June 18th, 2010
08:21 AM ET

Photo spotlight: Ready in Kandahar

As Afghan and coalition troops gear up for operations in Kandahar, the 101st Airborne MedEvac unit readies a Blackhawk helicopter at the Kandahar Airfield. The unit is tasked with transporting troop casualties as well as sick and injured local residents.


Filed under: Kandahar • Photo Spotlight • Troops
soundoff (57 Responses)
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    October 4, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. A-10 Crew Chief

    I've been to Kandahar. i helped set up the first squadron of A-10 tank killers. i've seen the caskets of the fallen soldiers, not just U.S. soldiers either. I'm proud of what i do, and what my brothers in arms do. All it really comes down to is this, If you can't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them

    July 21, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. Carmen Carbajal

    My grandson is serving in Afganhastan he chose to be a soldier knowing at the time that he enlisted that he would be deployed, we his family support him and all our military men and women for what they are doing God be with all of them and there families HOOAH!!!!!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jack

    talking about the greatest generation people had better take a hard look at our sons and daughters serving our country during these times.they have there hands tied,by the political correct in this country,its ok for the taliban to use civilians as sheilds,and hanging seven year olds as spies.wake-up america.this is one veteran of 82d airborne division that is very proud of them.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. democratcj

    This is turnung into a ridiculous war. We should of already taken care of the taliban a long time ago. the number 1 killer of american soldiers is IED's. Our soldiers dont even get to shoot at anything we are sitting ducks.

    June 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • army of many

      You are truly an idiot. You should not talk about something you know nothing about. I am glad that Afghanistan is not on the news. This war is stressful enough without my mom or my wife freaking out about what they see on tv. Most of it is false and they produce headlines before the facts are even investigated. I am a sergeant in the us army and i just came off of a 15 hour duty day to pull 64 rangers out of hostile contact from over 25 militants risking my life. I do this on a daily basis for the soldier's lives and their families not for religion or political gain. This is what motivates me day after endless day. I honestly believe what we are doing here is for the betterment of people that do not have the ability to do it themselves. They do not know there is a better way to live because war and poverty is all they have ever known. Would you rather us fight on US soil? Like it or not, we are in this war. To leave now would be to give up everything we sacrificed since this conflict first began. Along time before 9/11

      July 1, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Another Army Mom

        We WANT to hear about what is going on over there and I am not an idiot...who do you think you are to call people you don't even know an idiot...my son is there u ass....as a mom and an American I have every right to know what is going on over there....you are a true ass

        July 3, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
      • To the SGT to disrespected-Another Army Mom

        First off SGT of all people who would know how life is over here you should be the last one disrespecting our supporters! Its people like you that make us all look bad. AnotherArmy Mom has a son over there fight this war pulling the long duty days with you. "Knowing what is going on in Afghan, good or bad, will atleast bring some comfort". The news needs to be reporting everything going on over here to keep America aware of what you and thousands of us are doing. The longer we keep this a "big dirty secret" or out of the public view the longer all of us will be coming to this hell hole. Weather you like it or not this war makes no sense! We have war on our soil now, and its coming across our borders daily. If your gonna blast people make sure its the hippies not supporting us and not the famliy of a fellow servie member.

        July 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Just a guy

    Some people seem to think we are rolling across nations like some Roman legion. Soldiers in country spend the majority of their time and effort trying to protect, train, work with, and otherwise help the local population. You can't apply tired old cliches to what our military is doing now. It may not be pretty or easy, but that is why it's worth doing.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Live From Kandahar

    One cold beer....please

    For every day I've come to work and the Flag is at half mast for our FALLEN WARRIORS......damm that's alot of beer!!!!

    June 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bleau Neal

    We have two son's in the Army. One is at Kandahar, the other on his way to places we are not allowed to know about. Its terrifying to realize we can truly lose one or both to this war. What makes our fears even worse is there are people here in the country our boys are laying their lives on the line for that have the audacity to blame the troops. Point your fingers and scream at the government all you want! You should be blessing OUR service for all they risk to keep America free!

