(U.S. Coast Guard/Chief Photographer's Mate Robert F. Sargent)

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

I can still recall the exhilaration I felt in the reading room of the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

It was mid-April 2009. I was scrolling through roll after microfilm roll of the War Department's “ Opinion Surveys Relating to the Morale of U.S. Army Personnel."

What I had discovered were tens of thousands of statements written by World War II American soldiers about their military experiences. Not only were they uncensored, but they were also composed during the conflict – not afterward, from re-created memories.

A postdoctoral fellow at the time in modern U.S. history, I felt confident that no other collection of WWII records compared to what had been saved on these unreproduced 44 microfilm rolls. Neither had I ever seen these documents used in any history of WWII.

I had just discovered a historian's gold mine.

If only the public had access to these, I thought to myself.

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(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

(Reuters) - Half of all Americans believe that the United States will go to war with Iran "within the next few years," according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll released on Tuesday amid increased tensions between the two countries.

While Americans are more concerned about Iran as a security threat to the United States now than they were last year, few would be in favor of a pre-emptive attack on the Iranian military. But if Iran attacked U.S.military forces first, four out of five believed the United States should respond militarily in a full or limited way, the May 17-20 poll showed.

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U.S. Army Reserve/Master Sgt. Michel Sauret

Americans didn’t shed a lot of tears over President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to cancel his plans for a military parade, according to a poll released Wednesday.

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U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Joseph Jacob

Whatever prejudices you hold about officers vs. enlistees — or ground-pounding grunts vs. managerial fobbits, flyboys, and squids — you’re probably about to cling to them a little tighter.

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Photo by Cpl. Tatum Vayavananda
“You can keep your Army khaki, you can keep your Navy blue. I’ve got the world’s best fighting man to introduce to you.”

The opening lines of a classic Marine Corps running cadence were validated today in a new Gallup poll, which found that by a wide margin, Americans consider the Marine Corps to be the most prestigious branch of the U.S. military:

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