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Dark Horse: Sangin Valley Marines

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September 27, 2016
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In Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, death greeted you as soon as you stepped outside the patrol base.10 Marines were killed during the first week of Third Battalion, Fifth Marines' deployment to Afghanistan in 2010.The Marines faced a coordinated, bold enemy who would put up white flags marking their territory only a few hundred meters from each patrol base. The Taliban planted so many IED's that the men of Dark Horse relished the opportunity to get into firefights.Patrols would go out and immediately take casualties from multiple IED's, then run into cover, where more IED's would be waiting.They pushed through it, and when 3/5 left Sangin, their area of the district was considered "cleared," although combat continued. Their relieving unit, 1/5, also sustained high casualties, with 17 Marines killed in action.In all, units that fought in Sangin include 1/6, 3/7, 3/5, 3/25, 2/8, 2/9, 1/5, 1/7, 2/7, 1st Tanks, 1st/2nd/3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 7th ESB, 1st CEB, 3rd CEB and members of various Marine and other Special Operations Forces.


"For the 25" is a full-length documentary released onto YouTube by Logan Stark, a veteran of 3/5, the battalion which pushed hard in Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan beginning in September 2010."Dark Horse," as the battalion was called, lost 25 Marines and sustained over 200 wounded. The casualty rate was the highest for a single Marine battalion in the Afghanistan war."We owe it to the 25 who didn't come home and every other warrior who has paid the ultimate sacrifice," Stark says during the documentary. "We owe it to them to keep their memory alive. ... We owe it to the mothers who never stop praying and to the fathers who buried their sons too early."The documentary follows Stark, then a Scout Sniper with the battalion's Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) platoon and his fellow Marines during the course of their deployment. It also details the heroics of Sgt. Matt Abbate, who received the Navy Cross for his actions under fire.Watch the full documentary below:

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