Flickr/Elvert Barnes

After he returned from a tour in Iraq in the fall of 2006, Ramond Curtis wanted to get as far away from the Army as he possibly could. He was mentally checked out far before his contract ran up in 2009, and he sought comfort in various drugs to quell symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorders.

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U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons

Lindsay Church comes from a military family, and as a teenager, she planned to join the Navy right after high school. Her plans changed, however, in the face of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — the Department of Defense policy born on Feb. 28, 1994, that barred gay, lesbian or bisexual servicemembers from serving openly the military.

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As a noncommissioned officer in the Army, Jenna McGinnis often told her team members that she hated drinking and driving, and if they ever needed a ride when drunk, she’d come to get them.

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