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U.S. soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and a Canadian soldier with a psychological operations team sweep up in a compound in the village of Deh-e-Kuchay where the troops set up an Afghan police outpost.
U.S. soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and a Canadian soldier with a psychological operations team sweep up in a compound in the village of Deh-e-Kuchay where the troops set up an Afghan police outpost. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and a Canadian soldier with a psychological operations team sweep up in a compound in the village of Deh-e-Kuchay where the troops set up an Afghan police outpost.
U.S. soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and a Canadian soldier with a psychological operations team sweep up in a compound in the village of Deh-e-Kuchay where the troops set up an Afghan police outpost. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
Little Bdoor, sits in the doorway of the room she lives in, in downtown Baghdad.
Little Bdoor, sits in the doorway of the room she lives in, in downtown Baghdad. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Aklas Farhood, who was widowed when her husband was killed in a Baghdad bombing, stands in front of the tiny room that she lives in with her two sons.
Aklas Farhood, who was widowed when her husband was killed in a Baghdad bombing, stands in front of the tiny room that she lives in with her two sons. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A Memorial Day ceremony at Camp Eggers in Kabul included flags from more than a dozen countries at this international military camp.
A Memorial Day ceremony at Camp Eggers in Kabul included flags from more than a dozen countries at this international military camp. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
Fadel Nathem, was the equivalent of a specialist in the Iraqi army when he was wounded by a suicide car bomber in September 2008. With him in the room where he lives is his mother Yasra Abd Ali, his main caretaker, and his youngest brother.
Fadel Nathem, was the equivalent of a specialist in the Iraqi army when he was wounded by a suicide car bomber in September 2008. With him in the room where he lives is his mother Yasra Abd Ali, his main caretaker, and his youngest brother. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Women take down notes during a sewing class at the Development and Training Widows Center in Baghdad in June.
Women take down notes during a sewing class at the Development and Training Widows Center in Baghdad in June. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Children push a cart of tomatoes in the Kabul Fruit Market on June 9.  Vendors complain that they must pay bribes to government officials to stay in business.
Children push a cart of tomatoes in the Kabul Fruit Market on June 9. Vendors complain that they must pay bribes to government officials to stay in business. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Mitchel Stallings, of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, and other troops move through an irrigation trench in a grape orchard in Dand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on June 19.
Sgt. Mitchel Stallings, of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, and other troops move through an irrigation trench in a grape orchard in Dand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on June 19. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
A Marine artilleryman walks to position during a gunfight with insurgents in Marjah on June 20. The insurgents fired across an open field from two buildings that Marines said were known IED locations.
A Marine artilleryman walks to position during a gunfight with insurgents in Marjah on June 20. The insurgents fired across an open field from two buildings that Marines said were known IED locations. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
Marines question a farmer during an operation in search of a homemade bomb cache in Marjah District on June 25.
Marines question a farmer during an operation in search of a homemade bomb cache in Marjah District on June 25. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
As a U.S. soldier stands in the distance, two armed villagers guard the digging of an irrigation canal outside the village of Zormashor, in Dand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. With U.S. troops and Afghan security forces unable to reach many rural areas, they are turning increasingly to villagers to arm and protect themselves against the Taliban.
As a U.S. soldier stands in the distance, two armed villagers guard the digging of an irrigation canal outside the village of Zormashor, in Dand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. With U.S. troops and Afghan security forces unable to reach many rural areas, they are turning increasingly to villagers to arm and protect themselves against the Taliban. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
About half of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team's 4,000 soldiers, such as these soldiers from the 702nd Support Battalion, flew out of Iraq in August. They took a military C-130 to Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq before taking a chartered plane home.
About half of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team's 4,000 soldiers, such as these soldiers from the 702nd Support Battalion, flew out of Iraq in August. They took a military C-130 to Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq before taking a chartered plane home. (Teri Weaver/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. troops salute during the Iraqi national anthem at the beginning of the ceremony signaling the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the beginning of Operation New Dawn on Sept. 1, in Baghdad.
