Task & Purpose photo by James Clark

At a back room in a plain building in Quantico, Virginia, in wall lockers and cardboard boxes stacked neatly on top are artifacts from past wars. On a table at the rear of the room sits a number of items and personal effects belonging to Marines who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s a bloodstained Kevlar helmet, worn by Lt. Col. Ty Edwards, who survived a headshot in Afghanistan during an ambush in 2008, as well as a woodland blouse and a pair of dog tags belonging to Medal of Honor recipient Jason Dunham. Dunham was killed in Iraq in 2004 after he leapt atop a hand grenade, giving his life to save two other Marines.

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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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Department of Defense photo via Wikimedia Commons/Task & Purpose photo illustration by Matt Battaglia

On April 14, 2004, Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, a squad leader with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, was leading his men on a mission near Karabilah, Iraq. A call came through that the battalion commander’s convoy was under attack by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Hopping into Humvees, the Marines made their way toward Camp Husaybah, two kilometers away.

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