2/8 Marines replace 2/9 in Afghanistan


Lance Cpl. Glenn Cocagne, a team leader with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, leads a group of Marines and Afghan soldiers on a Jan. 15 patrol in Marjah, Afghanistan. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Johnston)

America’s Battalion is taking over Northern Marjah.

Second, Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., has replaced Lejeune’s 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, in Afghanistan, Marine officials said. Marines with 2/9 were preparing to return home as of Jan. 30, according to this Marine Corps news release.

The deployment wasn’t easy for 2/9, but it yielded a variety of progress. The battalion deployed to the same volatile area of operations that Marine Corps Times joined 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, in last May, and suffered a total of 15 casualties.

Marine commanders now tout Marjah as a success story, however. The area was considered peaceful enough that Echo Company 2/9 was pulled away to volatile Sangin in December, spending six weeks fighting insurgents alongside 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., in one of the most violent parts of Afghanistan. Three 2/9 Marines died in Sangin within days of arriving there.

Marines in 2/8 are no strangers to Afghanistan, either. The unit deployed to Helmand province in 2009, pressing insurgent forces in a deployment that lasted from May to November. It also participated in Operation Khanjar, a massive operation in which more than 4,000 Marines took over land along the Helmand River in July 2009.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.


  1. My son LCPL Marc Casimiro is deployed with the 2/8 in the Sangin Valley. We are very proud of him and pray for his safe return.

  2. My stepson is also with the 2/8 in Sangin Valley. I also have a son in the 3/9 in Marjah right now. I am so proud of them and all our Marines! They are all in my prayers daily!

  3. My son Lcpl. Dan Dworkin is also with 2/8 Echo in Sangin. We are beyond proud of him and pray for his safety and 2/8s safe return. You got this boys!!! Love you Danny!! Miss you tons already…..

  4. My hero and son, LCPL. Bryan Conlon is with 2/8 Echo Co. in Sangin. My thoughts and prayers are with him and all of our military in Afghanistan.

  5. i just finished my 4 years with 2/8 weapons company in october i am very proud of my brothers that are in 2/8 and wish the best for them on this deployment

  6. 2/8. I miss my brothers I was in Marjah for only a week before I got hit. I miss you guys, prayin for yall everyday. See yall in september.

  7. My brother LCPL Justin Lavin is with 2/8 Echo Co. So very proud of him and miss him tonnns. Cannot wait for him to come home. Praying for them every day.

  8. My son, CPL Ryan Skibenes is in 2/8 WPNS CO. I am very proud of him and have gotten to know many of his bretheren. They are a great bunch: determined and extremely capable. Praying for their safe return…You’re my hero Ryan!

  9. My Husband Sgt. Veniskey is with 2/8 Echo Co. and I am so proud of him and the Marines he is with. My 2 boys miss there daddy so much and as a family we are praying for his safe return, along with the rest of 2/8.

  10. Caroline Ayers on

    My son, LCPL. Bryan Conlon is with 2/8 Echo Co. in Sangin. My thoughts and prayers are with him and all of our military in Afghanistan. My God watch over all of you. You all are hero’s. I miss you son dearly!

  11. Danielle Dankemeyer on

    My “brother” Eric Shaw is there with 2/8 and I miss him! My prayers are with him and his brothers-in-arms! Take care gentlemen and return safely home to your loved ones.

