There's no one path to military service. For some, it's a lifelong goal, for others, it's a choice made in an instant.

For 27-year-old Marine Pvt. Atiqullah Assadi, who graduated from Marine Corps bootcamp on July 12, the decision to enlist was the culmination of a journey that began when he and his family were forced to flee their home in Afghanistan.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jessica Quezada

For three years, Mohammad Nadir served alongside infantry and reconnaissance Marines, police advisers, and coalition forces in volatile districts like Kajaki, Lashkar Gah, and Sangin in Helmand province, Afghanistan. As an interpreter for U.S. service members at the height of the war in Afghanistan, he considered himself the “ears and eyes of ISAF.”

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