    June 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. godsnotdone

    My brother, Joe, who just turned 45 earlier this month, left home yesterday to return to work in Khandhar. He left his wife and 4 children, he missed our family reunion. He is the brother that I fought hardest with (literally), he is the brother who taught me how to ride a skateboard over gravel and railroad tracks. He is a brother who is greatly missed. Because of an accident during training, he was no longer qualified for Marine duty – his lifetime career choice. For the last 22 years, he has chosen to serve his country in a civilian capacity. I know in my heart that – all other issues aside (oil, drugs, $, religion) – this is a war of good vs. evil. It has been being played out for centuries, and is coming to an end. That's not saying to sit back and watch it happen because we don't have a say in the turnout. It does mean that we need to be sure of where our efforts are being placed to ensure our salvation and those of God's children who have yet to know their Savior. Today, my brother may be the only Jesus someone sees during their life. All this to say, "I love you very much, Joe. God is with you today as He has been all of your life. Happy Father's Day, always! and to all of the other dad's no matter where you are.
    – the ramblings of a little sister

    June 20, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Soldiers Mom and Opposer of War

    If George Bush hadn't side tracked this country with his nation building campaign and oil seeking, we would have been able to focus on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan with an appropriate response to the 9/11 attacks – this thing MAY have been over a long time ago instead of being the longest war ever with nothing to show for it. We were supposed to be going after Osama Bin Laden of Al Qaeda not the Taliban (see http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-taliban-and-al-qaeda/). The differences are very fuzzy now because we've had to fight the Taliban on their ground to get to Al Qaeda. My son is in Afghanistan and doing his duty as US Military soldier. It's going to get very ugly over there over the next year and I have very little confidence that much in the end will change.

    June 19, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  16. Another Army Mom

    My son is also with the 101st Airborne – a blackhawk mechanic – religion does not have a thing to do with this war. When I see uneducated people put posts on the web & make such ignorant comments I get very angry and wish that they would spend their time more wisely in educating themselves....I would hate to think that my son and others are over there putting their lives at risk to protect the uneducated who do not even have a clue as to what it's like in Afghanistan and waste their time posting ignorant comments on the internet. The soldiers are getting mortar attacks daily and much is also going on that the news is NOT reporting including deaths. Have you noticed that CNN does not even cover Afghanistan ....instead we are hearing about BP....I don't know about any other Army Mom's but I would like to see more coverage of the war in Afghanistan....the "hole" will not be plugged until the relief well is drilled....yes, the "hole" is important but also the war in Afghanistan needs as much equal attention......every night I turn on the news looking for information on what's going on that day in Afghanistan but all I hear about is the "hole"....

    June 19, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  17. biggeorge22

    I am proud of our troops too, the mission not so much. I for one would never give my son to fight in any of the conflicts that I can recall in my life time. Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia where all disasters. Kosovo was the only one worth fighting for IMO. How can you say it is worth it for the trrop's or they wouldn't be over there? Like they have a choice where they deploy to. Yeah, right! Get your facts straight before you post dude, they never had a choice.

    I also do not like the religious tone of our military. It's really, really bad when fighting in a Muslim country to be invoking Jesus into the mix. It's an insult to the locals and doesn't it sound like a crusade? I am sure it does to the locals. Just read the book " 3 Cups of Tea" and then post with some knowledge of what it's really like over there.

    June 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Live From Kandahar

      Haven't had a chance to enjoy the tea, but have had three hots and a cot, hooah!!!

      June 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  18. desert voice

    Soldiers should not be walking an a ground where IED's are hidden. This is like walking on fire. Until this problem is resolved, the Army ought to abstain from sending soldiers to horrible death! We went to the Moon, but we cannot find the IED's under our feet! Something is wrong with these military experts! I challenge all the U.S. scientists to seek an answer!

    June 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Live From Kandahar

      I think you might work at the Puzzle Palace

      June 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • bushie3

      Most IED related death, the soldiers are in vehicles ass! not all but most!

