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"I thought, if I was going to go to war, it would be from the inside of a ship… out in the middle of an ocean somewhere." (Audio interview, 4:04)

   Anthony Mario Roberti
Collection image
Color print, Roberti with security camera on watch tower [5/2010]
War: Afghan War, 2001-
Branch: Navy
Unit: Provincial Reconstruction Team Nuristan
Service Location: Nuristan, Afghanistan; Forward Operating Base (FOB) Kalagush, Afghanistan
Rank: Chief Petty Officer
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When Chief Petty Officer Anthony Roberti joined the Navy at the age of 22, he was continuing a long family tradition of Naval service. Trained as a communication specialist, he was sure that if he ever went to war, it would be from the inside of a ship. But in 2009, he deployed to Forward Operating Base Kalagush, in the remote Afghan province of Nuristan, to serve with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Over the course of his deployment, Roberti faced dangers he never expected in his Naval career, including narrowly avoiding being hit by shrapnel in his living quarters, and a rocket attack that destroyed a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and a maintenance facility and left base personnel fighting fires for 8 hours. In 2010, after more than a year in Afghanistan, Roberti returned home to Illinois, where he was greeted by 100 of his closest friends and family members.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (32 min.)
»Photo Album  (18 photos)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Trained for an operational role; expected to serve aboard a ship; training did not prepare him for his role in Afghanistan; receiving combat training. (01:54) Working side by side with Afghan communications officers; developing trust; sharing American culture. (01:04) Didn’t know what would happen from one day to the next; had to be able to roll with changes; plan of the day was frequently altered. (00:59)
Rocket attack on base; responding to fires and threat of attack; proud to see everyone work together; delays leaving the base; rushing to catch flight out of Nuristan. (02:54)  

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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