With December being the month that Afghanistan was invaded by Russia, a interesting story comes to mind from my tracks through the war torn region and interface with the old Muj who fought the Russians.
It was about half way through our operations in Afghanistan when we had a mission to conduct blocking and searching operations outside Tarin Kowt. We arrived in 3 waves of 4 CH 53 helos that could be mistaken for Russian HIND helos I guess if you haven’t seen that many helos before. As we began to flase and land we could see numerous people running from the area that we were landing in. Men, women children dropped what they had and began to run in to the local mountain foot hills and depart their compounds. We established security and began conducting sporadic car searches on the main road. I came across a man in his 70s, worn and torn but through my interpreter (terp) we got to know him as one of the Mujahadeen who was in the area back in the days of fighting with the Russians. He continued to tell us how they defeated the Russians and the techniques they used.
A small mud hut was near by our check point and one of my Gunnery Sergeants recommended that we post the American flag. I agreed and within a couple hours of doing this we were flooded with friendly welcomes and began treating wounded and sick village people from the area.
Our Muj friend told us they thought you were the Russians coming to attack us again until we saw your colorful flag, it wasn’t a Russian flag.