Photo by Cpl. Zachary Nola

“Ambush Alley.” That was what they called this side street. It was nestled in the Sangin district of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, a Taliban stronghold. The street was just 8 feet wide, with 10-foot brick walls lining either side.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alystria Maurer

I can’t help but think about a wonderful couple I met during a recent book signing in San Antonio, Texas. I can’t shake Oren and Gloria’s story. To me, it perfectly illustrates why our military personnel and their families deserve our respect. Theirs is a simple story — nothing like the death-defying accounts of bravery on the battlefield in my book “Valor” — but it reveals another kind of heroism that should also give us pause.

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