Since 2001, the War in Afghanistan has been a sort of tug-of-war with concertina wire, with both sides coming out bloody, battered, and sinking deeper and deeper into a quagmire with no end in sight. From its start in 2001, to the low troop levels in the mid 2000s as the Iraq War picked up, to the massive troop surge in 2009, followed by the official end of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2014, the war has ground on and on.
On May 21, 2011, Sgt. Nathan Hervey, a scout sniper section leader with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was deployed to northern Musa Qala, in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Hervey and his Marines were tasked with surveillance operations in the volatile district, when they became embattled in a heated firefight with insurgent forces transporting weapons that were to be used against a patrol base nearby.