A battalion commander says 14 troops killed while serving in Afghanistan changed the lives of thousands.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Watson spoke Friday at a memorial service at Camp Pendleton for the fallen Marines, sailors and one British soldier who served for seven months with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment.
He told those gathered that the men were key to progress in Afghanistan's Garmsir District in Helmand Province.
The troops were killed between April and November while the unit was conducting counterinsurgency operations.
Watson says the troops helped clear out the Taliban from villages to allow Afghan officials and police to return.
After the emotional ceremony, many family members wept as they viewed a display of their loved ones' rifles, helmets and boots.