Richard Smoot looks through pictures from a former life. They were taken in Afghanistan, when the West Virginia National Guard deployed Smoot as part of a special forces unit in the 2nd battalion.
The Department of Defense announced last week that two units from the 101st Airborne Division, based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will deploy this winter.
So when Smoot learned that those units will also deploy to Afghanistan, just as he did 11 years earlier, the veteran said he understood why.
"Sending the 101st out there and having them do what they were trained to do, that's okay by me," said Smoot, who now lives in Tornado.
Two units will participate in a rotation that marks the division's third deployment to Bargarm, Afghanistan.
The U.S. first sent troops to the country in 2001 as part of the military invasion following the September 11 attacks. And while some debate the reasons behind the current military effort in the Middle East, Smoot said these troops will face the same challenges he did in 2001.
"Hopefully they come home alive, that's the real job," Smoot said. "We lose people everyday."
The death of Navy Seal Nicolas Checque reinforces that mission. A member of the same special operations team that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, Checque was killed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan this weekend.
CBS reports that seven Taliban militants were also killed in the same mission in which an American doctor was rescued by the special operations team.
Just last month, members from the 130th Airlift Wing returned home from Afghanistan.
But this latest deployment makes some civilians question whether the war will ever end.
"It's a war that can't be fought, I just don't think we should be over there," said Katie Birdwell, of Charleston. "I support our troops fully, but they are over there dying for no reason, and I just don't agree with it."
Others said new soldier and personnel could help Americans seize victory in a specific way.
"Hopefully they can help Afghanis establish government so we can just get out of there," said Kathy Miller, of Charleston.