This anonymous tip from a military wife landed in our inbox this morning.

It may be the same person who wrote this account of her husband’s experience in Afghanistan and the subsequent effects on their family to Crikey roughly four months ago, but we can’t be sure, given the correspondence is encrypted and we have no way of communicating with this person.

She writes today:

While all the argy-bargy over Julia and Tony visiting Afghanistan is going on, several hundred of our front-line soldiers (including my husband) are finally on their way home. Over the next two to three weeks, most of the battle group that we have heard about, mourned, praised, debated and prayed for will be returning home after around nine months away from their families and loved ones. I’m wondering how much media coverage that will get?

In his letters and emails home to me these past months, my husband has often referred to the little things that people get worked up about, and how they seem insignificant now. Can you imagine what he and the others are going to think coming home to the headlines that we are seeing lately? I think most of them would be shaking their heads going ‘you are f-cking kidding, aren’t you?’ I know that most of their partners and families are.

If the PM and the opposition leader are really serious about showing their support for the troops, they will (quietly and without grandstanding) attend the official welcome home parade on November 20 in Brisbane, rather than the PR stunts and point-scoring bullsh-t that’s been going on lately. Shame on both of you.

Inspired by the new heights that our political discourse over Afghanistan reached this week, and in the lead up to a parliamentary debate next week, we’re kicking off our ‘Rethinking Afghanistan’ series today. Over the rest of the week we will be seeking a number of views on Australia’s position on Afghanistan — from political, military, domestic, and philosophical perspectives.

But in the meantime, we’re most interested in hearing from the people who are actually living this war. That includes you, tipster. If you’re reading, we’d like more please.

Peter Fray

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