Darkhorse Marine Battalion Lived an “Afghan Hell on Earth”

The 3/5 Marine Darkhorse Battalion was involved in more than a hundred fire-fights within the first three weeks of arriving in Helmand Province October 2010. The Marine deaths started almost immediately according to Tom Bowman’s report on National Public Radio. Here’s part two in the seven part series on the Marine Darkhorse Battalion which suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the last decade of war in Afghanistan.

Cpl. David R. Hernandez/U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment and the Afghan National Army provide cover as they move out of a dangerous area after taking enemy sniper fire during a security patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, in November 2010. During its seven-month deployment, the 3/5 sustained the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the Afghan war, losing 25 men.

Second of seven parts

The Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment remember Sangin in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province as different from anywhere else they’d fought.

Sgt. Daniel Robert describes it as “hell.” Lance Cpl. Jake Romo calls it “the Wild West.” Lt. Col. Jason Morris says he’d heard it described as “the most dangerous place in Afghanistan.”

Morris was the commander of the Marines of the 3/5, known as “Darkhorse,” and Sangin had been a battleground long before he arrived.

You can listen to the story or read the full article HERE.

You can listen to 1st story in the series HERE.

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Battlefield Acupuncture Eases Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Retired Col. Richard Niemtzow applies an acupuncture needle into Master Sgt. Michelle Tancrede’s ear during a battlefield acupuncture course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Bahja J. Jones)

Battlefield acupuncture is one of the latest treatments being evaluated to help alleviate the pain and symptoms of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Retired Air Force Col. Richard C. Niemtzow, former president of American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, spoke with blog writer Robyn Mincher of the Defense Centers of Excellence, about battlefield acupuncture which can interrupt the process of pain in the central nervous system.

“Like western medicine, it’s another tool in a medical bag,” Niemtzow said.

The tool was supported by Department of Veterans Affairs for a formal study on acupuncture’s effectiveness on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mTBI. The department’s recent clinical guidance recommends acupuncture as a supplementary therapy for PTSD, anxiety, pain and sleeplessness.

“The treatment is really useful for treating headache and sleep issues, as well as other associated pain,” said Air Force Col. Stephen Sharp, DCoE deputy director of TBI clinical standards of care. “Additionally, it can be used to treat psychological health concerns, which can occur with mTBI.”

You can read the full article on the Defense Centers of Excellence website HERE.

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