For Marines in Afghanistan, Ramadan demands respect

For Marines in Afghanistan, Ramadan demands respect »Play Video
The only commotion is a small crowd of men and children gathering around Pitchford as he listens to a local man vent his frustration over various confiscated items.

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Dan Morrison and I leave the Marjah District Center the day Ramadan begins.

I wear a long sleeved short and cover my hair to respect the religious observance.

Before leaving the wire, troops are reminded by Major Pitchford to respect the religious fasting from sunrise to sunset, observed by the locals during this time.

Blatant eating in front of the Afghans could come across as an insult and the Marines are concentrated on winning the hearts and minds of the local population.

An increase of violence is expected during the month of Ramadan, but the streets are quiet today.
 
The only commotion is a small crowd of men and children gathering around Pitchford as he listens to a local man vent his frustration over various confiscated items.
 
After a long discussion involving the Major, a interpreter and local soldiers, the situation is temporarily resolved.
 
 
 
 

Dan Morrison and Cali Bagby are embedded with the Marines in Helmand province, Afghanistan, north of the Pakistani border, as multimedia journalists for KVAL News.

Morrison teaches photojournalism and multimedia reporting at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in Eugene, Ore.

Bagby is a freelance multimedia journalist who spent 10 months embedded with the Oregon National Guard in Iraq for KVAL.com.