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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…


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…


LIVED THROUGH THIS

20 years later, the aftereffects still linger in my life and the lives of others

South tower collapse | 9/11 Historical and Digital Archives | Thomas Nilsson, Getty Images

I was hungover when the phone rang.

The night before, I’d been partying with my fraternity brothers, so I answered and immediately hung up. Despite hanging up the call, the rings came once more, so I answered.

“Hello?”

“Benjamin!” The voice was frantic on the other end. …


Many influential pastors preach against greed, yet are accumulating millions themselves.

Photo by Mackenzie Marco on Unsplash and Photo by Junior REIS on Unsplash

I’ve been biting my tongue till it bleeds
While you’re building monuments of yourself to sell
Go ahead make sure they’re with you when you’re buried
Bury him deep
Or another dollar for the holy coward
Bury him deep
Or another lie, they love the holy coward
— Phinehas, Holy…


On losing the ones you love and the beauty in tragedy

First lieutenant Reginald Courtland Whitson. Photo courtesy of author.

Grandpa flipped his car end over end on the way to my wedding.

My grandmother recalled that before the wreck, he’d been fiddling with the knob on the radio. While tuning the station, he looked at his bride of more than fifty years and smiled. …

Benjamin Sledge

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