U.S. troops salute during the Iraqi national anthem at the beginning of the ceremony signaling the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the beginning of Operation New Dawn on Sept. 1, in Baghdad. (Teri Weaver/Stars and Stripes)
A helicopter ambulance crew from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade's Task Force Shadow use a jungle penetrator to practice a hoist maneuver at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan on Sept. 22.
A helicopter ambulance crew from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade's Task Force Shadow use a jungle penetrator to practice a hoist maneuver at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan on Sept. 22. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
Pfc. Kevin Macari undergoes a CT scan in Kandahar's Role 3 hospital's radiology department. Every patient who passes through the trauma bay receives a CT scan in order to determine if there are any internal injuries.
Pfc. Kevin Macari undergoes a CT scan in Kandahar's Role 3 hospital's radiology department. Every patient who passes through the trauma bay receives a CT scan in order to determine if there are any internal injuries. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
Shadows are cast on a mud wall as soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry head out on an early morning patrol in the Malajat area of Kandahar, Afghanistan on Oct. 4.
Shadows are cast on a mud wall as soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry head out on an early morning patrol in the Malajat area of Kandahar, Afghanistan on Oct. 4. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
Second Lt. Randy Wintermantel plays soccer with some of the children of Robat, a village in southern Afghanistan, during a visit there by U.S. soldiers. The soldiers handed out book bags to students in the nearby school, and female soldiers were shown how to make flat bread by some of the Afghan women of Robat.
Second Lt. Randy Wintermantel plays soccer with some of the children of Robat, a village in southern Afghanistan, during a visit there by U.S. soldiers. The soldiers handed out book bags to students in the nearby school, and female soldiers were shown how to make flat bread by some of the Afghan women of Robat. (Jon Rabiroff/Stars and Stripes)
As soon as he returned from a combat tour in Helmand province in May, 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. John White felt a compulsion to return to Afghanistan. Life just wasn't the same in the States. A month after getting back, he volunteered to return, this time training Afghan police recruits in Herat province.
As soon as he returned from a combat tour in Helmand province in May, 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. John White felt a compulsion to return to Afghanistan. Life just wasn't the same in the States. A month after getting back, he volunteered to return, this time training Afghan police recruits in Herat province. (Geoff Ziezulewicz/Stars and Stripes)
Men detained during an April 23 security sweep in Tikrit, Iraq, wait behind concertina wire at an Iraqi police station. The operation, initiated by U.S. troops but carried out by Iraqi soldiers and police, targeted members of a neo-Baathist insurgent group that has proven a persistent, if rarely deadly, foe of U.S. troops across much of northern Iraq.
Men detained during an April 23 security sweep in Tikrit, Iraq, wait behind concertina wire at an Iraqi police station. The operation, initiated by U.S. troops but carried out by Iraqi soldiers and police, targeted members of a neo-Baathist insurgent group that has proven a persistent, if rarely deadly, foe of U.S. troops across much of northern Iraq. (Michael Gisick/Stars and Stripes)
Dr. (Maj.) Hassam Mohamed of the Egyptian army, examines the eyes of Kamal, a 16-year-old local Afghan at the Egyptian Field Hospital at Bagram Air Field in Parwan province, north of Kabul.  Kamal suffered eye trauma in a motorcycle accident four years ago.
Dr. (Maj.) Hassam Mohamed of the Egyptian army, examines the eyes of Kamal, a 16-year-old local Afghan at the Egyptian Field Hospital at Bagram Air Field in Parwan province, north of Kabul. Kamal suffered eye trauma in a motorcycle accident four years ago. (Patrick Dickson/Stars and Stripe)
Meet American's newest allies in the war in Afghanistan, a group of former insurgents and criminals who switched sides this summer. U.S. commanders believe groups like these are a potential 'game-changer'; but Afghanistan's history of warlordism means the groups are not without considerable risk.
