Associated Press photo by Henri Huet

Perhaps the most telling thing about “Courage in Combat” lies in the upcoming book’s dedication:

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On Aug. 22, 2007, Staff Sgt. Erich R. Phillips was asleep in a remote outpost in the mountains of Afghanistan when the Taliban launched an assault on his compound. Phillips quickly organized his men to repel the attackers, and protected his outpost from the attacking force much larger and better equipped than his own.

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U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Daniel Love

During a battle in Afghanistan that would last more than 17 hours, Sgt. 1st Class Brendan O’Connor crawled through a ditch to reach two wounded men, as machine gun fire from Taliban fighters cut the grass all around him. Taking control after the team leader was killed, O’Connor coordinated the safe extraction of his team by the use of infrared light beams from friendly aircraft and night-vision goggles.

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Photo by Patrick A. Albright

When Staff Sgt. Jeffery Dawson joined an assault force to kill or capture a high-value Taliban leader in Kandahar, Afghanistan, he thought the mission would be quick and easy.

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