Marine Pvt. Atiqullah Assadi remembers the Afghanistan of his childhood vividly.
The country’s mountains and vistas remind Assadi, who later grew up in Detroit, of western states like Colorado and Washington.
“I would love to return,” said Assadi, seated on the steps in front of a building at Parris Island, S.C., in a Marine Corps video released Monday. “It’s beautiful there … other than the parts where, unfortunately, extremism and the terrorists, you know, took over.”
Assadi, who graduated from boot camp last week, would be among a small but valued number of native Afghan U.S. servicemembers fighting a war now in its 18th year.
The video paired scenes from his home country with footage of him in Marine Corps basic training — clambering over obstacles, marching in formation and fighting hand-to-hand with fellow recruits.