When I got out of the Marine Corps in early 2012, only to transition from the beaches of Hawaii to the black ice covered roads of Chicago-land, I hopped on the local Metra train to take me downtown. While I have a ton of friends downtown that I wanted to meet up with, it was a Monday morning, and I had to catch another train – this time Amtrak – to make the trek down to St. Louis to pick up my Jeep which had finally arrived from Oahu. Six hours later – and only for a whopping $12 fare – I woke up in St. Louis, and hailed the first cab I could find. The cab driver was a little more talkative than usual, and it didn’t take long for him to figure out I was in the military – while he did guess correctly that I was a Marine, he failed the civilian test when he asked, “we still have troops in Afghanistan?” While I sadly have encountered a few other people that have uttered that same phrase over the last two and a half years, I have been pleasantly surprised as to how many civilians actually are familiar with Sangin. You see, today marked a pretty historic day: earlier this morning the Marine Corps Times reported that the last Marines had finally departed one of the most dangerous places in all of Afghanistan – Sangin District.
Continue reading “Marines End Combat Operations in Sangin: A Reflection”