Care packages put together by First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence on Wednesday could soon end up at a military base near you.

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Beloved readers: Your friend and humble is taking a break from covering service members accused or convicted of war crimes. In the spirit of Veterans Day, I am focusing on some exceptional people who have worn the uniform.

Since the end of the draft in 1973, those who have served in the military made a choice to serve a greater good. And since fewer and fewer Americans are able to meet the military's physical, legal, and other requirements to join, veterans are by definition exceptional people.

Unlike many Americans who "almost joined the military" – or who have no appreciation of the sacrifices made by the heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery – veterans understand the meaning of this Bible verse: "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"

This Veterans Day, I am paying tribute to some of the veterans whom I've had the honor to know or cover over the years. They were outstanding people and my life has been richer because of them.

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(U.S. Army)

A soldier who died in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, from a non-combat related incident on July 18 was identified by the Pentagon as Sgt. William Friese, a West Virginia Army National Guard soldier assigned to the 821st Engineer Company, 1092nd Engineer Battalion, 111th Engineer Brigade.

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My, how time flies. It seems like only yesterday that the first coalition bombs were falling on Kabul. 17 years and trillions* of bombs later, here we still are on this crazy journey we call the War on Terror.

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My earliest television memory other than my Saturday morning cartoon ritual was watching Operation Desert Storm occur live. And since it was the first American war to have 24-hour news coverage — and since, like many families, we only had one TV — it was the only thing I saw.

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U.S. Army/Sgt. Aaron Ellerman

The Army is racing to identify the source of a salmonella outbreak that has left five soldiers sickened at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, Army Times reports, another reminder that much of the Global War on Terror is duked out in downrange service members' guts.

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