- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Marines stand back as Afghans take lead
Yet the threat of danger never far away even with reduced combat role
Question of the Day
Otherwise, life is relatively quiet for most troops in southwest Afghanistan, where Marines live in rows of tents or metal containers on top of rocks, gravel or dirt separated by concrete barriers. Sand continuously drifts through the air, and temperatures soon hit triple digits.
During their downtime, many exercise, shoot pool, watch movies, surf the Internet and take online classes. Others read books or go to Green Beans, a coffee shop franchise at U.S. military bases across the country, for spiced chai lattes and other frosty drinks.
The meal choices on some nights included steak, tacos, chicken tandoori and even lobster.
But soon, services would begin drawing down along with the contracted workforce, and hot meals would eventually be replaced by meals, ready to eat — preserved food in foil packets — and Marines would return to the expeditionary posture they began with at the start of the war.
Several young Marines said are happy to be part of the war effort, and had wanted to come to Afghanistan ever since Sept. 11, but they were disappointed they were not leaving their bases often.
“It’s kind of boring out here,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Noland from Deadwood, S.D., a 22-year-old Navy medic. “I want to get out of here and go out and see some stuff, like the Afghans’ way of life.”
“When you’re out on missions, it makes the time go faster,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Greg Rosas, a Navy engineer from Fort Worth, Texas. “Downtime sucks. The more work, the easier it is.”
Nowadays, leaving the safety of Camp Dwyer involves a cost-benefit analysis, one likely made by coalition commanders across the country.
“I have to decide before every mission: Is this worth taking the risk?” Col. Treglia said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- Outrage over $190M border security deal for troubled federal contractor
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq