Heath Druzin, Stars and Stripes
NAD ALI DISTRICT, Afghanistan — An hour earlier, the tiny patrol base had been rocked by the low thud to which the soldiers here have become grimly accustomed. It was the fatal sound of a comrade tripping an insurgent bomb. Silence hung over the normally chatty platoon.
But there was little time for reflection in this opium- and Taliban-rich part of central Helmand province. The soldiers, 2,500 miles from their homes in tiny Estonia, clipped their chin straps, readied their rifles, and walked out the front gate just a few hundred yards from where their friend’s body had been carried off the battlefield.
"We do what we have to do — we are soldiers," said Lt. Tanel Rattiste, 24.
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Tiny Estonia keen to make large contribution in Afghanistan fight (1)