CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Three weeks after flying out of Washington, D.C., photographer James Lee and I have reached a milestone midway on our assignment in Helmand province.
We arrived today on this forward operating base from Kajaki district, marking the conclusion of our media embed with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. I’d personally like to thank all the Marines in the unit who shared their world with us, from battalion commander Lt. Col. Kevin Trimble right on down to the many lance corporals we trailed outside the wire on patrols.
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve no doubt noticed the many slice-of-life pieces we’ve posted in the last few weeks. That’s part of our assignment. However, in coming days you’ll also find links here on Battle Rattle to a variety of hard-news stories stemming from our time in Afghanistan. Marines of many ranks have assessed everything from their hardships and sacrifices to what Helmand province might look like after a drawdown in forces. We’ll share their thoughts along with our own observations in stories appearing in our print and online editions.
For now, we remain here at Leatherneck plugging away on our work. Stay tuned for more dispatches here — we should be embedding with another infantry unit soon enough.