Alexander the Great presence still felt in modern Afghanistan, visual reminder a few miles away from
January 29, 2013
FORWARD OPERATING BASE APACHE, Afghanistan - Throughout history empires and kings have risen and fallen. While these empires and kings may no longer exist, remnants of their influences can still be seen today in written records and surviving architectural wonders left behind for us to view and admire.
Alexander III of Macedon, or Alexander the Great as he is more commonly known, was a Hellenistic hero who spread written language, art, music and architectural advancement to all the lands he conquered. He became a bonafide legend, which the annals of history pay homage to this day. Or, depending on which side of the coin one falls on, Alexander was an ambitious military commander who could be a brutal dictator and a tyrant capable of unspeakable horrors which he would inflict upon his defeated foes to ensure complete submission to and compliance with Greek rule and law.
What cannot be disputed is that he almost conquered the known world at the time of his rise to power, and he is the only man to conquer present day Afghanistan, but that his influence can still be seen just a few miles away from Forward Operating Base Apache, located in the Zabul province, Afghanistan.
At any given point of the day, soldiers stationed at FOB Apache can look just past their security walls and see the remnants of one of the Greek's fortifications. The significance of this living testament to Greek dominance in this area is not lost on some of the soldiers assigned to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, Combined Task Force Raider.
"I think it's amazing that we have a piece of history so close to us, I wish we were here under different circumstance and had time to really explore this outpost," said Maj. Kristian Leibfarth, the 1ABCT automations and information assurance officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarter Company, 1ABCT, Third ID, CTF-R. This native of Corpus Christi, Texas, a self-described "history buff" also added, "This is amazing and also humbling to have one of history's greatest military commanders forts right near us."
If given the chance to visit this fort some of the other soldiers assigned to CTF-R would jump at a golden opportunity like this to visit this monument of Greek ascendancy.
"I would, in a heartbeat, go there," said Chief Warrant Officer 3, Tobaski Snipes, the 1ABCT tactical operations officer assigned to HHC, 1ABCT, Third ID, CTF-R and native of Burlington, N.C. "I mean Alexander was a military genius."
As the sun begins to set in this exotic land, the glimmer of the last of the sunlight begins to shadow a fortification that honors one of the world's greatest military leaders and a few dog-faced soldiers are licking their lips at a chance to visit this historical memorial of one of the world's greatest cultures that changed the face of civilization as we know it.