For three years, it seemed like I was either going to, coming from, or living and working in Afghanistan. I spent a year in-country, always with my own local driver and fixer. My primary role was covering Canadian and coalition military operations for the national wire service as a writer, broadcaster and photographer. But much of my time was also spent documenting the changes and hardships the Afghan people were enduring as they entered their fourth straight decade of war.

Two things left a profound and lasting impression on me from my time there. One was the commitment and fearlessness of our Canadian soldiers and their allies. The other impression was left by the resolute and resilient Afghan people themselves.

Theirs is a simple life and a complex society and culture rooted in centuries-old traditions. It can be a brutal way of life, but it has also bred a confoundingly kind and welcoming people for whom generosity, humour and goodwill go hand-in-hand with abject poverty, suffering, death and destruction. I won't ever forget them.