Meet American's newest allies in the war in Afghanistan, a group of former insurgents and criminals who switched sides this summer. U.S. commanders believe groups like these are a potential 'game-changer'; but Afghanistan's history of warlordism means the groups are not without considerable risk. (Michael Gisick/Stars and Stripes)
Capt. Kirby Jones slogs through the snow during a mission in the town of Khanjankhel in Wardak province. Jones, of Bellingham, Wash., has almost completely abandoned using vehicles for his company's patrols, opting to walk, often across farm field, to minimize the threat of roadside bombs.
Capt. Kirby Jones slogs through the snow during a mission in the town of Khanjankhel in Wardak province. Jones, of Bellingham, Wash., has almost completely abandoned using vehicles for his company's patrols, opting to walk, often across farm field, to minimize the threat of roadside bombs. (Heath Druzin/Stripes)
An American soldier patrols at sunset outside of Mosul. With operations winding down in Iraq, veterans of the long war hope their sacrifice translate into a successful country.
An American soldier patrols at sunset outside of Mosul. With operations winding down in Iraq, veterans of the long war hope their sacrifice translate into a successful country. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
A man police identified as Ra'ad Ibrahim Mohammed kneels next to a collection of cell phones and a loaded pistol found during a joint raid in the town of Hawijah.
A man police identified as Ra'ad Ibrahim Mohammed kneels next to a collection of cell phones and a loaded pistol found during a joint raid in the town of Hawijah. (Michael Gisick/Stars and Stripes)
Sarwar Khan, a village elder in southern Nawa, talks with Marines about an upcoming military offensive in January.
Sarwar Khan, a village elder in southern Nawa, talks with Marines about an upcoming military offensive in January. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)
Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, commander of Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, mourns during a memorial for Lance Cpl. Mark Juarez, on Jan. 19.
Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, commander of Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, mourns during a memorial for Lance Cpl. Mark Juarez, on Jan. 19. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)
Lance Cpl. Jacob Patterson, left, and Lance Cpl. Richard Helsley, keep their howitzer clean and ready in case a call comes in for fire support.
Lance Cpl. Jacob Patterson, left, and Lance Cpl. Richard Helsley, keep their howitzer clean and ready in case a call comes in for fire support. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)
Marines walk in a line to avoid stepping on mines. Pressure-plate bombs is the biggest threat for the artillery Marines working like infantrymen out of Fiddler's Green, an outpost in central Helmand province.
Marines walk in a line to avoid stepping on mines. Pressure-plate bombs is the biggest threat for the artillery Marines working like infantrymen out of Fiddler's Green, an outpost in central Helmand province. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)
Cpl. Anthony Conner of the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment scans the horizon for enemy fighters during a patrol in Helmand province last month while an Afghan National Army soldier gets a little rest. 'It's like baby-sitting sometimes,' said Conner of the ANA members with whom he conducts joint patrols.
Cpl. Anthony Conner of the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment scans the horizon for enemy fighters during a patrol in Helmand province last month while an Afghan National Army soldier gets a little rest. 'It's like baby-sitting sometimes,' said Conner of the ANA members with whom he conducts joint patrols. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)
Marines from the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment mourn the losses of Sgt. Daniel M. Angus, 28, of Thonotosassa, Fla., and Lance Cpl. Zachary D. Smith, 19, of Hornell, N.Y., on Jan. 30. The 1-6 Marines were killed Jan. 24 by roadside bombs during a patrol in Helmand province.
Marines from the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment mourn the losses of Sgt. Daniel M. Angus, 28, of Thonotosassa, Fla., and Lance Cpl. Zachary D. Smith, 19, of Hornell, N.Y., on Jan. 30. The 1-6 Marines were killed Jan. 24 by roadside bombs during a patrol in Helmand province. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)
An Afghan family waits as U.S. soldiers change a flat tire on a Humvee that's blocking their way. The soldiers were on a joint patrol with Afghan National Police in the Pashtun Zarghun district of Herat province in western Afghanistan on Feb. 8.
