U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis once sat in the dirt with a man who'd attempted to kill him with a roadside bomb in Iraq.

"It had been a bad night for him," said Mattis to a crowd of roughly 1,100 people in downtown Spokane on Thursday night. "He was out there with his wheelbarrow. He had two artillery rounds, and he was out digging a hole, and next thing you know he looks up and there's five guys with automatic weapons standing around him, and they're not his."

"So he knew, at that point, his retirement plan was in jeopardy," Mattis said.

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It has been a deadly year for Green Berets, with every active-duty Special Forces Group losing a valued soldier in Afghanistan or Syria.

A total of 13 members of the Army special operations forces community have died in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. All but one of those soldiers were killed in combat.

In Afghanistan, Army special operators account for 11 of the 17 U.S. troops killed so far this year. Eight of the fallen were Green Berets. Of the other three soldiers, two worked with the 10th Special Forces Group and the other was a Ranger.

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An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. (Associated Press)

Strange things were afoot in the Pentagon's southernmost parking lot on Aug. 6 when a man approached Pentagon Police Sergeant Kyle Murdock.

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The Navy's massive base in China Lake, California, has ordered an evacuation for non-essential personnel after recent earthquakes have rendered the installation "not mission capable," a message posted on the base's Facebook page says.

"Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is responding to a 5.0 magnitude earthquake at 8:16 p.m., and a 7.1 magnitude earthquake at 8:19 p.m. Pacific time and multiple, consistent aftershocks on July 5 following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake and numerous aftershocks on July 4," the message says.

"NAWS China Lake is not mission capable until further notice; however, security protocols remain in effect. Safety of personnel is currently the highest priority."

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KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. and Taliban officials decided on Saturday to put their ongoing peace talks on hold for two days to allow for a meeting between rival Afghan groups to be held in Qatar, a Taliban official said.

The warring sides started a seventh round of peace talks last week, aiming to hammer out a schedule for the withdrawal of foreign troops in exchange for Taliban guarantees that international militant groups will not use Afghanistan as a base for launching attacks.

Agreement on the timetable has been elusive so far, but in a sign of progress the Taliban agreed on the sidelines of the peace talks to hold separate discussions with a group of Afghan delegates.

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Marine Corps drill instructor R. Lee Ermey in his iconic role in 'Full Metal Jacket' (Warner Bros.)

Retired Marine Staff Sgt. R. Lee Ermey, the legendary Marine drill instructor turned iconic Full Metal Jacket actor who died last year, will be formally laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Jan. 18, according to the cemetery's web site.

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