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Osama bin Laden's death: 'This snake has a lot of heads'

A Marine lieutenant who lost a leg in Afghanistan said Sunday night that the death of Osama bin Laden “is great news, fabulous news, a victory for every guy who has served in Afghanistan, and particularly for the guys who never came home.”

But Lt. Cameron West, 25, part of the battle-scarred, Camp Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, warned that “he’s just one man.”

Photo gallery: Reactions to Osama bin Laden death

“There are a lot more we’ve got to kill: We’ve got to destroy the whole insurgency,” he said. “Bin Laden was the head of the snake, but this snake has a lot of heads and we’ve got to kill them all before it’s an ultimate victory.”

The 3/5 suffered 25 dead and more than 200 wounded while fighting for control of the Sangin district, long a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. For the Marines recuperating in hospitals throughout the U.S., the death of Bin Laden “is going to be a great morale booster,” West said.

West lost a leg, parts of two fingers, and had shrapnel pierce his skull in a firefight in which another Marine, Lance Cpl. James Boelk, was killed. West is now recuperating in Oceanside and receiving therapy at the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

 
Comments () | Archives (1)

Agreed, Lt. West. A sweet victory to savor, even if it doesn't bring back the people we lost, or mean an end to the long war. I'm optimistic that the Marines and the rest of our fighting personnel will keep their focus and keep the foot on the enemy's neck. Hopefully, the boost in morale and the intel exploits will keep the momentum going into the Spring fighting season with the Taliban, and keep the naysayers back home focused on what the mission is and why it is important. Thank you for your sacrifice, Lt. West, and I'm sorry for the loss of your fellow Marines.


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