An Afghan family waits as U.S. soldiers change a flat tire on a Humvee that's blocking their way. The soldiers were on a joint patrol with Afghan National Police in the Pashtun Zarghun district of Herat province in western Afghanistan on Feb. 8. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
Spc. Nic Carey reads a Christmas card he received on Feb. 18 at Objective Prius, where U.S. and Italian soldiers live in the bombed-out compound with Afghan security forces. The coalition and government forces captured Prius during a major operation in late December.
Spc. Nic Carey reads a Christmas card he received on Feb. 18 at Objective Prius, where U.S. and Italian soldiers live in the bombed-out compound with Afghan security forces. The coalition and government forces captured Prius during a major operation in late December. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
Staff Sgt. Chris Hand walks in the Bala Murghab bazaar on Feb. 19. Coalition and Afghan forces fought together to push insurgents from the bazaar in Badghis province in early November.
Staff Sgt. Chris Hand walks in the Bala Murghab bazaar on Feb. 19. Coalition and Afghan forces fought together to push insurgents from the bazaar in Badghis province in early November. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. forces kick back during some down time at Objective Pathfinder in Bala Murghab province on Feb. 19. Coalition and Afghan forces captured the strategic position from insurgents in December and live jointly in the fort dug into the hilltop.
U.S. forces kick back during some down time at Objective Pathfinder in Bala Murghab province on Feb. 19. Coalition and Afghan forces captured the strategic position from insurgents in December and live jointly in the fort dug into the hilltop. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
Afghan National Police officers help rescue an overloaded donkey during a joint patrol with U.S. and Italian forces through Bala Murghab on Feb. 21.  Coalition and Afghan forces gained control of a small slice of the valley during a series of battles with insurgents since November.
Afghan National Police officers help rescue an overloaded donkey during a joint patrol with U.S. and Italian forces through Bala Murghab on Feb. 21. Coalition and Afghan forces gained control of a small slice of the valley during a series of battles with insurgents since November. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. paratroops kick in the door of a compound near a field where they'd just taken insurgent fire during a patrol on Feb. 22 in Bala Murghab.  The soldiers have fought intense battles to win key terrain in this insurgent-controlled valley in Badghis province.
U.S. paratroops kick in the door of a compound near a field where they'd just taken insurgent fire during a patrol on Feb. 22 in Bala Murghab. The soldiers have fought intense battles to win key terrain in this insurgent-controlled valley in Badghis province. (Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes)
First Lt. Michael Finch scales a steep hillside during a patrol, leading his platoon from ridgeline to ridgeline to avoid booby traps in the farmland below.
First Lt. Michael Finch scales a steep hillside during a patrol, leading his platoon from ridgeline to ridgeline to avoid booby traps in the farmland below. (Heath Druzin/Stripes)
There's no running water at Combat Outpost Coutu, so Staff Sgt. Kevin Barlow, 31, of Richmond, Va., and Lance Cpl. Christopher Bello, 23, of Jacksonville, N.C., shave with just ounces of water each in a plastic water bottle and metal canteen cup.
There's no running water at Combat Outpost Coutu, so Staff Sgt. Kevin Barlow, 31, of Richmond, Va., and Lance Cpl. Christopher Bello, 23, of Jacksonville, N.C., shave with just ounces of water each in a plastic water bottle and metal canteen cup. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
Lance Cpl. Matthew W. McElhinney is hit just above the right buttock and below his bulletproof vest. There is no exit wound, and the extent of his injury is unknown. But he is bleeding profusely and in a lot of pain as his comrades work to stop the loss of blood and comfort him at the same time.
