IEDs in Afghanistan: A Marine’s story

Afghan boys point and smile as Snyder captures a lighter moment of his deployment in 2010.
Looking out over Afghanistan's Helmand province, where Snyder was stationed in 2010. (Courtesy of Rob Snyder)
Afghan and American flags, flying together in Helmand province.
Afghan boys point and smile as Snyder captures a lighter moment of his deployment in 2010.

Heather Brady,

Robert Snyder, a Marine deployed in Afghanistan from March to August 2010, was stationed in the Helmand province, a hotbed for Taliban activity because of the organization’s ties to ethnic groups in the region. Snyder worked to support the First Marine Expeditionary Force with tactical intelligence.

U.S. military troops and civilians in Afghanistan both incurred a spike in injuries and deaths related to improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, in 2010. The number of military casualties jumped by 60 percent while the number of injuries nearly tripled, according to the Washington Post. Afghan civilian IED casualties jumped by 75 percent as the Taliban drove forward a campaign of intimidation, according to USA TODAY.

This is Snyder’s story of a young Afghan boy who died in front of him from injuries caused by an IED, as told to WTOP’s Heather Brady.

Most of the days that we worked were super-long. With my job, there’s always something you can do, so you tend to overwork yourself. One morning, they were doing a Fourth of July thing on the base, a morale thing. Guys had been seeing a lot, so they decided to do a home barbecue like you would have in the States. They were grilling out meat and all kinds of stuff like that, and all the senior people were out there cooking.

I had gotten to the point where enough IEDs had exploded that were near me, or loud, or shaking things, that I was nerve-wracked about it. I didn’t like it at all. I remember we were having a good time, and then you hear

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