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Many soldiers have deployed to Afghanistan several times

• Henry Cuningham via
After almost nine years of war in Afghanistan, the same faces keep reappearing in the American forces.

The uniforms are slightly different. The once-bare bases have turned into military boom towns. The first mission was providing security and conducting combat operations. Now, it's helping the Afghans get ready to take over their own security, development and governance. Reservists and NATO troops play a larger role today than they did in 2001.

Thousands of soldiers - many with 82nd Airborne Division connections - have had a first-hand view of the changes through three, four or five deployments.

Take Capt. Alyssa Kutter, for example.

Eight years ago, she was a staff sergeant and the only woman among the advance party for the 82nd's initial deployment to Afghanistan. She went by Mari Knox then.

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