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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Close Look

This gives a good idea of what Sangin looks like east of the green zone. Notice the compound walls, some of them walling in nothing, some of them walling in small family farms that could be watered from wells dug deep into the ground. A lot of these compounds were empty, and even those that had homes in them were often abandoned due to the violence in the area. Those walls were usually 10-15 feet tall, and at least 1.5-2 ft thick. You would think that being made of mud they wouldn't be too sturdy, but I saw them stand up to many a heavy barrage.

This is us operating in the green zone in conjunction with a British unit. Notice the canal and the compound wall adjacent to it.

This kind of shows how Sangin becomes instantly arid the moment you step out of the green zone. You can see the mountains in the background that walled Sangin in on both sides, east and west.

Here's a look into the green zone. You can see all the tree lines, which line the canals that criss-cross the whole area, and form natural borders for tribal farms, which as you can see in this photo were busy growing the world's tallest corn. Compounds in the green zone usually housed entire extended families or tribes...aka taliban militias.
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  1. Awesome pictures, Jake! I sent a copy of your blog's URL to my Marine son, who will be deploying (somewhere???) after the New Year. Keep the good stuff coming, and, again, welcome home!

  2. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/06/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  3. This is great stuff. I occasionally copy a portion and post it (with a thumbtack) at work. If you made a book, pictures with your writing, the guys at work and my family would eat them up. There may be the job you were looking for. Thanks for sharing Marine.