  12. miguel villariny jr on

    my son lcpl. miguel villariny 3rd is also currently w-2/8 golf co head qurtrs in marja i miss him so much thank you all for what you are doing. be safe god bless you all and a safe return. love your dad mikey xoxo

  13. Pingback: Battle Rattle - A Marine Corps Times Blog – 2/3 Marines now operating in northern Marjah

  14. Kerrie Burns on

    My son Thomas is a Corpsman with the 2/8. I am as proud of him as a mother can be. Always in my thoughts and prayers that everyone returns home safe and sound. Buddy you are my hero!!
    love Mom xoxoxoxo

  15. Carol Jalbert on

    My oldest son Cpl.,Jalbert 2/8 Fox Weapons & now? wish I’d hear from him. I just found this site. I know of others I just don’t talk on here…one afghan.& now youngest to be deployed soonas well. The oldest one doesn’t know, yet, they don’t really get to talk. I pray for all of your Marines daily. I don’t know if any of you know they do have from time to time axcess to a microwave, back somewhere. I sent bowls/spoons & dish soaps/rags etc…2b left with it along with popcorn, stovetop stuffing, betty crocker potatoes, mac n cheese etc…I’m sure its gone by now, but thought if you may not know might give you ideas to send your Marine(s)…I know we miss & love them all! Semper Fi

  16. Lester Haydel on

    My youngest son LCpl K Haydel is a 2nd CEB with 2/8 Echo 3rd Platoon south of Sangin. have not talked to him in 10 weeks, pray for him and all soldiers for a safe return. Very proud of him and can not wait to see him. Hope his unit got the 250 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies sent by local group donated from our neighbors for Kyle and his unit. Semper Fi

  17. Marty Bigrigg on

    My son, SSG Bryon Bigrigg, US Army, is attached to the 2/8 WPNS Co./PSYOPS in northern Marjah. My prayers go out to all the Marines and servicemen and women in Afghanistan. I am extremely proud of you son! A safe return to all our brave warriors. God bless you! Shipping more boxes your way…Love, Mom and your sister Aly

  18. Pingback: Battle Rattle - A Marine Corps Times Blog – 3/6 Marines return to a different Marjah than what they left

  19. My son,L.Cpl Andrew Lopez is with E,3rd squad/platn ‘SAVAGE”. I wish him and ALL of 2/8 a safe return in a few weeks.

  20. Celeste Strelow on

    My son Cpl. Joshua was deployed in January 2011. I am very proud of you son. I am proud of your men and I will see you soon. God is guiding, garding, and protecting you. God is keeping you safe at all times. Your men are watching your blind side. I love and miss you son♥

  21. Elaine Strobel on

    My son Phillip Strobel is with the 2/8 E Company 2nd PLT. We are proud of you and your company. We pray for your safe return. The 2/8 is in God’s hands. I miss you son.

  22. my grandson is in 2/8 echo 3rd ptl. 3rdsqa. always in my prayers God speed. cpl jonathan taylor in heaven keeping watch over 2/8. The Taylor family always in our thoughs and prayers. (trustt, going fishing when you get home)

  23. Pingback: Battle Rattle - A Marine Corps Times Blog – What the withdrawal could mean for Marines

  24. Chip Lamoreaux on

    My son is Sgt Seth Lamoreaux with 2/8 Echo WPNS and I have had the pleasure of meeting with some of these men. I also read some of their conversations with their bothers back here. Bless them all, but I wouldn’t want to be a tali head and run into these men. Hurry home men, you’ve done your duty. Time to party…..dam proud….come to ohio and visit anytime.

  25. Kerrie Burns on

    YEAH! Our boys are comin home!! I never thought this day would come but it has. I am so proud of each and every Marine and Sailor with the 2/8. Especially my son Thomas L Burns Navy Corpsman. Can’t wait to see your smiling face again!

  26. Thank u everyone for ur prayers and concerns. and to all u men and wemon who gave up your sons to fight along side of me in afgan…. i am with Wpns Co. Map 2. and it was a long and hard road but we made it through and had one of the most successful deployments afghan has seen in a while….. and i know Skibs he is an awsome leader and mentor… agian thank you for your support.

    Semper Fi

  27. Matthew Conlon on

    What are the odds? My son LCpl Brian Conlon (note different spelling of first name) was stationed at FOB Shamsher in Sangin last year, now safely home.
    I pray for the safety of all our Marines.

Leave A Reply