In 2006, U.S. Marine Cpl. Lydia Davey, a community relations chief at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan as an individual augment to Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan. The unit was coordinating the efforts of the International Security Assistance Force and the U.S. diplomatic mission there.

In December, she arrived at Camp Eggers in Kabul, and for the next two months, served as a driver and personal security detail. When the command was deactivated in January 2007, Davey was assigned to Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan as a combat correspondent, and served the remainder of her six-month tour in that capacity.

Through it all, Davey says she gained an abiding affection for the Afghan people and a deep respect for their grit, resilience, and courage.

Click her to read her story.