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Capt. Patrick Rose, a physician assistant with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, smokes a cigar at Forward Operating Base Zangabad in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, on Oct. 3, 2013. ‘’There’s no better way to unwind after a bad, or a good, day,’’ said Rose, founder of FOB Zangabad’s unofficial cigar club.
Capt. Patrick Rose, a physician assistant with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, smokes a cigar at Forward Operating Base Zangabad in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, on Oct. 3, 2013. ‘’There’s no better way to unwind after a bad, or a good, day,’’ said Rose, founder of FOB Zangabad’s unofficial cigar club. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Capt. Patrick Rose, a physician assistant with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, smokes a cigar at Forward Operating Base Zangabad in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, on Oct. 3, 2013. ‘’There’s no better way to unwind after a bad, or a good, day,’’ said Rose, founder of FOB Zangabad’s unofficial cigar club.
Capt. Patrick Rose, a physician assistant with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, smokes a cigar at Forward Operating Base Zangabad in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, on Oct. 3, 2013. ‘’There’s no better way to unwind after a bad, or a good, day,’’ said Rose, founder of FOB Zangabad’s unofficial cigar club. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
First Lt. Jeremy Kinder, a platoon leader with 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, attempts to save a volleyball that went deep during an Oct. 3, 2013, match at the new volleyball court at Forward Operating Base Zangabad, Afghanistan. The court was recently knicknamed the ''dust bowl.''
First Lt. Jeremy Kinder, a platoon leader with 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, attempts to save a volleyball that went deep during an Oct. 3, 2013, match at the new volleyball court at Forward Operating Base Zangabad, Afghanistan. The court was recently knicknamed the ''dust bowl.'' (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
A child takes in a Buzkashi match in Bazarak, Afghanistan. The favorite sport of northern Afghanistan, the brutal, horseback game was banned by the Taliban but is once again thriving in the country.
A child takes in a Buzkashi match in Bazarak, Afghanistan. The favorite sport of northern Afghanistan, the brutal, horseback game was banned by the Taliban but is once again thriving in the country. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
A satellite dish sits in the mud in the town of Surobi, Afghanistan, about 40 miles east of Kabul. On Aug. 3, 2013, Surobi was devastated by flash floods. Upward of 80 people were reportedly killed across two provinces.
A satellite dish sits in the mud in the town of Surobi, Afghanistan, about 40 miles east of Kabul. On Aug. 3, 2013, Surobi was devastated by flash floods. Upward of 80 people were reportedly killed across two provinces. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
A UH-53 and UH-59 drop off supplies at Forward Operating Base Jackson in Sangin district, Afghanistan. Sangin has become a symbol for the insurgency, the Afghan government and the NATO coalition alike, and in recent weeks has become the focus of intense fighting.
A UH-53 and UH-59 drop off supplies at Forward Operating Base Jackson in Sangin district, Afghanistan. Sangin has become a symbol for the insurgency, the Afghan government and the NATO coalition alike, and in recent weeks has become the focus of intense fighting. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)
A burqa-clad woman carries a child amid the traffic of a busy Kandahar City street as L Troop, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, provides security for a unit of engineers sweeping nearby roads for bombs on Oct. 10, 2013, in Afghanistan.
A burqa-clad woman carries a child amid the traffic of a busy Kandahar City street as L Troop, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, provides security for a unit of engineers sweeping nearby roads for bombs on Oct. 10, 2013, in Afghanistan. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Caleb Dye, left, and Sgt. Travis Eideh scan the landscape from the back of a helicopter flying out of Forward Operating Base Jackson, Afghanistan, in May 2013. The desert below, Sangin district, had become a symbol and a flash point for the insurgents, Afghan government and NATO coalition forces.
Sgt. Caleb Dye, left, and Sgt. Travis Eideh scan the landscape from the back of a helicopter flying out of Forward Operating Base Jackson, Afghanistan, in May 2013. The desert below, Sangin district, had become a symbol and a flash point for the insurgents, Afghan government and NATO coalition forces. (Cid Standifer/Stars and Stripes)
Staff Sgt. Shayne Laflin, with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, looks at photographs of his 7-month-old daughter on an iPhone inside an MRAP all-terrain vehicle at what used to be Forward Operating Base Sweeney in a remote corner of southern Afghanistan's Zabul province.
Staff Sgt. Shayne Laflin, with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, looks at photographs of his 7-month-old daughter on an iPhone inside an MRAP all-terrain vehicle at what used to be Forward Operating Base Sweeney in a remote corner of southern Afghanistan's Zabul province. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Staff Sgt. James Calfa, mortars section leader, inspects weapons before returning to Kandahar Airfield following a mission, Oct. 17, 2013.
Staff Sgt. James Calfa, mortars section leader, inspects weapons before returning to Kandahar Airfield following a mission, Oct. 17, 2013. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Entrance to the Jami Mosque, in Herat, a regional capital in the far west of Afghanistan.
Entrance to the Jami Mosque, in Herat, a regional capital in the far west of Afghanistan. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
Crewmembers from 4th Platoon, Company C, out of Fort Riley, Kan., conduct post-flight maintenance checks on the helipad of Forward Operating Base Pasab, Afghanistan, after completing a medical evacuation mission on Oct. 22, 2013.
Crewmembers from 4th Platoon, Company C, out of Fort Riley, Kan., conduct post-flight maintenance checks on the helipad of Forward Operating Base Pasab, Afghanistan, after completing a medical evacuation mission on Oct. 22, 2013. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Security was tight Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at the first international soccer match Afghanistan has hosted in a decade. Afghanistan beat Pakistan 3-0 in the match, to the cheers of a sold-out crowd of more than 7,000 fans.
Security was tight Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at the first international soccer match Afghanistan has hosted in a decade. Afghanistan beat Pakistan 3-0 in the match, to the cheers of a sold-out crowd of more than 7,000 fans. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
Servicemembers with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron load ordnance onto a B-1B Lancer at a location in Southwest Asia on Sept. 12, 2013.
Servicemembers with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron load ordnance onto a B-1B Lancer at a location in Southwest Asia on Sept. 12, 2013. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Men prepare heroin in Dahne Kamarkalagh, a colony of drug addicts on the outskirts of Herat, a city in western Afghanistan. Though Herat has been more prosperous and peaceful than much of the rest of the country, it has an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 drug addicts, most hooked on heroin and other opiates.
Men prepare heroin in Dahne Kamarkalagh, a colony of drug addicts on the outskirts of Herat, a city in western Afghanistan. Though Herat has been more prosperous and peaceful than much of the rest of the country, it has an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 drug addicts, most hooked on heroin and other opiates. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
Pfc. Jeremy Monteleone, top, wrestles with Spc. Joshua Jarosz outside their rooms on Kandahar Airfield on Oct. 13, 2013.
Pfc. Jeremy Monteleone, top, wrestles with Spc. Joshua Jarosz outside their rooms on Kandahar Airfield on Oct. 13, 2013. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Mohammed Shafi scans for threats from the door of an Afghan air force Mi-17 helicopter during a training mission in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan.
Sgt. Mohammed Shafi scans for threats from the door of an Afghan air force Mi-17 helicopter during a training mission in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Fans who couldn't get tickets to the sold-out game pitting Afghanistan and Pakistan's soccer teams Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, scaled the walls for a peek at the action. The match was the first international held on Afghan soil in 10 years.
Fans who couldn't get tickets to the sold-out game pitting Afghanistan and Pakistan's soccer teams Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, scaled the walls for a peek at the action. The match was the first international held on Afghan soil in 10 years. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
Afghan National Army soldier Mohammed Haroon examines his target during rifle training at Forward Operating Base Joyce in eastern Afghanistan. U.S. advisers sought to teach Haroon and other Afghan soldiers how to train other soldiers on a rifle range.
Afghan National Army soldier Mohammed Haroon examines his target during rifle training at Forward Operating Base Joyce in eastern Afghanistan. U.S. advisers sought to teach Haroon and other Afghan soldiers how to train other soldiers on a rifle range. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)
An Afghan girl watches U.S. Army Psychological Operations soldiers unpack gear during a patrol in a village near Forward Operating Base Zangabad, in Kandahar province.
An Afghan girl watches U.S. Army Psychological Operations soldiers unpack gear during a patrol in a village near Forward Operating Base Zangabad, in Kandahar province. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Afghan police ride in a Ford Ranger during a recent partnered patrol with 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment based at Forward Operating Base Pasab in the desert of Kandahar province's Zhari district on Oct. 21, 2013.
Afghan police ride in a Ford Ranger during a recent partnered patrol with 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment based at Forward Operating Base Pasab in the desert of Kandahar province's Zhari district on Oct. 21, 2013. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. and Czech medics rush a young Afghan boy to a Black Hawk helicopter for evacuation after he was shot in the back of the head by a ricochet bullet on a firing range at Combat Outpost Soltan Kheyl in July 2013. The boy was said to have been collecting empty bullet cases when he was hit.
U.S. and Czech medics rush a young Afghan boy to a Black Hawk helicopter for evacuation after he was shot in the back of the head by a ricochet bullet on a firing range at Combat Outpost Soltan Kheyl in July 2013. The boy was said to have been collecting empty bullet cases when he was hit. (Alex Pena/Stars and Stripes)
From left, Sgt. Joshua Sutherland, 1st Lt. James Kromhout, and Pfc. Alex Bolden set up a blocking position to provide security while Afghan forces search a village in Khost province in August 2013.
