Some of our memories are connected to people who we respected and who were killed. These memories are connected to our friends. One of us told this story:
After explosions, there were three times when I was working as an interpreter, that I collected the parts of bodies and brought them back to the army camp so they could be sent back to their families or buried. Whenever this happened, we tried to show respect to those who had been killed. There was one time when I was an interpreter of the British Army and they were doing joint operations with the Afghan army. When we were going out on patrol, we had roughly twenty British Army and ten or twenty Afghan forces.
In the evenings, I would spend time with the Afghan army forces. We were away from our families and in the same camp sometimes for four months, six months, eight months. Out of a hundred camps, perhaps 90 had a volleyball court. We would make teams and play together.
There was one sergeant major of the Afghan Battalion. His name was Sardar. Every evening we were at a kind of social gathering, sharing stories. It had been a good friendship for four months. People would say Sardar was really imaginative in his duty. Humans are usually scared of what things can happen, but he was never scared. That was, I can say, partly good and partly not good.
One day, there was an explosion and Sardar was killed along with eight others. I was one of the people who helped to gather the parts of the bodies and bring them back into the camp. The next day we found other parts of his body and we buried these.
Sardar was a good volleyball player. He was tall and slim. He played the position of shooter in our volleyball team. My role was to stand in the middle and keep the ball up. You have to have strong hands and fingers to play in the middle. And you don’t need to be so tall.
We were good team mates.
Sometimes the bad memories that we cannot erase are about our friends. These memories might be bad but the friendships were good. We will never forget our friends who were killed. We will keep saying their names and telling their stories.