On October 7, 2001, the United States military launched its worldwide war on terror by invading Afghanistan in a campaign known as Operation Enduring Freedom. In the 17-years since, 21 of the bravest men ever born have received the United States’ highest award for combat valor–the Medal of Honor. These are their stories.
As a man and as a human, I can only aspire to the incredible bravery that these men have shown. In the face of insurmountable odds, these soldiers risked it all, some paying the ultimate price, to help their fellow soldiers. Having never been in combat, I can’t even begin to understand the mettle of these soldiers. I often toss the term bravery around for the most mundane reasons. Today, I think I will reserve that word for those who truly embody it.
Thank you to these incredible individuals and to every other service member past, present and future for having the fortitude to believe in something when literally anything else would be easier.