U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Cameron Boyd

In early 2011, the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, was deployed to Afghanistan’s Kunar province during one of the deadliest years of the war.

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Documentaries about war are often shown through the lens of a civilian reporter attached to a frontline combat unit, and though the stories are frequently profound, there’s something missing: The first-person perspective of those who do the bulk of the fighting, killing, and dying in war.

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Army photo by Sgt. John Zumer

One night in April 2009, on a mountainside in Afghanistan’s infamous Korengal Valley, three soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division sat in a listening post 100 meters away from the rest of their 30-man reconnaissance platoon. The fighting season was just picking up and fresh footprints in the mud provided clear evidence that Taliban fighters were close and on the move.

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