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Saving Private Ryan: US soldier wounded by IED blast in Afghanistan

GRAPHIC WARNING: This post contains graphic images which some viewers may find disturbing. 

Munir Uz Zaman / AFP - Getty Images

US Army soldiers attached to 2nd platoon, C troop, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 91st U.S Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team protect a wounded comrade, Private Ryan Thomas, from dust and smoke flares after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast during a patrol near Baraki Barak base in Logar Province, Afghanistan on October 13, 2012.

Munir Uz Zaman / AFP - Getty Images

Private Ryan Thomas receives medical assistance after he was injured.

Munir Uz Zaman / AFP - Getty Images

US Army soldiers carry Private Ryan Thomas to a waiting helicopter.

Photographer Munir uz Zaman captured these photos on Saturday, October 13 after a U.S. soldier was injured by the blast from an Improvised Explosive Device during a patrol in eastern Afghanistan. The photos were made available to NBC News today.

21-year-old Private Ryan Thomas, an Oklahoman with the 173rd Airborne, suffered soft tissue damage and was scheduled to be evacuated to Germany after surgery in Afghanistan. Watch a video of the operation to extract him after he was injured

Slideshow — Afghanistan: Nation at a crossroads

After 11 years of war, 2,135 U.S. soldiers dead, their Afghan colleagues turning on them, and widespread predictions the conflict will end in failure, coalition forces could be forgiven for suffering a dip in morale, Agence France Presse reports. But commanders and soldiers on the ground insist the challenges are bringing them closer together, even if the outcome of the war is uncertain and the perception of what constitutes success has changed. 

Top Talkers: With the war in Afghanistan continuing and the U.S. Military abandoning hope of a peace deal in the region with the Taliban, what is expected for the region next? The Morning Joe panel – including fmr. Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vt., Morning Joe economic analyst Steve Rattner and Mike Barnicle – discusses and NBC News' Richard Engel reports from the region.

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