The work of the armed forces continues apace. As Americans we may or may not agree with their presence in Afghanistan, but we support our men and women who serve in harm's way and wish them safe return to their loved ones.
Maj. Gen. John F. Campbell, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, said a tough battle in which six U.S. soldiers died Tuesday continues in Afghanistan.
Campbell spoke to reporters at Fort Campbell during a video conference from his headquarters in Bagram on Thursday and said that 117 members of the 101st have died in battle since last March.
The latest deaths came during ongoing combat to clear insurgents from eastern Afghanistan. Campbell said he couldn't discuss details because the operation was ongoing but called it a joint mission involving NATO forces, the Afghan national army and border police.
Campbell said the area where the soldiers were killed in the Kunar Province is a known insurgent hideout but said a significant number of insurgents have been killed in the battle.
The Pentagon has released the names of soldiers after reaching their families. Staff Sgt. Bryan Burgess, 29, of Cleburne, Texas; Private First Class Dustin Feldhaus, 20, of Glendale, Ariz., Sgt. 1st Class Ofren Arrechaga, 28, of Hialeah, Fla; Staff Sgt. Frank E. Adamski III, 26, of Moosup, Conn.; Private Jeremy Faulkner, 23, of Georgia; and Spc. Jameson L. Lindskog, 23, of Pleasanton, Calif., all died Tuesday when enemy forces attacked their unit in the Kunar province of Afghanistan.
"When you see your buddy die, I know they're saddened by that, but they want to make sure their battle buddy didn't die in vain," said Campbell. "They fought valiantly; they'll continue to fight. We're still in this fight right now. I don't want to go into too much detail about that. As far as morale with the rest of the soldiers, they know they're doing great work, very noble work. The only hope for the Afghan people in many of these places is the coalition forces of the Screaming Eagles."