Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | My war memoir—Where Cowards Go to Die—drops June 28, 2022: https://benjaminsledge.com

LIVED THROUGH THIS

An Afghanistan veteran weighs in on whether what we did mattered in the ‘Forever War’

Left: U.S. evacuation in Kabul (2021). Right: U.S. evacuation in Saigon (1975). Photos courtesy of the author

On December 10, 2003, Taliban and al-Qaida operatives launched a complex attack against the small forward operating base I’d been stationed at for eight months. In the barrage and carnage that followed, my friend Steve and I were wounded in action. I took shrapnel to my arms and lower back…

When calamity strikes, leaders emerge. Just not anymore.

Left: Governor Gavin Newsom; Wikipedia | Center: Ted Cruz Meme; Bighurtrocks | Right: Pastor Carl Lentz with Oprah; Instagram

I was confused when the soldier pointed toward the front of the line. Men in fatigues stood conversing, waiting for their turn to eat among an endless sea of people. Sheepishly, I moved past the soldiers who continued to joke, and though I was cutting in line, they paid me…

How much I make, the history/problems with the platform, and realistic solutions

Photo courtesy of author

I’ve never written about Medium as a platform.

Namely, this is because the Medium algorithm seems to serve up similar content regarding what you write and view. That hasn’t seemed to matter as of late. In fact, when the shake-up at Medium happened in May 2021, Verge reported how President…

Wanna know what universal healthcare looks like in America? Look no further than the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“How long have you been on hold?”

Across the table, Miz peers over the lip of his coffee. Beneath his feet sits Lagertha, an English Bull Terrier. Depending on who stops to pet Lagertha determines their age. For some, the dog reminds them of Willie, General George S. Patton’s dog…

Social media is making it easier for them to join the ranks of men faking awards they didn’t earn.

Photo by @lelia_milaya via Twenty20

“She claimed she killed more than five people in Afghanistan when we were together.”

I hover over the iPhone keyboard and frown. The only people who can confirm their kills are typically snipers. The average soldier never knows unless they’re up close. While I was in Ramadi, Iraq, there was…

A geopolitical, philosophical, historical, and practical guide

Photo by Catalin Pop on Unsplash

Let’s begin with the obvious: people are worried about the state of the world.

Or more accurately, they’re worried about America. Between COVID, social unrest, income disparity, political upheaval, and our tech overlords, there’s cause for concern.

Everyone has a hot take, whether journalist or part-time blogger, with many leaning…

The untold story of “Mad Jack” Churchill, his heroic exploits, and a call to courage for us all

Photo compilation by Gioele Fazzeri on Unsplash and historical images of “Mad Jack” Churchill on Wikipedia

In the early hours of December 27, 1941, John Churchill stood on a British landing craft headed for the small Norwegian island of Vågsøy. A British Army officer, Churchill was second in command of an elite group of British soldiers known as Commandos. …

Troll farms run the top Christian Facebook groups, but the history behind how this happened isn’t that surprising.

Photo by photovs on Twenty20

“Our platform (Facebook) has given the largest voice in the Christian American community to a handful of bad actors, who, based on their media production practices, have never been to church.”
Jeff Allen, former senior-level data scientist at Facebook

In the middle of the 2020 COVID lockdown, my dad…

I saw it firsthand, and those who interfered against the human rights violation received disciplinary action.

Photo by Alexander Jawfox on Unsplash

I remember the moon was full the night we entered the small hut where the little girl twirled in circles around men gathered in a circle. The first scent to greet us as we opened the door was the distinct odor of hash. A band sat in the corner playing…

Everyone agrees something is fundamentally wrong with the church, and 1 in 3 have recently left. What’s the solution?

Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash

“Virtually everyone agrees that something is radically wrong with the church. Inside, there is more polarization and conflict than ever, with all factions agreeing (for different reasons) that the church is in deep trouble. Outside the church, journalists, sociologists, and all other observers either bemoan or celebrate the church’s decline…

Benjamin Sledge

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store