Tribal elders say the Taliban are far from defeated. The Taliban continue to wage a brutal war, taking a toll on Afghan citizens and American forces. The Department of Defense has identified 1,761 American service members who have died in the Afghan war and related operations as of Sept. 21, about 10 years since the start of the war. In visiting Afghanistan monthly in The Big Picture, we try to reflect our troops presence in the country as well as their interaction with the Afghan people. Sergeant Daniel Chavez, an Army flight medic from Rio Rancho, N.M., hold his gun aloft as fellow medic Specialist David Bibb, from Santa Fe, waves an American flag as they commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at Forward Operating Base Edi in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan on Sept 11. The United States, which had largely pulled out of Kunar province, has recently moved troops, including the 27th Infantry Regiment, back in as part of an effort to take the battle to Taliban strongholds. The mountainous region of Kunar borders Pakistan and is often a transit point for Taliban between the countries. US army Pfc Kyler King gets his head shaved by Pfc Shawn Riggins in the FOB Kuschamond. Of 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan, 33,000 will leave by mid-2012.