Jeff’s Afghan Diary

Jeff’s Afghan Diary
Not long ago I received an email from Jeff Courter, a member of the Illinois National Guard, now serving in Afghanistan. Jeff volunteered to share his wartime experiences in the form of a diary, which I’ve agreed to publish here. Jeff sees his service to this country as a journey of spiritual discovery. I invite you to share the journey with Jeff. And once you’ve sampled his writing, leave a comment for Jeff below.

The Latest from Jeff: A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Also: Firefight

About the author

Charles is a Presbyterian minister, writer, editor, activist, publisher and public theologian.


  1. Someone close to me is in the Illinois National Guard, has a young family, and may go to Afghanistan next year, so as I read this, I know what we may all be going thru. It breaks my heart that it must be like this, but I support you no matter what. I will continue to read your posts with much interest. God Bless You and your family.

  2. Hi Jeff — Just a quick note to wish you the best of luck on your journey. I am from mid-Missouri, within a year of being the same age as you, with a wife and 3 kids, and a member of the Presbyterian church, and I cannot imagine being uprooted and sent around the world, even for the most righteous of causes. While I have never served in the military, I understand that the freedoms we hold so dear in this country do not come free. And you are on your way to Afghanistan to make an installment payment on behalf of all Americans. Thank you for your willingness to serve, and for the enlightened perspective you have adopted. From an old Missouri boy to a new Illinois friend, keep your powder dry, don’t take any wooden Afghan nickels, and don’t drink any pond water. Until you are once again home safe with your wife and family, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Sincerely, Brad Buchanan

  3. Hi Jeff,
    It’s Carol Wiborg and I’m not quite sure why this is coming up in German on my screen. I have just finished rereading all of your diary entries from beginning to end in one sitting. Thank you so much for sharing your first hand impressions with us. My understanding of the middle east is ever increasing. Of course, the military side was fairly in tact after 28 years with the DoD Schools. I saw your daughters on Sunday. They were at church. Just know that you and all of the military are in my prayers.

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