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Photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Mota

In August 2008, while deployed to Iraq, 26-year-old Spc. Joe Sanders had been depressed since learning his wife wanted a divorce, and he’d had plenty of time to think about his troubles while pulling lonely, six-hour guard shifts. Sitting alone in his barracks room at Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah in eastern Baghdad, Sanders decided he wanted to end his own life. He grabbed his loaded M4 carbine, flicked off the safety, placed the barrel under his chin, shut his eyes, and pulled the trigger.

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