'Lawrence of Afghanistan'... And His Woman

Major Jim Gant believed he held to key to victory in Afghanistan, but the military said he went over the edge.
13:18 | 06/24/14

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Transcript for 'Lawrence of Afghanistan'... And His Woman
In just two years -- end -- has gone from being called an American he. Be it a disgrace to the -- but now as he walks the streets of Seattle the 46 year old can't is a broken man. His silver star and wounds from comment. Indeed his -- long -- most of those who used to praise him. Except he clearly written he -- -- and intelligence General David Petraeus became against biggest supporter when the tries took over command of the war in Afghanistan. He -- one -- we also told that debt of gratitude. Even. Recognizing how things ended for him. Outside of the -- few Americans have heard the story of what happened did you see here. Heading into our. Dynamic hard charging me in the green -- who -- and -- -- at it. Once considered a key to winning the war in Afghanistan you didn't unit that -- news did. Today the fight seems to have gone out of -- and he longs for Afghanistan you're comfortable. Most compliment have been in my whole line. -- -- -- Come down. -- -- Against unconventional tactics and working with the tribes of Afghanistan. And willingness to break the rules. Made him a serious threat to the Taliban and he now says to the army bureaucracy. That would later break. They did not to deal with me are going there were some people in my chain of command who -- absolutely looking for something. Two. To do to get to get me off the battlefield. For some -- was seen as a modern American version of Lawrence of Arabia. The English and TE Lawrence who lived and fought with the Arab -- immortalized in David Lee's film and I don't like can't be. Himself in any sense that this did -- TE Lawrence and Jim Gannon problem. I'm for others -- was the colonel Kurtz character in the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now gone native out of control. Out of his mind. -- -- not innocent I did break the rules. And I have never said that the that I didn't. He drank alcohol and drink alcohol -- took painkillers just painkillers he had a woman -- -- a -- -- a civilian yes yes. -- not just any woman she was one of America's most experienced war correspondent Ann Scott Tyson. Who would quit the Washington Post. And leave behind her family to secretly live with -- -- as his lover for almost a year and one of the most dangerous corners of Afghanistan. They both have since divorced their previous spouse's and now our merry. And going public. With the extraordinary story of their battlefield romance. Which was in complete violation of all US army rules and led to the end -- against military career. We did fall in love I would say over the course about a week about a third day -- -- -- -- -- marrying him. -- I didn't take it very seriously about points. Happening now -- answer was hah hah hah -- ha. You were serious series. Tyson has written a book American Spartan about how they fell in love and literally went to war together. And documented it and hours of videotape she provided ABC news. Much of that recorded in the heat of battle. The mortuary for it. The great risk absolutely. We both knew. That there was a lot of risk involved and in doing what we did and would do it again can complete violation of army -- absolutely. -- -- was sent to Afghanistan in 2010. Just as the US concluded it was losing the war there. The green beret major had proposed a way to win the war. By sending small teams of special forces -- move in with. And win the loyalty of the country's all important tribes. One tribe at a time a strategy that was endorsed by General Petraeus and and other top commanders who told -- in other green berets to push the envelope. They do you have to to stretch the bounds of -- -- there's an expectation. That they'll do some of that is celebrated as a quality. Can't front a small team of about a dozen US soldiers to assimilate with the tribes and two small villages. But -- more like Osama bin Laden -- that a US army major. Protect -- Phillies -- an atlas. Detector valley. Powerless. And -- try. Anyone examining exactly it might not come here to -- People. If someone -- and I wanted to -- him. Trouble and he. We will be there. He got around the red tape to hand out automatic weapons to the tribal police unit he was formed. He didn't always fill out the paperwork to provide the tribal police with fuel for their vehicle. Or account for cash payments to FDA and done -- he hired extra security. And -- and his men rarely wore their body -- or helmets are even army boots. When -- Karen was seventy pound kid. And a helmet and you're trying to to chase down you know insurgents who -- flip flops and in pajamas -- Can't fight liked us it was safer being dressed in apps that have been closed actually -- even even the tactics of that you could move further he could move faster. You can run farther. You could take cover more quickly he could carry more ammunition you can carry more water it was just and announced salute no