The New York Times
"A GRUNT'S LIFE"
For G.I.s, life on the front lines has two sides. There are, of course, the profoundly intense moments of fighting, when soldiers try to forget their fear, remember their training and watch one another's backs. But the rest of the time is the dirty, sweaty, unglamorous and frequently tedious work of being infantrymen. They pull guard duty, play pranks, debate comic book heros, wrestle, complain about shaving, complain about leadership, reminisce about home and women and fast food. At times the missions can resemble a guys-only slumber party or summer camp with guns. But more than anything else, the men wait; they wait for orders, for patrols, for the chance to sleep or eat. They even wait for the fighting they know will eventually come.Corporal Raul Canto covered the distant tree line as soldiers from Delta Company 2nd Platoon cleared an exit out of Nahr-i-Sufi during a firefight on a six day mission in the Taliban-held village. Second platoon came upon an ambush set up by insurgents and an hour long fight followed.