Coming Home painting by Steve Alpert

A Portrait of a Soldier—Inside Those Lines Was the Story of War

It was a story of the troops who make it home, of those who make the ultimate sacrifice, and the families who receive a life-altering knock on the door.

Their Lives Would Never Be the Same. In Some Ways, Neither Would Mine.

What about all the lives lost? What about the ones we didn’t know but whose deaths we learned about on screens and in telephone calls?

Being Hunted by the Sadr City Sniper

There are many moments in war—the surprises, the close calls. A former infantry officer reflects on one that had both.
The sun rises over Forward Operating Base Bermel, Paktika province, Afghanistan, in 2006. Photo courtesy of the author.

The Countryside Is as Much a Place of Peace as War

The Afghan countryside is where the white-hot heart of the Taliban has always beaten strongest.
Members of 5th Special Forces Group (A) conduct .50-caliber weapons training during counter-ISIS operations at Al Tanf garrison in southern Syria in November 2017. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob Connor, courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Special Forces Soldiers Reveal First Details of Battle With Russian Mercenaries in Syria

This battle became one of the rare occasions American and Russian combatants exchanged fire—one of the deadliest battles the Americans had faced in Syria.

Trapped in the Amber of this Moment

David Chrisinger felt the urge to serve his country in the Marines during the Iraq War. He reflects on his choices on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11.

My Heart, a Fallow Field. A Letter to My Unborn Daughter.

War poisoned his body and threatened his life. To survive, Drew Pham had to lose all chance of fathering a child.

The Lore of Uncle Wally Leads a Family From Bagram to Meuse-Argonne

Uncle Wally’s service was lore. And the monument—erected in France—loomed in her imagination. A military spouse traces her family’s generations at war.

A Man of Destiny, Molded by Fate: Lloyd Austin Leads in Time of Tremendous Potential

His actions seem to say he has the morale of the troops as his primary consideration. Far too many in those positions haven’t.