Terri-Lee Christiana

Sometimes, we want something so desperately that it colors everything we do. Sometimes we even get it. When you get down to it, getting what we want and keeping it probably drives most of us, makes us endure circumstances we otherwise might not and accept consequences we never could have imagined. In the end, though, we have to reconcile everything we do with its cost and come to terms with that price, whatever it happens to be.

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Anthony Russo
Tyler Luetjen

The prospect of being killed in action moved further to the front of Luetjen’s mind as he and the rest of the unit prepared to go to Afghanistan. By the time he was on the ground, he realized the prospect and the possibility essentially were the same feeling.

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Anthony Russo
Dwight Horn

As a student, Dwight Horn felt called to enter the ministry but as a Navy Chaplain, he volunteered to follow the Marines to whom he was ministering into battle because he felt it was his duty. Just as Marines don’t want to let one another down during the most dangerous physical times, the chaplain couldn’t let his Marines down during the crisis of conscience that comes after fighting house to house in a war zone.

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Anthony Russo
Jan Ohrstrom

I'm just watching like blood coming down the door and I'm yelling at him...Are you okay? Are you okay? And he holds up his arm and I mean, you just see just shredded flesh and, and uniform.

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Anthony Russo
Andrew Hunt

Choices open and close doors to our futures, they both can help define who we are and hold us accountable to the person we want to be. Most important, though, they can’t be unmade. Once Andrew Hunt chose to join the National Guard all of his decisions were based on honoring his oath, but what he would come to discover is that living up to your choices means accepting the person who made them.

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Anthony Russo
Brandon Pettijohn

When you’re responsible to make sure the mission gets accomplished, there’s no greater tool than cool-headedness. For Brandon Pettijohn leading Marines in Afghanistan provided the opportunity to coordinate big picture responses to very specific crises.

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Anthony Russo
Chris Riess

There’s no question that combat changes a person, but the kind of change can be both subtle and far-reaching. You learn to internalize fear, angst and doubt but not necessarily to redirect them, and that’s exactly what can make a person a good soldier.

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Anthony Russo
Daniel Ames

The transition into combat is a difficult one by any standard. No matter how sufficiently trained you are there is no substitute for reality to give you a sense of how you’re going to respond under fire, and how well you can coordinate with the rest of your team. For Daniel Ames, that kind of responsibility put him right where he wanted to be, even when it led to dangerous places.

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Anthony Russo
Erik Campbell

What’s difficult to get a handle on is finding a way to categorize your experience. In your head you know that you’re safe and OK, but you also can’t shake that feeling that you’re not. Like you’re on permanent standby for a crisis that just isn’t coming.

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Anthony Russo
Barkley Davies

Combat isn’t about glory, it’s about serving the mission and doing what needs to be done to achieve an objective, but there’s still something particular about the bond combat veterans form forged in circumstances that most people can’t really comprehend. For Barkley Davies, understanding that was a key to survival.

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Anthony Russo