brainer. And in a short time gas strategy began to pay off as the -- century old -- of honor require them to protect the Americans as their welcomed guest. But the Taliban and opened fire on the small compound. The villagers join the Americans in returning fire with a -- Not let violence go unanswered you have to be prepared. To be more violent -- than they are because if you're not. They'll kill you -- Killian. And kept him throughout the day came. I have been. And to me firefight it's already to be very afraid Afghans kept shooting even as one of their leaders was wounded. Americans quickly came to visit. I'll never forgets the courage. Africans -- up to wallowing. To you. You know to fight alongside the American side by side means that that was what we needed to. Two women in Afghanistan. -- -- -- but parking. And you really think not. Wasn't about or weapons or body armor it was going to be about how how we treated them. And it worked it worked in a -- play. It's the tribal leader took on camp like a son. -- nicknamed him sitting below. And against village became one of the few examples of success in Afghanistan. -- called by some a petting zoo because so many politicians and top commanders showed up for two hours and photo ops. As the senators including John McCain walked around and says she had to hide. For fear they would recognize her from her days of the Washington Post and when he came -- I stayed out the picture at other times though she was out in the open. Trained to use weapons and she says the Taliban was overheard on radios -- about the woman they called -- wife. We didn't want my presence there to be widely known but at the same time. A lot of people knew about it. Get would later be accused of putting his men and extreme and unnecessary risk by having and in the area. A charge they both deny -- I never lift the bottle filled defeated. I never lost a man. Perhaps the most important test against strategy came after four US soldiers were killed elsewhere in the country. When their Afghan counterparts became angry over the -- burning of Koran. And told his men he was going to ignore orders to stay inside that -- Your lives. And said he was leaving the compound to walk around among the villagers. To send a message he trusted. You must trust the people that -- -- And did appear in the July issue of genuine security and heat he -- by that our lives were at risk but they were safer. The more we -- by that. So you're safer by breaking the rules than follow the rules in in this particular case yes absolutely. Yes but ultimately someone would write him up a first lieutenant fresh from West Point reporting the pills the alcohol and the woman. That was seen. Was -- that was the end -- was removed from command ordered -- -- and put on his uniform again while the army launched an investigation. I would have rather -- in the hands of the Taliban but the appointment. Because I filled cyst I could not comprehend everything that had happened. And you know my world changed overnight. He was sent back to the states busted to major to captain stripped of his green beret honors -- -- retirement over a court martial. And then called a disgrace by a three star -- In the end. For you to walk in and -- told that you are disgrace. What was that like for you and it was. It was it was -- I gave them everything I have I had not seen nothing left to give them. And. -- -- Just even to hear it now. Harsh words. Harsh words. Parchment. And you accept. I did. Today. -- -- Every single day with everything that happened. I don't know man. Cut to leave his dreams prepared. And even were -- says the army went after his men for breaking the rules to. The very -- that I wanted to protect at all costs were were the ones they went after and though they knew that. Understanding on the commander. I made those decisions. -- -- fold my orders that's what they're there to do. And for them to do its -- was. Most was was the worst thing for me still lives. -- But his men remain among the few of the military willing to see and be seen with -- here is the biggest. -- out of my life. -- pizza and beer one night in Seattle. We want. We want. Some of them now stationed nearby came to offer their support. Do you have spent the last minute. Go back to wireless and -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Thoughts. Folks make mistakes obvious and he clearly took actions that were not in keeping with the standards and any -- paid a very high price. As the US pulls out of Afghanistan there are a lot of hard field. Not for Jim game when he and his wife and went back as well as civilians with no US protection they were welcomed like family. My heart just wanted to burst you know I was I was so I was so happy to see him again and my -- My family I was a member. Photo of their trial was a member. C appreciated me for what I am. And I'm awarding. The -- ever wanted to be. And they loved and respected. Shot fired this time we're in celebration music to my years yes you know Michigan. Happy gunfire happy gunfire. -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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