From left, Sgt. Joshua Sutherland, 1st Lt. James Kromhout, and Pfc. Alex Bolden set up a blocking position to provide security while Afghan forces search a village in Khost province in August 2013. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Riders clash during a January buzkashi match in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley. The game is something of a national sport in the country, especially popular in the north.
Riders clash during a January buzkashi match in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley. The game is something of a national sport in the country, especially popular in the north. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
An Afghan soldier who has just lost both legs from a roadside bomb is restrained by Sgt. James Bell, a crew chief, during a medical evacuation flight, Oct. 22, 2013. Even crew chiefs are used during such missions, as space is tight and the more hands available for care, the better.
An Afghan soldier who has just lost both legs from a roadside bomb is restrained by Sgt. James Bell, a crew chief, during a medical evacuation flight, Oct. 22, 2013. Even crew chiefs are used during such missions, as space is tight and the more hands available for care, the better. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Czech air force 1st Lt. Miroslav Berger checks an Afghan air force Mi-35 attack helicopter before a training flight at Kabul in July 2013. NATO advisers still often fly with Afghan pilots.
Czech air force 1st Lt. Miroslav Berger checks an Afghan air force Mi-35 attack helicopter before a training flight at Kabul in July 2013. NATO advisers still often fly with Afghan pilots. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)
The two young Afghan girls on the right are addicted to opium. The girls and their mothers are all receiving treatment at the Welfare Association for the Development of Afghanistan drug rehabilitation center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that in 2010, 40 percent of drug addicts in Afghanistan were women and children.
The two young Afghan girls on the right are addicted to opium. The girls and their mothers are all receiving treatment at the Welfare Association for the Development of Afghanistan drug rehabilitation center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that in 2010, 40 percent of drug addicts in Afghanistan were women and children. (AlexPena/Stars and Stripes)
Spc. Derek Smith, a gunner with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, pulls security from the roof of the Panjwai district headquarters in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province on Oct. 5, 2013.
Spc. Derek Smith, a gunner with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, pulls security from the roof of the Panjwai district headquarters in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province on Oct. 5, 2013. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
An Afghan air force Mi-17 helicopter flies over Helmand province during a mission to carry troops as well as wounded and dead soldiers in June 2013.
An Afghan air force Mi-17 helicopter flies over Helmand province during a mission to carry troops as well as wounded and dead soldiers in June 2013. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Mohammad Yasin holds a photo of his nephew,  Ayoub Khan, who has been missing since August. After Khan disappeared, Yasin's family called in to the popular Afghan radio show "In Search of our Missing Loved Ones" to ask for help in finding him.
Mohammad Yasin holds a photo of his nephew, Ayoub Khan, who has been missing since August. After Khan disappeared, Yasin's family called in to the popular Afghan radio show "In Search of our Missing Loved Ones" to ask for help in finding him. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
An Afghan National Army soldier grimaces as he receives an intravenous ''stick'' while role-playing as a casualty in a medic training exercise on Forward Operating Base Eagle, Afghanistan, on Sept. 19, 2013.
An Afghan National Army soldier grimaces as he receives an intravenous ''stick'' while role-playing as a casualty in a medic training exercise on Forward Operating Base Eagle, Afghanistan, on Sept. 19, 2013. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
Set hard against a dramatic mountain backdrop and hemmed in by sheer, cave-dotted cliffs, Bamiyan is one of the most picturesque places in Afghanistan. It's also one of the poorest. Officials hope to improve its economy through a fledgling tourist industry that is trying to attract visitors to take in its historical sites, mountain vistas and Afghanistan's only national park, Band-i Amir.
Set hard against a dramatic mountain backdrop and hemmed in by sheer, cave-dotted cliffs, Bamiyan is one of the most picturesque places in Afghanistan. It's also one of the poorest. Officials hope to improve its economy through a fledgling tourist industry that is trying to attract visitors to take in its historical sites, mountain vistas and Afghanistan's only national park, Band-i Amir. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
Navy Lt. Francisco Rodriguez-Sosa, left, and Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew McNece prepare an injured Afghan soldier for surgery at a U.S. military field hospital at Forward Operating Base Apache in southern Afghanistan's Zabul province on Sept. 17, 2013.
Navy Lt. Francisco Rodriguez-Sosa, left, and Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew McNece prepare an injured Afghan soldier for surgery at a U.S. military field hospital at Forward Operating Base Apache in southern Afghanistan's Zabul province on Sept. 17, 2013. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)
The dark skies above Forward Operating Base Zangabad in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province provide one of the key elements needed to photograph the Milky Way. Strykers with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment are painted with red light to provide a foreground in this 15-second exposure.
The dark skies above Forward Operating Base Zangabad in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province provide one of the key elements needed to photograph the Milky Way. Strykers with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment are painted with red light to provide a foreground in this 15-second exposure. (Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes)

A look at some of the best photos taken by Stars and Stripes reporters and photographers covering servicemembers downrange in 2013.

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