U.S. Army photo, colorized by Jared Enos and shared under CC 2.0 license.

In the fall of 1917, draftees from around the country came together at Camp Greene, North Carolina to form the newly activated 4th Division. These men went on to fight in the trenches of France for the remainder of the First World War. At the time, they were fighting for their country and each other. What they did not know was that they were the founders of an organization whose lineage would span several more wars, and would continue to serve the country 100 years later.

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There are signs that today’s vets have greater problems reintegrating into society that in previous eras. Perhaps most consequentially, today’s vets suffer from higher unemployment than not only their civilian peers, but also vets of previous generations.

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Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Air Force has given out 71 Silver Stars for valorous actions. Two of those belong to Master Sgt. Thomas Case, one from Iraq in 2003 and the other from Afghanistan in 2009.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne.

In the small world that is the Air Force, events that happen around the globe often have a local connection.

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Every so often when you’re sitting in the chow hall overseas, you’ll gaze up from your plate of Noodles Jefferson and take note of your surroundings. Depending on theater and tempo, the crowd ranges from monotone to “Star Wars” bar scene. Uniforms from different branches and different countries worn in different ways; government employees and contractors abound.

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