A Love Affair in the Midst of War
A highly decorated U.S. military leader risked it all when he brought the women he loved to his unit in Afghanistan. INSIDE EDITION spoke to the couple.
It is a love story forged in war.
Major Jim Gant was a genuine American hero, a decorated Green Beret. He first met Ann Scott Tyson in Washington, where she was a reporter for one of the nation's most respected newspapers—The Washington Post.
Gant told INSIDE EDITION, “I asked her out to dinner six times before she said ‘Yes.’”
Watch Gant and Tyson's Interview with INSIDE EDITION
It took just a week for her to know, saying, “When you fall in love with someone, it’s not really a choice you make.”
His timing couldn’t have been worse. Gant was soon deployed to Afghanistan. He grew a beard and adopted traditional Afghan clothing and lived like an Afghan, fighting the Taliban. He was even dubbed, "Lawrence of Afghanistan," much like that legendary hero of World War I, Lawrence of Arabia.
Gant said, “I studied him and have much admiration and respect for what he did. When people talk about me with the T.E. Lawrence, I’m very honored and humbled.”
For an entire year the major lived in a remote village, commanding a Special Forces unit known as the Spartans, and by his side was the woman he wooed back in Washington—Ann Scott Tyson.
INSIDE EDITION’s April Woodard asked, “Did you break some rules to get Ann there?”
He replied, “I broke a whole lot of rules. There were a lot of rules broke. Vast majority of them was to move the mission forward.”
Remarkable as it seems, she was determined to follow her heart and be with the man she loved. She even lived like an Afghan woman.
She said, “I wore Afghan clothing. I kept my head covered. I wore very baggy clothes."
Danger was everywhere. Tyson displayed combat courage of her own by going along on missions and filming fierce firefights up close.
She said, "We were in part of an Afghan village in one of the most dangerous provinces of Afghanistan. There are images in my mind that will never go away."
She even bears a tattoo of the Spartan unit. "I am the only woman who has one," she said.
But their strange world of love and war came crashing down when Major Gant's commanders discovered their romance.
Gant said, “Everything I was as a person, a commander, a Special Forces soldier—it was over in the blink of an eye."
Instead of Lawrence of Arabia, some started comparing him to the delusional Colonel Kurtz from the Vietnam-era film Apocalypse Now.
He said, “Kurtz references have always been amusing to me.”
Gant was demoted to Captain. He was stripped of his Special Forces honors, and asked to leave the Army.
She said, "They had been doing things, questioning all sorts of decisions. It wouldn't have taken a whole lot of an excuse to pull him out. That is essentially what happened."
In the midst of war, this couple found love. Now, in peace, they are finally married.
"Neither of us were looking for a relationship. Neither of us were expecting to fall in love," she said.
To read an excerpt from the couple's book, click on Download PDF.
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