January 14, 2011 WRNIU.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Apsey, 20, is preparing to return to Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province for his second deployment. Much will be different this time — he will be one of the more experienced members of his battalion, and he will be leaving a new family member behind: his wife.
March 29, 2010 WHQRSgt. Maj. Robert Breeden has been deployed 13 times, but his recent stint in Afghanistan was different. The fighting was intense, and his battalion lost 14 Marines. Now the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment is back home, and as Breeden settles into post-combat life, he finds his biggest fight is against boredom.
November 24, 2009 WHQRFamilies gather at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to welcome back the Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment — known as "America's Battalion" — after months deployed in Afghanistan. But not every family is going to see their Marine: Thirteen of the Marines died in Afghanistan.
November 20, 2009 When the Marines of "America's Battalion" first arrived in Afghanistan, they were eager to get into the fight against the Taliban. Now, as they wrap up their seven-month deployment — and after the loss of a dozen comrades — they see warfare in a different light.
November 17, 2009 Marines from "America's Battalion," the 2/8, are returning home this month from Afghanistan after a six-month deployment. But before they go, they are passing along vital knowledge of the enemy and the terrain of Helmand province to the Marines replacing them.
November 12, 2009 WHQRShortly after Marine Sgt. Thomas Joiner left for Afghanistan, his wife, Charmaine, couldn't make ends meet. Their five kids are worried he won't come back — and now the only boy, who is 8, is acting out. "I just can't wait to see his face again," Charmaine says. "And to feel him and touch him and to know he's really just standing there."
November 3, 2009 The Marines in Afghanistan's Helmand province are pursuing a counterinsurgency strategy of "hold to build" — pushing out the Taliban and helping the Afghan government bring a sense of normalcy to villages in a region known as the "snake's head."
October 27, 2009 The Marines of "America's Battalion" have been fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province since July. Now, as the Marines move south, looking to extend their area of operation, they are patrolling for the deadliest of threats: roadside bombs.
September 15, 2009 WHQRLance Cpl. Josh Apsey is serving in southern Afghanistan with the Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment — known as "America's Battalion." Back home, his parents wait for any word from him. They must rely on old-fashioned letters and the occasional phone call to stay in touch.
August 19, 2009 Marines fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan's Helmand province face another foe, too: the strain of separation from loved ones that sometimes leads to heartbreak and divorce. Phone calls home are rare, and letters can sometimes take weeks. Officers and chaplains seek to counsel and comfort the Marines.
August 12, 2009 Lt. Col. Christian Cabaniss, commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion of the 8th Marine Regiment out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., talks with Melissa Block about his unit's deployment in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He says the terrain is the most difficult the Marines have faced since World War II.
July 21, 2009 When Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment received orders that they were going to Afghanistan, they knew conditions would be austere. What the families are discovering is that a few simple household items can keep their Marines safe and clean while fighting on the front.