In this Feb. 19, 2011 photo, , U.S. Marine Sgt. Matt Lewoczko, 27, from Houston, left, and U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Ronald Long, 21, from Galt, Calif., right, take a defensive position during a patrol with 3rd Platoon, India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment in Sangin district southern Helmand province of Afghanistan. When U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Derek Goins deployed to the most dangerous place in Afghanistan five months ago, he mentally prepared for the risk of getting shot by the Taliban and stepping on homemade bombs buried throughout this southern river valley. (AP Photo/ Sebastian Abbot)


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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.

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