Rare glimpse into U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan.

Army Master Sgt. Benjamin A. Stevenson, 36, was on his…

Army Master Sgt. Benjamin A. Stevenson, 36, was on his 10th tour of duty in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq when he was killed Thursday in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan.
Few details are available on the circumstances that led to the death of the highly decorated soldier, from Canyon Lake, Texas.

However, a U.S. military official has now confirmed to CNN that Stevenson was the only U.S. casualty of a brutal two-day firefight against an al Qaeda-related group that erupted when U.S. and Afghan troops attacked an insurgent encampment, killing nearly 80 foreign fighters.

That single piece of information is a rare glimpse into the world of U.S. special operations forces who have done more tours than most in the last decade. Special forces tours of duty typically last six to eight months, compared to regular combat tours of one year. Many troops have spent more time away from home than at home, but little is said about what they do these days in fighting insurgent strongholds.

Read the rest of Barbara Starr’s article at CNN.

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