As the ground rattled and earth erupted with a spray of damp sand, Hubert Edwards watched with a familiar gleam in his eye and the slightest hint of a smile.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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Photo via 82nd Airborne/Facebook

At least once a week for the past nine months, Nichole Gallagher and her daughters, Annalynn and Haley, counted the days remaining before their husband, father and best friend came home.

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82nd Airborne Facebook

Qayyarah was the first Iraqi city to be freed from Islamic State control in the last year.

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U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon L. Rizzo

The grueling ground offensive against the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, is entering its final stage. The last few neighborhoods held by ISIS — approximately five square miles of snaking alleyways and narrow city streets — are expected to be the most difficult to retake for the U.S.-backed Iraqi Security Forces.

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U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Thaddius S. Dawkins II.

In the darkness around Fort Bragg's York Theater, hundreds of families alternated between smiles and holding back tears.

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