Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Stringer offered these additional thoughts during an interview:

On local support: "I want to say thank you to the Lenox Dale community for all of their love and support throughout this past year. Although it's been a difficult and trying time for myself, my wife and our children, the letters, notes, monetary gifts from many of you, family, friends and the community have meant so much to carry us through. My wife, Kalai, personally wanted to say thank you to all of you from the bottom of her heart. She is greatly appreciative for all that you've done, and has been filled with the warmth and love from the support of the community that I grew up in. We are both so gratefully thankful for being part of such a wonderful town."

On the winding-down of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan: "I think, overall, the mission has been a success, it's been a lot of hard work. I hope that as we leave, the Afghanistan culture will have more of a sense of security and a pride in who they are and will try to push out any signs of terrorists coming in, trying to set up camps and overthrow the government. I think the terrorist organizations have been defeated to the point that they'll have a hard time having the strength to come back, although the Afghan army is still very weak and far behind."

On Afghanistan's future: "I hope the people take more pride in their government and hopefully we gave them what they need to do that. Our purpose over there is coming to an end. We've done what we can, showing them who we are and how things should be done so they can push forward in the right direction."