IED Takes Its Toll On Platoon

  • On the afternoon of Nov. 5, a massive roadside bomb destroyed a Stryker armored vehicle in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Two men were killed and two others were wounded — soldiers of 2nd Platoon from the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Fort Lewis, Wash. The area of the Arghandab Valley is a Taliban stronghold.
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    On the afternoon of Nov. 5, a massive roadside bomb destroyed a Stryker armored vehicle in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Two men were killed and two others were wounded — soldiers of 2nd Platoon from the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Fort Lewis, Wash. The area of the Arghandab Valley is a Taliban stronghold.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • Spc. Riley Sheffield of Boise, Idaho, looks towards a tree line as insurgents fire on the convoy, just after the roadside bomb exploded. Soldiers from Charlie Company exchanged fire with insurgents for over an hour. Sheffield is on his first deployment.
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    Spc. Riley Sheffield of Boise, Idaho, looks towards a tree line as insurgents fire on the convoy, just after the roadside bomb exploded. Soldiers from Charlie Company exchanged fire with insurgents for over an hour. Sheffield is on his first deployment.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • Soldiers under fire dash from their Stryker vehicles toward an irrigation canal. It offers some cover, but also makes movement across the fields difficult.
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    Soldiers under fire dash from their Stryker vehicles toward an irrigation canal. It offers some cover, but also makes movement across the fields difficult.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • A green smoke grenade marks the landing zone for a helicopter that will carry away the two wounded soliders.  The military seeks to evacuate casualties as quickly as possible – within what's known as the "golden hour."
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    A green smoke grenade marks the landing zone for a helicopter that will carry away the two wounded soliders. The military seeks to evacuate casualties as quickly as possible – within what's known as the "golden hour."
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • A soldier was partially trapped under his Stryker after the massive bomb detonated and flipped the armored vehicle. His fellow soldiers dug him out as the truck burned, and stabilized his badly broken leg. Here, he is being moved to another truck.
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    A soldier was partially trapped under his Stryker after the massive bomb detonated and flipped the armored vehicle. His fellow soldiers dug him out as the truck burned, and stabilized his badly broken leg. Here, he is being moved to another truck.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • An Army Medevac team based at Kandahar Airfield, south of the Arghandab Valley, loads the casualties to transport them to a hospital.
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    An Army Medevac team based at Kandahar Airfield, south of the Arghandab Valley, loads the casualties to transport them to a hospital.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • The injured soldier is loaded onto the helicopter. The aircraft travel in pairs, to provide backup firepower and rescue capabilities.
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    The injured soldier is loaded onto the helicopter. The aircraft travel in pairs, to provide backup firepower and rescue capabilities.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • Soldiers search for the body of one of their comrades who was thrown from the armored vehicle, and pick up pieces of the damaged Stryker. A Kiowa helicopter passes low over a tree line, hunting for the insurgents who are still firing at the men on the road.
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    Soldiers search for the body of one of their comrades who was thrown from the armored vehicle, and pick up pieces of the damaged Stryker. A Kiowa helicopter passes low over a tree line, hunting for the insurgents who are still firing at the men on the road.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
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    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • A soldier kneels in front of the bodies of two of his fallen comrades. "God bless you, brother,"  he said, touching one of the bags.
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    A soldier kneels in front of the bodies of two of his fallen comrades. "God bless you, brother," he said, touching one of the bags.
    Tom Bowman/NPR/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • Parts of the broken and burning Stryker are scattered around the field. Some are small, like this piece of metal. But a 1,000-pound section of the front end was thrown 300 yards from the blast site.
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    Parts of the broken and burning Stryker are scattered around the field. Some are small, like this piece of metal. But a 1,000-pound section of the front end was thrown 300 yards from the blast site.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • Flames engulf the bombed Stryker as ammunition inside the vehicle explodes and the rubber wheels burn away. The flames lasted throughout the night.
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    Flames engulf the bombed Stryker as ammunition inside the vehicle explodes and the rubber wheels burn away. The flames lasted throughout the night.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR
  • Battalion Chaplain Gary Lewis says a prayer over the Stryker where Spc. Aaron Aamot and Spc. Gary Gooch died the previous day. The wheels were still burning, and the soldiers later had a difficult time pulling the massive vehicle out of the blast crater.
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    Battalion Chaplain Gary Lewis says a prayer over the Stryker where Spc. Aaron Aamot and Spc. Gary Gooch died the previous day. The wheels were still burning, and the soldiers later had a difficult time pulling the massive vehicle out of the blast crater.
    Photos by Graham Smith/NPR and Tom Bowman/NPR

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