When a 'daddy' warrior deploys
September 30th, 2010
11:06 AM ET

When a 'daddy' warrior deploys

Maylanie Shorter sleeps with a T-shirt tucked in her pillowcase. It carries the scent of her father's cologne while he's on patrol in Afghanistan.

Her younger sister, Ariana, sleeps with her Daddy Doll - a stuffed soldier that displays a photo of her father across its face.

At 14 and 10, the two girls try to maintain normalcy. They're active in school, they help with dinner, they rally around their mother. And they show no mercy for Pops over the Silver Star he earned by saving several comrades whose armored Humvee was shredded by a roadside bomb. They tease him about a photo of the burned-out vehicle. "How did you take this picture? Weren't you supposed to go get them and help?" Ariana says.

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September 30th, 2010
11:02 AM ET
September 28th, 2010
11:22 AM ET
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10:43 AM ET
September 7th, 2010
10:18 AM ET
September 6th, 2010
12:06 PM ET
 A soldier's story
August 27th, 2010
10:58 AM ET

Hurry up and wait

As part of an ongoing series “A Soldiers Story,” CNN's Jason Carroll follows Sgt. Randy Shorter and his unit as they head into Afghanistan.

"Hurry up and wait." It's an expression you hear a lot in the Army. Now I know why. We had hoped to arrive in Sharam, Afghanistan, a few days ago, but we are still waiting. Currently, we're bunking at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. FULL POST

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Filed under: Soldier's story
August 23rd, 2010
03:07 PM ET

Final hours before deployment

As part of an ongoing series “A Soldiers Story,” CNN's Jason Carroll follows Sgt. Randy Shorter and his unit as they head into Afghanistan.  

It's hard describe how thankful I am to Sgt. Randy Shorter and his family for allowing us into their home the day before his deployment. (More: Soldier heads to third deployment)

Any soldier's family who has gone through this will tell you every minute is precious and we clearly saw that when we visited Shorter at Fort Campbell. FULL POST

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Filed under: Soldier's story • Troops
August 19th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

Soldier heads to third deployment in Afghanistan

The last combat troops may be pulling out of Iraq, but more soldiers are heading to the other war in Afghanistan.     

The clock is ticking to stabilize Afghanistan so U.S. troops can meet the president's goal of withdrawing next July.         

The success of that mission belongs to units like the one U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Randy Shorter is part of.  They are combat infantry, part of the final surge deploying to the region.         

As part of my ongoing series “A Soldiers Story,” we'll be following Shorter and his unit as they head into arguably one of the most dangerous parts of the country: Paktika province in southeast Afghanistan, heavy with insurgent attacks.          FULL POST

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Filed under: Soldier's story • Troops