Photo Illustration by Paul Szoldra

For one lucky battalion of American soldiers stationed in Germany, Christmas came more than once this year.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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Once, back in the funky times, I was interviewing a howitzer crew at Grafenwoehr maneuver area. I can’t remember what the subject was. They were going to be conducting a live-fire exercise soon.

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Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of America’s enemies quite like the sight of an M1 Abrams tank rumbling in their direction. It is a supremely lethal machine, equipped with a 120mm smoothbore cannon that can turn a man to mist from up to three kilometers away. And those lucky or quick enough to escape that particular fate still have the Abram’s .50 caliber and M240 machine gun turrets to contend with.

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The U.S. military and its NATO partners have been looking to reassert their presence in Europe in the wake of Russian action in Crimea.

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