Fort Irwin's painted rocks in Nov. 25, 2014 (U.S. Army/ Guy Volb)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

FORT IRWIN, California -- Anyone who's been here has seen it: the field of brightly painted boulders surrounding a small mountain of rocks that symbolizes unit pride at the Army's National Training Center.

For nearly four decades, combat units have painted their insignias on boulders near the road into this post. It's known as Painted Rocks.

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U.S. Navy sailors at Los Angeles International Airport. It took the U.S. government nearly 40 years to recover the wreckage of the E-1B Tracer aircraft that crashed, killing Guerra in 1967. (Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

As kids, Ruben and Raul thought they had life all figured out.

They would grow up and live minutes from each other, be best men in each other's weddings, godfathers to each other's children. They would sit side by side at Dodger Stadium, two old men in a sea of blue.

The friends never imagined that after high school both would be sent to Vietnam — but only one would return.

The loss was so painful that for 40 years Ruben Valencia could hardly bring himself to say Raul Guerra's name.

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Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Norfolk-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct waterborne artillery live fire exercises during Operation GATOR April 24-25, 2019, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. (U.S. National Guard/Mike Vrabel)

A Virginia Army National Guard unit travelled to the Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune in North Carolina in late April for a relatively unusual training exercise: firing a howitzer from a landing craft in the Army's first waterborne artillery mission since the Vietnam War and this particular unit's first waterborne artillery mission since the D-Day landings nearly 75 years ago.

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Crack open a cold one — the story of the greatest beer run in history is finally coming to the big screen.

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James H. Stogner received the prestigious Navy Cross Medal during a special ceremony Friday afternoon, April 5 at the VFW in Polson, Montana.

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Nothing says "I'm the boss here" like a gold-plated firearm. Deposed Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein knew it; Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi knew it; even legendary fictional assassin and one-time ruler of Khao Phing Kan island Francisco Scaramanga knew it.

Apparently that tradition extends to the U.S. armed forces as well — sort of.

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