In early 2006, as the NATO International Security Assistance Force ramped up operations in southern Afghanistan, and clashes between coalition soldiers and insurgents intensified, it became increasingly clear that a Taliban resurgence was fully underway. But the British military, tasked with leading the charge in Afghanistan’s restive Helmand province, remained confident in its ability to bring the area under control through a counterinsurgency campaign focused less on taking the fight to the Taliban and more on building up Afghan forces and nurturing strategic relationships with locals in the enemy’s spiritual heartland.
Several months later, 88 soldiers with Easy Company — a mix of Paratroopers and the Royal Irish — were thrust into one of the fiercest engagements of the conflict. The so-called “Siege of Musa Qala” pitted Easy Company against an estimated force of 500 heavily armed insurgents in a battle that lasted more than 50 days and ended only after locals brokered an unlikely ceasefire between the Brits and the Taliban. By the time Easy Company was extracted from Musa Qala, three British soldiers were dead, 12 more were badly wounded, and, according to the Daily Mail, a quarter of the British Army’s Afghanistan ammunition for that year was spent.
For years, details of the battle were kept closely guarded by the British Ministry of Defense, but a documentary team was able to stitch together the story through interviews with some of the men who survived the siege (active duty soldiers were apparently prohibited from being interviewed). From those interviews, it’s clear that the men of Easy Company were in constant fear of being overrun. “It came to a point I actually thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown,” one of them said. In fact, while the Taliban benefited from numerous resupplies and the fact that Easy Company was hunkered down in a remote, low-walled compound, the Brits never received reinforcements during the entire 56-day engagement and air support was extremely limited.
Riley Howell, the Army ROTC cadet shot and killed while restraining an active shooter at UNC Charlotte on April 30, was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism earlier this month for his heroic sacrifice, the Army announced.
U.S. Marine Corps Veterans salute during the 5th Marines Vietnam War Memorial unveiling ceremony in the Camp San Mateo Memorial Garden at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 28, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Rhita Daniel)
California's high cost of living makes it a difficult place for retired military service members to settle down, according to an annual report by financial services website WalletHub.
California — home to the largest number of active-duty troops in the nation — fares poorly in the survey when it comes to affordable housing, homelessness and the proportion of of businesses in the state that are owned by veterans.