Archive: December, 2011

Dec. 29, 2011

Eight soldiers receive Purple Hearts on Christmas Day in Afghanistan

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (December 28, 2011) — While families celebrated Christmas Day exchanging gifts and sharing the holiday spirit back home, eight U.S. Army soldiers from the 14th Engineer Battalion stood in line as Marine Maj. Gen. John A. Toolan, commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and Regional Command Southwest, pinned Purple Heart medals on their chests.

Dec. 29, 2011

Female Engagement Team 8, Afghan members host children’s shura

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan (December 28, 2011) — With 53 little, smiling faces in attendance, members of Female Engagement Team 8 joined Afghan National Security Force troops recently to host a children’s shura aboard the base in Sangin district, Helmand province.

Dec. 28, 2011

Sisters reunite while deployed in Afghanistan

What started as a simple journey for U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Tess White turned into a race against time to see her sister, U.S. Army Sgt. Tobey White, before her tour of duty ended in Afghanistan.

Dec. 27, 2011

Soldiers in Afghanistan focused on Allen’s 2012 objectives

KABUL, Afghanistan (December 23, 2011) —As the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan looks to 2012 as a time to build on gains made and extend the security zone east of Kabul, the soldiers of Regional Command East know they have a vital role to play in making that possible.

Dec. 22, 2011

Dempsey: DOD to stay engaged, vigilant in Middle East

ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT (December 17, 2011) — It’s too soon to calculate how the end of U.S. Forces Iraq will affect the region’s military dynamics, but the U.S. focus on the Middle East and its partner countries there is unwavering, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Dec. 21, 2011

Senior officials welcome troops home from Iraq

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (December 20, 2011) — President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, welcomed the final group of U.S. troops home from Iraq here today.

Dec. 20, 2011

Female shuras uncover hardships facing rural Afghan women

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (December 20, 2011) — In a rural village in southern Nangarhar Province, a teenage Afghan mother, weathered and weary beyond her years, cradles her nursing infant daughter, ignorant of the hardships her mother has had to endure. Looking down at her daughter’s fragile form, the mother can only hope to somehow defy the odds and give her child the life she so desperately deserves.

Dec. 19, 2011

Volunteers help Afghan families keep warm in winter

KABUL, Afghanistan (December 13, 2011) — Poverty in Afghanistan is more common than running water or electricity. Thousands of Afghans live in austere conditions, surviving day-to-day with limited resources. The Afghan government estimates that 42% of the country’s population lives in poverty. The winters are especially harsh. It is common for families in refugee camps to burn trash and old tires for heat.

Dec. 16, 2011

Panetta, Dempsey to mark end of Iraq mission

BAGHDAD, Iraq (December 15, 2011) — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta arrived here today to join Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in ceremonies marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq.

Dec. 15, 2011

Panetta thanks front-line troops for successes in Afghanistan

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan (December 14, 2011) — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta traveled here to the eastern reaches of Paktika province to thank troops on the front lines he credited with making the gains that are turning the tide in Afghanistan.