2011 Third Squad
Patrol Base Fires, Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines
Name and Rank: Lance Corporal Jeffrey Lopez
Hometown: Ventnor City, New Jersey
Why did you join the Marines?
"I joined the Marine Corps because one of my boys died in Iraq. He was in the Army, and I had three other boys, they were in the Marine Corps. And I saw that they deployed too, and they all made it back alive. So I figured I would go Marine Corps."
"Sangin's crazy. I mean it looks nice, as far as its features, like trees and all that, it looks like a beautiful country. But as far as steppin' outside the wire with all your gear, it's shitty . . . I can't really explain it. It's somewhere you don't wanna be."
Why do you think the Taliban are fighting?
"I think the Taliban's out here doing what they do because they don't want us controlling what they do . . . it's just like your parents telling you, 'Hey do this.' Like, they don't like authority, I guess. So we come here, 'Hey this is how you're gonna live your life,' and it's like, "No, we're gonna fucking still be the rebels we are, not caring about other peoples' lives, still trying to get these drugs out.'"
How do you rate them as a fighting force?
"They fight like fake ass gangs back in the States. If they're not in a big group or whatever, if they can't get that upper hand, they're not even gonna try to face you. They're just gonna fall back . . . I mean if they were to step up and try to fight us like we fight them, they wouldn't stand a chance."
"Like planting IEDs, shooting as us from where we can't see them, hiding behind stuff."
What's your job in the squad?
"Lately I’ve been sweeping, that’s been my job. And when we first got here it wasn’t as bad, but now that the IED threat is getting a lot heavier, it’s kind of starting to suck, each day going out, like 'Damn I gotta sweep again.'
- @ Elliott D. Woods 2011
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