      July 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  19. mitch

    He does not hate Muslims only the ones that are making war on the US. The ones that are killing our soldiers. The ones that are straping on bombs and blowing themselves up. Not all Muslims are doing this just the insane ones. Those are the ones that are our enemy.Those are the ones our soldiers are fightning. Thank you Army mom for you and your son's scriface. I know what it is like waiting for the return of a combat soldier. Hang in there like all things this will pass.. Be strong for your son as he is strong for you.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Onesmallvoice

    What I want to know is,does Barack Obama genuinely hate the Muslims or is trying to be politically correct and placate the right-wing fanatics in Washigton?

    June 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      What I want to know is, why do you also post under the name Anabel?

      June 19, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Onesmallvoice... so explain to me how he hates muslims? If he hated muslims, wouldn't he just nuke middle east and begin concentration camps in America for muslims?

      June 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        If he doesn't hate Muslims,then he's just trying to please the right-wing thugs to the best of his ability and build a Middle Eastern empire and to do that,he'll need to weaken Islam and kill it's defenders.

        June 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        WHY would Obama, of all people, want to pacify the "right wing thugs"? What is the reasoning behind it?

        June 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        I'm still waiting for an answer.

        June 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Gary Johndro

    And don't forget about the building of our empire and Barack Obama's war on Islam.Now with all these resources,we can't miss,can we?

    June 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another Army Mom

      OOOPS....that was George Bush's ...hate for muslims....has it been so long you have forgotten?

      June 19, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  22. Army Mom

    My 18 year old son is there as an infantryman in the 101st. He says he hopes to help these people because they are absolutely terrorized by the Taliban. He believes in his mission, I believe in his mission. He is risking his life daily, out on 12 -16 hour missions while other 18 year old kids are back home enjoying their freedoms, video games, nights at the movies, etc. I support my son and every single soldier over there, I am very proud of them all.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Al

      Dear Army Mom...

      I would like you, and all other Armerican Army moms, to know that for every person that claims that your son is being used by "oil and drug barons" in the White House, there are a great deal more of us who truly know why your son is there. I can think of no nobler thing than for a man (or woman) to stand between the bullied and the bully... to give up a comfortable seat on the couch and fight in the wilderness to help a desperate people... with no thought of glory or reward... all at a risk that most of us cannot even fathom.

      It is my firm belief that your son brings great honour to your family and your nation.

      And to those who disagree, you have three options: you can stand up to the bullies yourself; if that is not your choice, then you can shut your pie-hole while others do; or if you feel you really must speak, then you can thank those who allowed you that freedom. And then, you can tell us why you think the good people of Afghanistan are not equally deserving of the same inalienable right.

      June 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Edith

        My marine son is serving in Afghanistan. What you said means so much for many of us mothers whose sons and daughters are risking their lives. Your thoughts and prayers are sincerely appreciated.

        June 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Live From Kandahar

        Hooaah to Moosehead, Molson and Army Moms!!!

        June 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shiy gal

        And thank you Canadians for bringing Tim Hortons here to Kandahar!! But not so much for excluding us from using your facilities!!!!

        August 3, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • onelove

      Army mom and Everyone.
      I respect your son and all veterans for what they are doing. Freedom is a gift that takes sacrifice. Most people are blessed with it, and most people are not. I was not born in this country and I can say I know what it feels like to be oppressed. My only regret currently is that I cannot yet serve in the US military. I cannot wait to give back to such a great country and ensure the survival of freedom. Half the people who criticize US efforts in the Middle East cannot point to Afghanistan or Iraq on a world map. They are an embarrasment to the good men and women serving out there. Let us not allow freedom to become a license for stupidity. Wether you are insupport of the War or not, please support the people willing to sacrifice their lives so we can post reposnses on the internet without worrying about getting beheaded. God bless America and all good people around the world.

      June 21, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Shiy gal

        Just have them point a little to the left of Hell On Earth, that is where Afghanistan is!! I should know, I have been here over a year now.

