Dec 14, 2011

U.S. Marine Sgt. Matt Garst, a 23-year-old squad leader with 2nd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment and native of Charlotte, N.C., pauses during a security patrol here, Dec. 12, along the canal from which he and his Marines previously rescued nine Afghans. On a Dec. 2 night patrol, a vehicle carrying an Afghan family struck an Afghan National Army soldier and sent both plunging into the frigid canal. The ANA soldiers provided security while the 2nd Platoon Marines braved the swiftly moving current to recover the accident victims. “We don’t really train for a situation like this, besides doing vehicle rollover drills,” Garst said. “Even so, we weren’t the ones trapped … it was other people. The Marines didn’t hesitate for their own safety at all. They helped those who needed it at the time.”

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1st Marine Division