Photo detail

In this Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 photo, U.S. Marines carry an injured colleague to a Medevac helicopter belonging to the U.S. Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-171 Aviation Regiment after he was injured in a roadside bomb in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan. This is a world of fear, resolve and dark humor that is mostly hidden from accounts of the human cost of the war in Afghanistan.

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The private worry of US Marines in Afghanistan

It is a conversation, the military surgeon says, that every U.S. Marine has with his corpsman, the buddy who is first to treat him if he is wounded by an insurgent's bomb. The Marine says, "'If I lose my manhood, then I don't want to live through it,'" according to Navy Lt. Richard Whitehead, surgeon for 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, which is fighting in one of the most treacherous combat areas of Afghanistan.

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