There's no one path to military service. For some, it's a lifelong goal, for others, it's a choice made in an instant.

For 27-year-old Marine Pvt. Atiqullah Assadi, who graduated from Marine Corps bootcamp on July 12, the decision to enlist was the culmination of a journey that began when he and his family were forced to flee their home in Afghanistan.

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The Pentagon has identified the soldier who died in Afghanistan on Saturday as Sgt. Maj. James G. "Ryan" Sartor, a member of 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Sartor, 40, of Teague, Texas, was a Special Forces company sergeant major on his seventh combat deployment.

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You know what they say: If at first you don't succeed, keep plodding on for two decades with no hope for victory.

That's the story about the Afghanistan war in a nutshell.

Despite the fact that recruits will soon enter boot camp to train to fight in a war that began before they were born, Army Gen. Mark Milley said it is too soon to pull out of Afghanistan.

"I think pulling out prematurely would be a strategic mistake," Milley said during his July 11 confirmation hearing to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.'

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(U.S. Army photo)

The Army awarded a Bronze Star with a valor device to an artillery soldier for risking his life to save wounded personnel before obliterating enemy positions with 60mm mortar rounds during an intense engagement with ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.

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(DoD photo)

A U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, NATO's Resolute Support mission announced in a statement.

The name of the service member is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin in accordance with Defense Department policy.

No further information was immediately available.

Nine other U.S. service members have been killed in action in Afghanistan this year.

Brace yourselves: the Air Force's newest gunship is officially on the prowl downrange.

The AC-130J Ghostrider gunship flew its first combat mission in Afghanistan in late June, deploying to relieve the AC-130U Spooky aircraft following the latter's final combat sorties, an Air Force Special Operations Command spokesman confirmed to The War Zone on Wednesday.

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