U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Bryan Nygaard

In the Fall of 2012, I was a days away from being one of the first boots on the ground in a military operation against Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had recently delivered bellicose remarks before the United Nations, drawing a “red line,” through the Iranian nuclear program. Many thought the remarks would be shortly followed by overt military action. It was the sort of thing the general public watches closely, but the military develops contingency plans around. As a member of special operations deployed to Afghanistan, I was that contingency plan.

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