U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Hodge

Staff Sgt. Matthew Loheide heard the sound and looked up. He had expected the bomb falling from the sky to target an insurgent position 200 yards away. Instead, it was going to land perilously close to Loheide and his men.

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Photo by Cpl. Zachary Nola

“Ambush Alley.” That was what they called this side street. It was nestled in the Sangin district of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, a Taliban stronghold. The street was just 8 feet wide, with 10-foot brick walls lining either side.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alystria Maurer

I can’t help but think about a wonderful couple I met during a recent book signing in San Antonio, Texas. I can’t shake Oren and Gloria’s story. To me, it perfectly illustrates why our military personnel and their families deserve our respect. Theirs is a simple story — nothing like the death-defying accounts of bravery on the battlefield in my book “Valor” — but it reveals another kind of heroism that should also give us pause.

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp

The river patrol had been a debacle.

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Photo via U.S. Army

Three days. Eleven hoists. Fourteen survivors. Three critical resupply missions.

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Photo by Donna Miles

Something wasn’t right. The man was dressed as a doctor, but his face was unfamiliar and his behavior erratic.

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