The touching story reported by co-blogger Patrick Edaburn about the arrival of a fallen hero at Los Angeles airport is a reminder to all of us that our troops are still fighting and dying in Afghanistan.
Although, thankfully, our troops are experiencing fewer casualties than in previous months and years, each death and injury is a tragedy.
According to some reports our troops suffered nine casualties in October.
The most recent combat casualty occurred on October 20, when Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher O. Grant, 20, of Richwood, La., died “while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.” Cpl. Grant was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
A few days ago, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter pinned a Purple Heart medal on Army Staff Sgt. Jerry M. Amis at the Warrior and Family Support Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Amis was injured Sept. 3, 2013, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device while conducting a mounted patrol in Afghanistan.
Edaburn’s post is a reminder to all of us that, regardless of the political and economic events at home which grab our attention daily, a war is still going on in Afghanistan where our military men and women are still dying, getting injured and fighting.
Here are some recent images that do just that.
In addition, they are intended to thank, honor and respect those troops while well aware of the many questions about that war and about those casualties many of us have.
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan L. Avery, left, and U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Michael J. McGrath provide aerial security during lift off from Gurjat village in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Oct. 28, 2013. Avery, a crew chief, and McGrath, a mechanic, are assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, which supported Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.
U.S. Army Pfc. Rohan Wright, center, prepares to fire an M203 grenade launcher at the weapons range on Forward Operating Base Thunder in Afghanistan’s Paktia province, Oct. 18, 2013. Wright, a cavalry scout, is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team.
U.S. Army Capt. Lou Cascino pulls security while U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Stephens and U.S. Army 1st Lt. James Kromhout verify their position during a partnered patrol in Madi Khel village in Khowst province, Afghanistan, Oct. 20, 2013. Cascino, commander, and Stephens and Kromhout are assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s Company E, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team
U.S. Army Sgt. Walter Miles, foreground, U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Nick Wahlquist, center left, and U.S. Army Pfc. Kyle O’Brien practice mountaintop landing zone security techniques with a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Oct. 14, 2013. Miles, Wahlquist and O’Brien are assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Artillery Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, and the helicopter crew members are assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment.
U.S. Marines prepare for a mission on Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Oct. 20, 2013. The mission was conducted to disrupt enemy operations in the area. The Marines are assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment
Lead image: U.S. Marines move toward a CH-53E Super Stallion assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 at Gurjat village in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Oct. 28, 2013. Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 provided aerial support for the Marine unit during an interdiction operation. The Marines are assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.
All photos and captions: DOD