2011 Third Squad
Patrol Base Fires, Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines
Name and Rank: Private First Class Scott McEtchin
Hometown: Pleasanton, California
Why did you join the Marines?
"I joined the Marine Corps because I was kicked out of my house while I was going to college and ah, just started ah, being financially unstable. So I joined the Marine Corps basically so I could have a stable lifestyle I guess . . . And get away from home."
"When I pictured Afghanistan, it was mountains, and there’s a lot of lush greenery everywhere, and I thought Afghanistan was just desert. And the people are very nice. They have very little and they’re always willing to give you anything. They’ll take you in their house, feed you, and for the most part they’re really good people."
"They’ll feed us, ah, anything from yogurt, which is pretty nasty cuz it’s straight from their cows and goats. They’ll feed us bread, it’s like flatbread, kinda like a tortilla or a pita, that they make. It’s called derday. And then they’ll feed us rice or pilau."
What do you think of the Taliban?
"I think the Taliban—as far as fighting us—is composed of younger people just looking for a purpose in their life, 'cause in Afghanistan and the surrounding countries, you know Pakistan, Iran, a lot of the people are poor and have nothing, and they’re looking for a way out and something that they can do with their life, so, America’s here. They can fight America, they can get paid, they can be doing something other than farming land or selling goats at the bazaar, so, that’s why I think they fight us."
"They probably don’t like foreigners in their country, but for the most part I think they’re just young kids like us that want a way out"
What is your job in the squad?
"I’m an infantry assaultman, so basically I work with demo, I carry an
- @ Elliott D. Woods 2011
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