October 7th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

Sacrifices in America's longest war

During a vist to Bagram Air Base - the nerve center of American operations in Afghanistan - CNN's Nick Paton Walsh takes a look at the sacrifices members of the U.S. military have made in America's longest war.

October 5th, 2011
05:11 PM ET

Survey: Vets say Afghanistan, Iraq wars not worth it

America's veterans are proud of their military service, but in a new report published Wednesday, they expressed ambivalence about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In a new Pew Research Center report on war and sacrifice, half of post-9/11 veterans said the Afghanistan war has been worth fighting. Only 44% felt that way about Iraq, and one-third said both wars were worth the costs.

Some of those costs were outlined in the Pew study, which comes out as the United States marks the 10th anniversary Friday of the Afghanistan conflict, the longest-running war in the nation's history.

For instance, four of every 10 veterans reported they had difficulties adjusting back to life at home after the combat zone, and 37% said they suffered from post-traumatic stress, even though they might not have been formally diagnosed as such.

"The ambivalence that many post-9/11 veterans feel about their military mission has a parallel in the mixture of benefits and burdens they report having experienced since their return to civilian life," the report said.

Read the full story
and check out the complete report from the Pew Research Center

September 22nd, 2011
10:13 AM ET

Air Force hero saves lives

An Air Force combat controller describes how he saved lives while injured in Afghanistan and earned the Air Force Cross for valor.

Filed under: Troops
September 2nd, 2011
08:45 AM ET

U.S. Marines in Helmand Province

CNN's David Ariosto talks with U.S. Marines in Helmand Province about the future of the fight, the drawdown and where they were September 11, 2001.

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Filed under: Helmand • Troops
August 11th, 2011
01:54 PM ET

Boy's ode to fallen dad inspires tearful responses

The story of a 10-year-old who posted an iReport honoring his dad who died in the recent Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan has sparked a huge outpouring from CNN.com readers.

It was Braydon Nichols' desire, his mother, Jessica Nichols, told CNN that his dad not just be another faceless casualty in the nearly decade-long war. The boy wanted the world to see his father's face, just as news reports showed the faces of other soldiers who lost their lives in the crash. So on his iReport, Braydon posted a picture of Army Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Nichols, a pilot, in his jump uniform sitting next to other soldiers.

"Braydon wanted people to know that Bryan was a daddy and a good daddy," his mother told CNN.

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Filed under: Troops
August 9th, 2011
10:29 AM ET

Chopper tragedy and dread of 'The Knock'

Editor's note: Rebekah Sanderlin is an Army wife, a mother of two and a freelance writer who lives near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She writes the "Operation Marriage" blog about military family life.

I was barely through my first cup of coffee Saturday morning when my husband called. He's not deployed now, but had to spend Friday night training at Fort Bragg. He'd heard rumors about the helicopter crash in Afghanistan but didn't know any details. I quickly jumped on CNN.com and found the headline "Dozens of Americans dead," and my heart fell like an anchor.

Once together, my husband and I immediately began a roll call, anxiously suggesting names to each other of everyone we know who is deployed in Afghanistan, wondering if any of our friends might be dead.

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Filed under: Casualties • Opinion • Troops
August 9th, 2011
10:24 AM ET

Birthday salute to an Army medic serving in Afghanistan

Joshua's mother, Margarita, says "we miss and love him very much and are anxious for him to come home."

Submit a salute of your own
by visiting the special Morning Express with Robin Meade Salute To Troops assignment page at: iReport.com!

Filed under: Troops
August 6th, 2011
11:17 AM ET

Dozens of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan copter crash

More than two dozen American troops are believed to have died in a deadly Chinook helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan overnight, a U.S. military official told CNN on Saturday.

Among those killed were a mix of special forces from different services, the official said. If the numbers are confirmed, the incident would be the most deadly for coalition forces in the Afghan war, according to a CNN count of international troop deaths.

Army Ranger receives Medal of Honor for Afghanistan heroics
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry lost his right hand in Afghanistan tossing a grenade away from fellow soldiers.
July 12th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Army Ranger receives Medal of Honor for Afghanistan heroics

An Army Ranger who lost his right hand while tossing an enemy grenade away from fellow soldiers in Afghanistan was awarded the Medal of Honor Tuesday.

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry became the second living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Iraq and Afghan wars, according to the U.S. military.

"Leroy Petry showed that true heroes still exist, and they're closer than you think," said President Barack Obama, who presented the award to Petry.

"It's very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day, to nominate me for that," Petry said, according to an Army News Service report.

Petry was awarded the medal for his actions on May 26, 2008, in Paktia, Afghanistan.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Medal of Honor • Troops
July 5th, 2011
09:28 AM ET

Inside a combat outpost

A team, along with journalist Nick Paton Walsh, embedded with U.S. troops at Combat Outpost Pirtle – King in Afghanistan. You'll see what day to day life is like for these soldiers fighting a war, but you'll also see what it's like to face the ultimate adrenaline rush as they encounter deadly gunfire.

While the CNN team was there covering fighting from the side of the troops, they came perilously close to bullets raining down upon their camp.

[Cross-post from CNN's Back|Story]

Filed under: Behind the Scenes • Troops