2011 Third Squad
Patrol Base Fires, Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines
Name and Rank:
Corporal Michael Joseph "Dutch" Dutcher
Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina
Killed in Action 15 September 2011
"If I had to describe Sangin in one sentence to someone back home I would definitely say keep your eyes out and turn your ears up, 'cause seeing everything and listening to everything and paying attention to everything is the only thing you have out here to keep you alive."
"[Sangin is] a lot more green than I thought it would be. There's a lot more farming also. Originally, hearing about Afghanistan, everyone thinks about desert because it's the Middle East, but when you get out here it's amazing because you see flowers blooming everywhere, big fields of green crops and trees."
What do you think the Taliban are fighting for?
"They call themselves Mujahideen, but they're not really that. Especially since they're coming from Pakistan, a lot them are doing stuff that doesn't really describe the Muslim way of life as I've learned about it and heard about it from locals. They fight and kill when everyone else wouldn't. They do things that Muslims shouldn't do. Mostly what I think is they're doing it for greed."
What's an example of something Muslims shouldn't do that the Taliban do?
"Their whole murder and intimidation campaign. They emplace IEDs that can kill children, they threaten locals and their own people, they threaten other Muslims."
Describe your experience of Taliban tactics:
"The Taliban in Sangin right now aren't direct up-front fighters. They sit out in the distance, wait for you to come into an open field, or wait until you get into a position that they think's vulnerable for you . . . all they're doing is attacking from a position and trying to lead us into another position so they can just keep moving us into ambush spots b
- @ Elliott D. Woods 2011
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