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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.