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Army photo by Staff Sgt. Corey T. Dennis

The Shok Valley in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province is so impenetrable that during their nearly 10 year occupation of the country, the Soviets never entered it once. And for the first seven years of Operation Enduring Freedom, no Coalition troops did either. So when, on the morning of April 6, 2008, a 12-man team of U.S. Special Forces operators with ODA 3336, 3rd Special Forces group jumped from a helicopter into the Shok Valley, they became the first members of a foreign military to step foot on the treacherous home turf of  Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, the notorious militant group that had controlled the valley for decades.

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