When you stroll the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, almost haphazardly placed around the thousands of simple headstones, there’s no shortage of extravagant resting places for some of our nation’s most distinguished members.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Long before Ernest Hemingway wrote, drank and fought his way into the ranks of America’s legendary wordsmiths, the beloved author cut his literary teeth on the beat of a Canadian newspaper. Fresh off a stint driving an ambulance for the Red Cross on the Italian front during World War I, the young Hemingway landed at The Toronto Star Weekly in early 1920, where he covered everything from mobsters to the complete uselessness of wedding gifts — including the rise of stolen valor and the lousy market for war medals that accompanied the end of the Great War.

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Photo via Imperial War Museum/Wikimedia Commons

World War I started on July 28, 1914, just a month after Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were gunned down on the streets of Sarajevo, Bosnia, by a Serbian nationalist.

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Image via EA games.

It’s 1918, and a young British soldier named Arthur Morehouse is sprinting through the bombed-out remnants of a building in France. German rifle fire kicks up around him, and as he turns a corner, a gout of fire from a flamethrower consumes him. He’s 19. Cut to Hugh Steele who is manning a side gun in a British tank. When an artillery round lands a direct hit, he dies. He is 23.

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Photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

One of the most iconic pieces of equipment worn by American service members is the combat helmet. From the flat-brimmed “Brodie” M1917 helmet worn by doughboys in World War I, to the M1 “Steel Pot” that troops wore throughout World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, helmets have come to represent American troops at war. Historically, these helmets have mainly been about protection against bumps, exploding shrapnel, and debris; until recently, helmets were not even rated to stop handgun bullets consistently. But in the past 15 years, helmets have evolved far past simple protection.

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