Soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry take defensive positions at Camp Restrepo after receiving fire from Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley on May 11. Spc. Zachery Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas, far left was wearing 'I love NY' boxer shorts after rushing from his sleeping quarters to join his fellow platoon members. From far right is Spc. Cecil Montgomery of Many, La., and Jordan Custer of Spokane, Wa., center.
Spc. Zachery Boyd searches the sky for an A-10 aircraft on a bombing run over Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley, which lies around 70 miles northeast of the capital Kabul, on May 10. In the past three years almost 60 Americans have died in the remote valley, which has been the scene intense fighting between U.S. troops and local tribesmen and militants.
Missiles fired at suspected Taliban positions from Apache helicopters explode on a hillside in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar Province on May 10.
Spent rounds lie at the feet of a soldier from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry as he returns fire on a militant position as Camp Restrepo comes under attack on May 8.
Soldiers fire mortars from the Korengal Outpost at Taliban positions on May 12.
Staff Sgt. Steven Dubois of Remus, Mich., loads a rifle magazine with ammunition. His tattoo reads "For The Fallen" and lists the names of 17 of his friends who have died in combat during his tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been over 600 American military deaths in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led toppling of the Taliban in 2001. At least 4,280 have died in the Iraq war since it began in 2003, according to The Associated Press.
SSG Alexander Pascual, right, from Kohala, Hawaii, goes on patrol in the mountains of in the Korengal Valley on May 9.
An Afghan local village elder meets with soldiers and an interpreter, left, during a patrol on May 9. American soldiers often have the dual, and sometimes contradictory, job of warrior and community outreach worker with local Afghans.
Soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry, are followed by the platoon's pet dog "Chinook" as they patrol a mountain road on May 9.
Soldiers return from a patrol to their outpost in the Korengal Valley on May 8.
Spl. Taylor Jordan lifts weights in the rain at Camp Restrepo on May 8.
Lt. Glenn Burkey shaves his head at his platoon's base at Camp Restrepo on May 8.
Staff Sgt. Alexander Pascual from Kohala, Hawaii, cooks chicken on a grill on May 9.
Steven Bates of Independence, Mo., sits with his platoon's pet dog "Chinook" on May 11.
Spc. Cecil Montgomery of Many, La., right, is treated by medic Pfc. Dorian Biberdorf of Bellevue, N.D., inside a medical bunker on May 9. Montgomery's leg, which was gashed in an operation two weeks ago, became infected and a medic had to open the wound to try to remove the infection and sterilize it.
Spcl. Ryan Shriner from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry smokes a cigarette as his patrol rests in the valley on May 8.