERESTING.

THIS IS... YOU SEE THECAMARADERIE AND THE LOVE THESE

GUYS HAVE FOR EACH OTHER, ANDTHEY'LL EVEN SAY IT EXPLICITLY,

WE WERE FIGHTING FOR EACH OTHER.>> YEAH.

>> ALMOST ENTIRELY.

>> JUST ABOUT ENTIRELY. AND, IMEAN,

WHAT'S CONFUSING TO THEM ISTHEY COME HOME, AND THEY FIND

THAT THEY MISS IT, THAT THEYMISS THE COMBAT.

>> RIGHT.>>IT'S CONFUSING TO THEM.

IT'S REALLY CONFUSEING TO THEIRWIVES.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS I WANTEDTO DO IN THIS FILM IS TRY

TO ANSWER THE QUESTION: WHAT ISIT THAT THEY'RE MISSING?

AND A LOT, YOU KNOW, THERE'SADRENALINE. THERE'S, YOU KNOW,

ALL THIS SORT OF YOUNG MAN STUFFYOU CAN SEE IN THE

FOOTAGE, BUT THERE IS ALSO THISINCREDIBLE BROTHERHOOD.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND, YOU KNOW, THEY COME HOMETO A SOCIETY HERE WHERE PEOPLE

ARE SHOOTING EACH OTHERIN SCHOOLS EVERY DAY.

IT'S A VERY ALIENATED SOCIETY,AND FRANKLY, THEY SEE IT

REALISTICALLY FOR THE FIRST TIMEWHEN THEY COME HOME.

>> Jon: HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TOSEE OR IDENTIFY ANY PROGRAMS

THAT HAVE BEEN REALLY EFFECTIVEIN REINTEGRATING SOLDIERS IN A

WAY THAT IS NOT JUST...BECAUSE THE GENERAL THING

YOU HEAR IS, LOOK, WE'RE NOTLOOKING FOR HELP.

WE'RE LOOKING TO HELP.>> YEP.

>> WE'RE LOOKING FOR ANOTHERMISSION.

PREFERABLY WITHOUT AS MUCHGUNFIRE, BUT...

>> PEOPLE LIKE TO FEEL USEFUL.

>> Jon: YES.

>> RIGHT? SO, THERE IS A GROUPCALLED TEAM RUBICON.

IT TAKES VETS AND PUTS THEM INTONATURAL DISASTERS, THAT

KIND OF THING.>> RIGHT.

>> YOU REMEMBER HURRICANE SANDYIN NEW YORK.

>> SURE.>> AND EVERYONE KIND OF BANDED

TOGETHER AND THEY WERE HELPINGEACH OTHER.

AND IN A WEIRD WAY PEOPLE LOOKBACK ON DISASTERS WITH A KIND OF

NOSTALGIA.

THAT'S HOW SOLDIERS LOOK BACK ONCOMBAT.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> SO IF WE CAN BRING THEM HOME,BASICALLY IF WE CAN OPERATE IN

MORE OF A COMMUNITY WAY, THAT'SWHAT THEY NEED, BUT FRANKLY,

THAT'S WHAT WE NEED.

>> YEAH, I CAN'T, YOU KNOW, ITALWAYS BLOWS MY MIND.

YOU HAVE ALL THIS... WE HAVE SOMANY PROBLEMS AT HOME.

THEN WE HAVE THIS ENORMOUS ANDTALENTED FIGHTING FORCE, AND YOU

FEEL LIKE, WELL GEEZ, THEY'VEBEEN NATION BUILDING IN

AFGHANISTAN WHERE PEOPLEDIDN'T NECESSARILY WELCOME

THEM, WELL, I BET CHICAGO WOULD.>> YEAH. YEAH.

>> I BET CHICAGO WOULD BE VERYHAPPY TO HAVE THESE VERY

TALENTED INDIVIDUALS WHO AREUSED TO WEARING HELMETS AND FLAK

JACKETS.

AND START REBUILDING THISCOUNTRY.

>> WELL, YEAH.

I MEAN, IT'S AN INTERESTINGQUESTION.

LIKE WHAT IS ALL OF US, LIKEWHAT IS OUR DUTY TO OUR COUNTRY?

OTHER THAN PAYING OUR TAXES?

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE? RIGHT?

AND, IF THERE IS, SOME KIND OFNATIONAL SERVICE, YOU KNOW...

I MEAN, LIKE...>> Jon: YES. NATIONAL SERVICE,

ESPECIALLY NOW THAT I'M TOOOLD.

[LAUGHTER]THAT'S EXCELLENT.

>> IT REALLY WOULD UNIFY THECOUNTRY A LITTLE BIT.

>> Jon: WHY DON'T WE? YOU KNOW,I MEAN,

UNFORTUNATELY THE POLITICAL WILLTO DO ALMOST ANYTHING IS IN VERY

SHORT RESERVE, BUT I DO LIKE THEIDEA OF NATIONAL SERVICE, BUT

NOT NECESSARILY MILITARY.>> NO. NO. THAT'S RIGHT.