Lance Cpl. Matthew W. McElhinney is hit just above the right buttock and below his bulletproof vest. There is no exit wound, and the extent of his injury is unknown. But he is bleeding profusely and in a lot of pain as his comrades work to stop the loss of blood and comfort him at the same time. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
The Taliban have broken off their attack within the first 20 minutes, but as tired and ragged Marines filter in from the patrol, they take up defensive positions inside the building, in case the fighters decide to strike again.
The Taliban have broken off their attack within the first 20 minutes, but as tired and ragged Marines filter in from the patrol, they take up defensive positions inside the building, in case the fighters decide to strike again. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
With his patient taken away, Navy Corpsman Jonathan Duhart takes a smoke break as he and his Marines try to dissect how the attack happened and how their fellow Marine was hit.
With his patient taken away, Navy Corpsman Jonathan Duhart takes a smoke break as he and his Marines try to dissect how the attack happened and how their fellow Marine was hit. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Ryan Carlson, left, shows an Iraqi soldier how to raid a home at Checkpoint 3, a small base outside Mosul in August. Training the Iraqi security forces will be key as the U.S. nears the 2011 deadline to withdraw all troops.
Sgt. Ryan Carlson, left, shows an Iraqi soldier how to raid a home at Checkpoint 3, a small base outside Mosul in August. Training the Iraqi security forces will be key as the U.S. nears the 2011 deadline to withdraw all troops. (Heath Druzin/Stars and Stripes)
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jacob Monelo, 35, of Sacramento, Calif. traces the command wire of a bomb discovered in Kandahar province on Aug. 26.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jacob Monelo, 35, of Sacramento, Calif. traces the command wire of a bomb discovered in Kandahar province on Aug. 26. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)
Pfc. Nicholas Wisdom of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment shows teenagers in Latek village his U.S. Army ID card during a patrol on Sept. 13.
Pfc. Nicholas Wisdom of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment shows teenagers in Latek village his U.S. Army ID card during a patrol on Sept. 13. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)
An Afghan soldier drags a rake behind a motorcycle to search for roadside bombs in Zabul province.
An Afghan soldier drags a rake behind a motorcycle to search for roadside bombs in Zabul province. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)
Female Engagement Team Laila Khoshnaw searches a woman being taken to a medical clinic on a donkey by her husband in Zabul province.
Female Engagement Team Laila Khoshnaw searches a woman being taken to a medical clinic on a donkey by her husband in Zabul province. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)
Female Engagement Team members Pfc. Kelly Shutka, 22, of Pine Glen, Pa., Pfc. Rachel Miller, 39, of Northumberland, Pa., and Sgt. Richelle Aus, 25, of Michigan City, Ind., patrol through a bazaar in Zabul province.
Female Engagement Team members Pfc. Kelly Shutka, 22, of Pine Glen, Pa., Pfc. Rachel Miller, 39, of Northumberland, Pa., and Sgt. Richelle Aus, 25, of Michigan City, Ind., patrol through a bazaar in Zabul province. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Patrick Schultz, 31, a flight medic with the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade's Task Force Shadow, treats an Afghan soldier who was wounded in a Taliban attack south of Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 21, 2010.
Sgt. Patrick Schultz, 31, a flight medic with the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade's Task Force Shadow, treats an Afghan soldier who was wounded in a Taliban attack south of Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 21, 2010. (Drew Brown/Stars and Stripes)
A man opens his eye for a biometric scan at the Afghan border town of Wesh on Sept. 22.
A man opens his eye for a biometric scan at the Afghan border town of Wesh on Sept. 22. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)
A man carries a bag of grain in Spin Boldak district, Afghanistan on Sept. 22. U.S. soldiers there suspect large amounts of bomb making chemicals are being smuggled into the country amongst other imports.
A man carries a bag of grain in Spin Boldak district, Afghanistan on Sept. 22. U.S. soldiers there suspect large amounts of bomb making chemicals are being smuggled into the country amongst other imports. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)

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