A WTOP reporter has a vivid personal story to tell after being caught in heavy fighting while reporting in Afghanistan.
However, J.J. Green said his experience is nothing compared to the innocent civilians who live through the bloodshed every day.
Green had to stay a few days longer than he'd planned when the camp he was with came under fire.
"The thing that struck me most about Afghanistan, which is the saddest and the most heart-breaking part of it, is there is this cycle of violence that has nothing to do with the war," Green said, safely back in Washington.
Green told a story that he'd heard from a medic in the special forces. A little girl came to a clinic. A man walked in, and the girl began screaming and crying.
"She said that man had beat her the week before because she had been in school and he had seen her," Green said.
It turns out the man was a member of the Taliban.
The medic had him arrested and interrogated. However, there was no proof of the attack, and no charges would stick. Soon, the man who beat the little girl was back on the streets.
Not long after, the medic gave Green some tragic news.
"He said the man that had beat [the girl] and was arrested had gone back and killed her and her entire family," Green said.
"It's a part of this violence that seems to go hand in hand with that part of the world, specifically because it's cultural. The violence against women, the prohibition against women getting education as far as the Taliban goes," he said.
Green believes that education is the only way to stop that cycle of violence.
"The Taliban is the real deal," Green said, "and people there know it, and they live it, feel it, and fear it every day -- and with good reason."