In early November, 2004, Pfc. Christopher Adlesperger held a Bible reading for some of the other Marines in Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, Fifth Marines. The Second Battle of Fallujah had just kicked off, and 3/5 was preparing to clear one of the city’s most volatile sectors, the Jolan neighborhood. Adlesperger was well aware of the dangers that lay ahead. In the days leading up to the start of the operation, he had asked friends and family back home to pray for him and his fellow Marines.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo

Editor’s Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

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