Photo by Patrick A. Albright

When Staff Sgt. Jeffery Dawson joined an assault force to kill or capture a high-value Taliban leader in Kandahar, Afghanistan, he thought the mission would be quick and easy.

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Photo by David Stanley

This month, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea released a 500-page report detailing “systematic, widespread and gross” human rights violations that have spurred hundreds of thousands of people to flee the totalitarian East African country.

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

Staff Sgt. Greggory Swarz wasn’t close enough to see the Greek F-16 crash at Los Llanos Air Base in Spain, Jan. 26, 2015, but as soon as he heard the explosion, he hurried to the scene to see how he could help.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske

Air Force Staff Sgt. Amanda MacFarlane didn’t just follow in the footsteps of her father, Tech Sgt. James MacKay, she followed him all the way to the same base, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, where they both currently work as military training instructors.

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AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta

The March 23, 2003, ambush of 507th Maintenance Company in Nasiriyah, Iraq, was both a military and public relations disaster. Of 31 soldiers who made a wrong turn into the city during the chaos of the invasion, accompanied by two soldiers belonging to the Army’s 3rd Forward Support Battalion, 11 were killed, seven captured, and nine wounded, according to the U.S. Army’s official report of the ambush. Pfc. Jessica Lynch, initially hailed as a hero by the Bush administration and the news media, testified before Congress that she lost consciousness early in the attack and never actually fired a shot.

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Photo via U.S. Army

For eight years, a Marine named Baddy personally protected the president, sniffing meticulously for bombs on 25 domestic and international missions, always ready to attack assailants.

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