26 February, 2010
Easy Company Marines and Sailors continue to strive to bring positive change and peace to these lands and to the people who have endured over 30 years of war and misery. The squads and platoons are patrolling 5 to 10 miles a day, denying the enemy historic safehavens, while at the same time connecting with the local population to help improve their irrigation canals and farm land that has suffered deterioration from the constant fighting. The Marines and Sailors work daily with local elders and mullahs to find solutions to their problems. The efforts have resulted in relationships between local leaders, farmers, ISAF and ANA soldiers that ultimately will allow peace to come to these war torn lands.
The TEAM is working to reinforce the importance of education, sanitation, medical care, and agriculture techniques. The Marines and Sailors amaze me every day with their flexibility to conduct combat patrols, while at the same time, distributing school supplies to those who are willing to teach the young children. The threat they selflessly expose themselves to help a people they did not know four months ago is a testament to their maturity, understanding, and resolve. “First do no harm,” is not always easy when the young warriors patrol areas they fight in regularly just to visit local villages, but they do it. These are the actions that will build a foundation for continued success in 2/2’s battlespace. We have been conducting shuras weekly, with attendance ranging from 100-250 locals/elders. The participation of the population is a direct reflection of the daily patrols and contacts made by every Marine squad. Relationships with the people give them faith and helps the people believe that progress can be made. Without these relationships the enemy can continue to hide among the innocent people. A connection to a positive force brings a sense that their children may have a brighter future. Success is a ways off, but the months of fighting and countering improvised explosive devices has hurt the enemy tremendously. The Marines and Sailors have continued pressuring and pursuing the enemy despite several casualties of their leaders, friends, teammates, and family. The Marines remain strong and determined. The enemy is frustrated and desperate, and the Easy Company TEAM has not relented.
As our ties to the population continue to strengthen, we are starting to understand the survival mentality that mothers and fathers have been forced to live with for years. In fear, they have pulled their children from schools, disconnected from the government and a judicial system, and watched the deterioration of canals and farm lands. In this disconnected part of Afghanistan the enemy has preyed on the people, taking advantage of everything from their practice of religion to what they grow in the ground. The Marines of Easy Company and 2/2 are changing that, in hopes of giving the people something to believe in. Ultimately, it will be the peoples’ decision to unify and embrace the stabilization efforts, but we will continue to deny the enemy a vote in that decision.
On behalf of the Easy Company Team, thanks to all of the friends and family who continue to send messages of support and packages. The continued influx of hundreds of care packages keep us well stocked on all the basic necessities to make life a little easier in our patrol bases and combat outpost. We truly appreciate everything you do. About two weeks ago we were able to get phone/internet connection up at one of our bases. Hopefully this has allowed your loved ones easier access to call friends and family. Again, we have many bases, and have restricted phone use several times due to casualties, so not everyone has had the opportunity to use the Spawar system, but it is a move towards strengthening our connections to those we left back home.
The Friedman Family- Welcome to little Samuel Archibald. Born 24 Feb, 2010.
The Davis Family- Welcome to little De’Anna McKenzie. Born 26 Jan, 2010.
The Simonson Family- Welcome to little Gabrielle Jordan. Born 19 Feb, 2010.
Roy Arrington; John Badger
Bradley Dalberg; Norman Renfro
Farewell and following seas to three of our EOD team members who completed their tour with Easy Company, after several months in Iraq before joining us in November 2009. Their heroic actions saved numerous Marine and civilian lives over here: SSgt Fulling, Sgt Fuchs, Sgt Works.
Our wounded Marines back in the United States recovering from injuries remain in all of our thoughts and prayers. Every one of those Marines is loved and missed by their brothers in Easy Company.
2d Battalion, 2d Marines
Regimental Combat Team-7
Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan