Life In Helmand Province

 
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As of Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009, at least 738 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department. By the end of the year, an estimated 68,000 troops will be in Afghanistan, 21,000 of which were ordered there by Obama last spring. Military commanders and State Department officials on the ground have said many more are needed to get the job done. Associated Press photographer Brennan Linsley provides a look at life in the Helmand province.

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Two men jog just after sunrise at Camp Bastion/ Leatherneck, the main base for American and British forces in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 17. AP / Brennan Linsley

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U.S. Marines wait to board helicopters at a forward operating base in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 17. AP / Brennan Linsley

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U.S. forces sit inside a helicopter airborne over Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 17. AP / Brennan Linsley

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A U.S. Marine door gunner mans his weapon mounted on the open back ramp of a helicopter airborne over Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 17. AP / Brennan Linsley

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A U.S. Marine door gunner looks out the open back of a helicopter airborne over a river valley in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 17. AP / Brennan Linsley

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A U.S. Army soldier reclines on his gear at sunset inside Camp Leatherneck, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 16. AP / Brennan Linsley

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U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Ross Miller, of Camp Pendleton, Calif., reclines at the end of a day, flanked by the gear of several fellow Marines, at Camp Leatherneck, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 16. AP / Brennan Linsley

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U.S. Marines of the 2nd MEB, talk near their armored vehicle during down time, at Combat Outpost Geronimo, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 17. AP / Brennan Linsley

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U.S. Marine Nick Schnelle, of the 2nd MEB, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, H and S Company, sits on his armored vehicle reading a novel during down time, at Combat Outpost Geronimo, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 17. AP / Brennan Linsley

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A U.S. Marine walks past a group of parked armored vehicles at Combat Outpost Geronimo, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 17. AP / Brennan Linsley

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U.S. Marines walk to the chow hall for dinner at sunset, inside Camp Leatherneck, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 16. AP / Brennan Linsley

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A U.S. Army soldier leans against a blast wall while finishing his dinner, inside Camp Leatherneck, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 16. AP / Brennan Linsley

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