Marines endured some of Afghan conflict's toughest fighting, a legacy of America's longest war

October 28, 2014 1:27 AM

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Marines endured some of Afghan conflict's toughest fighting, a legacy of America's longest war

This handout photo provided Defense Department shows Marines and sailors with Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan load onto a KC-130 aircraft on the Camp Bastion, Afghanistan flightline, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. The handover of the U.S. Marines' main base to Afghan control in the hardscrabble Helmand province is more than a signal that America’s longest war is ending. It is a reminder of the enormous loss and sacrifice by Marines who swept in as part of President Barack Obama’s surge of forces against a resurgent Taliban in 2009. (AP Photo/Staff Sgt. John Jackson, Defense Department, US Marines) (The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON – The Marines' handover of Camp Leatherneck to the Afghans is more than a signal that America's longest war is ending. It is a reminder that the Marines' battlefield gains were tempered by losses: 378 killed, nearly 5,000 wounded.

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