Video by NPR staff photographer David Gilkey
Dehydration, sleep deprivation, boots soggy with sweat, 100 pounds of gear and 15 miles in 126-degree heat. Lance Cpl. Joseph Dills says you have no idea how bad it is until you do it. Luckily, NPR's staff photographer David Gilkey was embedded with Dills' battalion in Afghanistan, which gives us a rare glimpse of what life is like for Marines in the field.
Ahead of the 2009 presidential elections in Afghanistan, U.S. Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 8th regiment trekked miles each day, facing heavy resistance, in order to secure parts of Helmand province in the south. Watch Gilkey's video to get an idea of what it was like.
More on NPR's news blog, The Two-Way.
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