In November, 2010, the American-led coalition in Afghanistan launched Operation Bulldog Bite in Kunar province. The aim: to root out Taliban insurgents in the Watapur Valley, and deny them a safe haven from which to operate.

The mission began on November 12 and the fighting was intense, resulting in daily casualties.

Master Sgt. Roger Sparks, an Air Force pararescuemen tasked with evacuating and treating the wounded