In mid-November 2001, then-Capt. Amerine’s small Special Forces team joined up with Afghan freedom fighters to root out the Taliban and to help stabilize the country. Amerine’s team also helped train, secure, and organize friendly Afghan forces. The treacherous Afghanistan terrain had proven to be a formidable defense against foreign fighters, but with the help of the Afghan freedom fighters, Amerine and his team were able to conduct several successful missions.
On November 16th, Amerine’s team, along with approximately 200 Afghan fighters led by now-president Hamid Karzai, entered the town of Tarin Kot, the place where the Taliban first began their rise to power. Coalition forces had taken the town early in the struggle, but reports indicated that the Taliban were going to try and reestablish control there.
Early the next morning, Taliban vehicles moved steadily toward Tarin Kot, but Amerine and his team were ready for the assault. He and his team, along with the freedom fighters, spread out along a mountaintop, watching the road below where the enemy vehicles would approach at any moment. After a few air strikes from the plateau above, the freedom fighters moved back into Tarin Kot. Without the full force available, the Taliban vehicles were able to regroup and keep moving, forcing Amerine and his soldiers to also fall back to the town.
With the help of the Afghan freedom fighters, they engaged in several hours of close combat with the enemies. In the end, Amerine’s team forced the Taliban to flee from Tarin Kot.
On Dec. 5, an errant bomb landed close to the team, killing three U.S. soldiers and wounding several others, including Amerine. On Jan. 15, 2002, Amerine was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart. Because of his heroic actions and courage under fire, Amerine was chosen as one of the faces included in the U.S. Army’s “America’s Army” video game.