>> YOU COULD HAVE A COMPONENT OFIT THAT IS STATE SIDE.

I THINK IT WOULD BE...

>> MOST PEOPLE WOULD SAY, LOOK,I DON'T WANT TO BE IN THE ARMY,

BUT I'M GLAD TO HELP IN CHICAGO.

IT'S GREAT IDEA.

>> Jon: WE DON'T WANT TO KEEPSAYING "CHICAGO," BUT...

>> OKAY.

DETROIT.

[LAUGHTER]>> Jon: OR, I MEAN, ALL AROUND.

THIS ENTIRE COUNTRY IS,

WE HAVE AN ENORMOUS, DECREPITINFRASTRUCTURE THAT HAS BEEN

IGNORED FOR 20 TO 30 YEARSBECAUSE OF POLITICAL

IN-FIGHTING, BUREAUCRATICCOMPLACENCY.

ALL THESE THINGS THAT WITH THATRIGHT MISSION FOCUSED ETHIC

COULD REALLY BE TACKLED IN AVERY POSITIVE WAY.

AND I THINK THESE SOLDIERS WOULDWELCOME THE OPPORTUNITY.

>> I THINK THEY WOULD. AND,YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND,

LIKE THEY SPEND A YEAR ON AREMOTE HILLTOP

LITERALLY SLEEPING SHOULDER TOSHOULDER, AND THAT EXPERIENCE OF

CONNECTION AND INTIMACY ISINCREDIBLY VALUABLE.

AND, IF YOU CAN USE THAT BACKHOME, YOU CAN GET ALMOST

ANYTHING DONE.

>> Jon: I WONDER TOO, YOU KNOW,WHEN YOU SEE THAT EVERYBODY IS

TALKING ABOUT BOWE BERGDAHL ANDHOW THE UNITS ARE REACTING,

YOU CAN SEE HOW WITHINTHAT UNIT THERE IS MAYBE

ALMOST NOTHING YOU CAN DOTHAT IS AS BAD AS WALKING

AWAY FROM YOUR BROTHERS.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> OR YOUR SISTERS.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Jon: IT SEEMS LIKE, YOU COULDSEE THEIR ANGER BEING INDELIBLE.

>> YEAH.

I MEAN, I WAS, YOU KNOW, I WASOUT THERE OFF AND ON FOR A YEAR,

AND ONE OF THE, IMEAN, ONE OF THE GREATEST SINS

IS FALLING ASLEEP ON GUARD DUTY.

YOU MAKE A MISTAKE AND EVERYBODYCAN DIE.

AND SO WHEN YOU WALK OUT OF ANOUTPOST. I MEAN, I DON'T KNOW

WHAT HE DID EXACTLY, OBVIOUSLYNONE OF US DO YET, BUT...

>> Jon: NOBODY DOES.

>> BUT THE IDEA OF ABANDONINGYOUR POST,

>> YEAH.

>> YOU'RE NOT, YOU'RE NOTBREAKING MILITARY RULE.

THAT'S NOT THE PROBLEM.

YOU'RE ABANDONING YOURCOMMITMENT TO YOUR BROTHERS WHO

ARE DEPENDING ON YOU.

THAT'S A VERY SERIOUS THING.

>> Jon: IN YOUR MIND, GIVENTHAT BROTHERHOOD, IF SOMEONE

WERE TO DO SOMETHING LIKETHAT, WOULD THAT UNIT STILL

WANT TO GET THATPERSON BACK HOME?

IS THAT ETHIC RUN, EVEN IF THEYFEEL WRONGED?

DO YOU THINK... IT'S ARIDICULOUS HYPOTHETICAL.

>> I THINK IT WOULD DEPEND ONWHY HE WALKED OUT ON THE WIRE.

HE SPOKE PASHTU.IF HE WALKED OUT THE WIRE TO

TRY AND MAKE PEACE WITH THELOCALS, THEY MIGHT HAVE

SAID, YOU KNOW, THAT'S INSANE,THAT WAS STUPID, BUT,

COME ON BACK IN, DON'T BETHAT STUPID AGAIN.

IF HE REALLY ACTUALLY WANTED TOLEAVE THEM, THEY WOULDN'T WANT

HIM BACK, I DOUBT.

>> Jon: RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT.

IT'S A FASCINATING MOVIE AGAIN.

AND YOUR ABILITY TO GET INTHERE AND UNDER THE SKIN OF IT

ALL IS REALLY I THINK WHAT MAKESIT I THINK SO SPECTACULAR.

WHERE ARE YOU OFF TO NEXT?

I'M HOPING YOU'RE GOING TO BESOMEWHERE SAFER.

>> I'M OFF TO CAPE COD.

>> Jon:[LAUGHTER]

LET ME SAY THIS: DID NOT SEETHAT COMING.

"KORENGAL" PLAYING IN NEW YORK.

IT'S GOING TO OPEN IN LOSANGELES ON FRIDAY, NATIONWIDE

THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER.

SEBASTIAN JUNGER, THANK YOU.

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