        August 3, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • bushie3

      What is it with some of you people, you have no clue on the price of freedom. Try to imagine this great nation if we had never broke away from england. How many good Men and Women have give there lives or stood in harms way so you pacifist can sit on you duffs spouting your garbage to miltary moms & dads. If you have a problem with this government policy you do have the right to leave, go to Afganistan and live there for a year. Most of the ones I know would not last a year in a 3rd world country, It would be to hard on them. God forbid when they find out theres no cable tv & walmarts a hell of a long way away. Army mom dont let these so called americans taunish your believes about our sons and daugthers, who are the next generation to stand up for this country. my prayers go out to you and yours no matter where they may be.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Bob Anderson

    Carole, Thanks for your comments.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  24. mitch

    We must not forget way we are there. 9-11 planes flew into buildings and killed almost 3000 people. We went there to kill them there before they came back here to kill us. There are still bad guys in this country. Our military is doing an honarable job and have trained many local police and a brigade of foot soldiers. The taliban is not welcomed in most of the country.We need to give the surge more time it will not be fully up and running until late summer.Let not a few cowards break our will. God is own our side!!

    June 18, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Live From Kandahar

      God is on our side along with Jesus, Paul, Mary, Joesph, Mark, and God here is the only one not dyin......

      June 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        But was He on Germany's side also,during WW2???

        June 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Onesmallvoice, Obviously not...

        June 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    Eric, I do think that some of our brave men unlike yourself that are fighting for the freedoms that we here enjoy, will die, but they are doing a honorable thing for the people of Afghanistan and the region which is widely controlled by terrorists who would kill you without a second thought as well as many other westerners! These people as Adolph Hitler think that they and their Islamic beliefs will control the world and if we sat by and be as passive as you are it would happen! So I suggest you support our troops and hope for victory or you might be living under sharia law which prohibits you to talk in such a manner against their authority let alone enjoy a day at the beach with your wife!

    June 18, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  26. Matt

    Considering that Afghanistan has no oil reserves, Eric's comment shows how little he knows about the situation there. As an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran, I respect everyone's right to disagree with war. That's what we fight for, your freedom and the freedom of the Afghans. But please, get your facts straight before you post something. At least pay that respect to the troops that have died defending your freedom.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobby G.

      You'd be lucky to keep your tongue and eyeballs for such rantings...

      June 18, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  27. Carole Clarke

    This is statecraft Eric – been going on for thousands of years. Every empire that got to the top of the greasy pole on this planet has practiced it to stay on top. Yes, alot of gvt and big business people are up to their necks in the drug trade but you can also heap most of the blame on the weaklings who consume the drugs and created the market for it. As for oil – it's neccessary to our way of life. I'm all for turning away from it and using other means and methods but until we can do that we MUST secure our sources. Now they've discovered the lithium that will power the battery packs of future electric cars in, of all places, Afghanistan. Ironic. Right now all we can hope to do is try to conduct ourselves at the highest standards, make the right descisions and support our troops wherever we send them. (Remember we still have them serving as speed bumps at the DMZ in Korea.) I'm a 68 yr old Army Brat and I remember the anger and confusion that we felt when we realized we'd been lied to about Viet Nam. My father was in Saigon at the time. When Kennedy was shot he disappeared for 2 weeks – decades later I found he'd been in a troop transport, circling over Turkey, waiting for the go-sign to head into southern Russia to secure their oil fields. This is the only planet we've got and you do what you have to do to make sure your side survives. It's always been like that and I don't see it changing. But in comparison to the others that have come and gone, we are much, much better. You want to end the drug trade? Get the addicts to quit using. You want to end our dependence on foreign oil? Move to alternative fuels. You want to end the lies coming our of DC? Vote in a better class of people. It's not hard – you just have to take the steps to do it.

    June 18, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  28. Maritta

    Let them kill each other there. They do not value life. We shouldn't be police.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  29. Whoa

    @Eric
    Where did that come from??

    June 18, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  30. Iraq Paramedic

    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 18, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • HeIsGod

      May God forgive us, deliver us, and pour out His Spirit on America, than we shall be blessed!

      June 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debra Mc

      My prayers for all who serve in the Middle East and around the world, as well as bringing my "Cowboy" home safely from Kandahar, Afghanistan in Sept.

      June 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |