U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces, visits an Afghan National Police compound in the Baraki Barak district of Logar province on Aug. 21. Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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U.S. Special Forces member rides a ATV with the children of Kuhak. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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First Sgt. Derrick Mays stands beneath the company colors outside of a tent at Camp Leatherneck in June. An 18-year Marine Corps veteran, Mays says his wife, Marcia, has a way of tolerating the long deployments. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR