Like the terrain they operate in, our Joes are tough. They endure the harshest of environments, while slogging the near impenetrable mountains and passes along the border. At night, much-needed rest is interrupted by incoming rocket or mortar attacks and by day it can be an IED, sniper, or small-arms fire.
All the while they are taking the fight to the Taliban, a tough and determined enemy that doesn't hesitate to kill innocent civilians - men, women, or children, U.S. or coalition forces. They don’t discriminate in their killing. This is an enemy who can fire on a patrol or an FOB and when pursued by our guys, run eight "klicks" in 45 minutes through the mountains - in sandals.
The Taliban just doesn't quite understand that our guys are tougher and more determined than they are, and thus will continue to die as a result of their miscalculations.
Our troops along the border are more than warriors. They have helped to construct roads, provide medical care, and build clinics and schools - and therein lies the biggest mistake the enemy has made. The Afghani people have had a taste of something better than the terror tactics, murder, torture and intimidation they experienced when the Taliban held power, and that's a hard thing to defeat.
So it's been pretty good being at Bagraim, but it will be better to head back east. It'll be good to be back with some pretty remarkable Joe's.