When service members return from deployment, their world is never the same. In many cases, veterans' cultural views and morals change after they've seen how a different part of the world works.
For the most part, we step out of our comfort zone to complete the mission — a move everyone deserves credit for.
We do many things we're not proud of, but there's always one or two aspects of a deployment that brings our troops joy just by remembering special moments.
So we asked a few our fellow veterans what their proudest deployment moments were. Sure, it's a tough question, but here's what they said.
1. "Help building schools and restore the locals' electricity." — a Marine infantrymen recalls (OIF).
It's a common factor for Marines to step out of their traditional roles to fulfill the mission.
2. "My sergeant informed me that one of my severely wounded Marines I took care of was going to make it." — a Navy Corpsman remembers (OEF).
The relationship between Marines and their corpsman is a nearly unbreakable bond.
Lcpl. Bohannon (left), Doc Kirkpatrick (center), and Lcpl. Bartek takes a quick moment for a photo op before heading out on Operation Savage Wing. (Source: Tim Kirkpatrick)
3. "I brought back all my soldiers after 500 missions." — an Army tanker states (OIF).
Although the tanks America uses to fight the war on terrorism are extremely tough, they're also a huge target.
4. "I got to document military history." — Air Force combat camera says (OIF).
Military history wouldn't be as complete without the brave men recording the intense action of the frontlines.
5. "After 600 meters of 'springing and switching,' we managed to medevac an injured Marine engineer from a Taliban compound." — a Marine scout sniper remarks (OEF).
Marines knowingly put their brother's safety well in front of their own.
6. "I saw people rise above their own fears." — a Marine officer proudly states (OIF).
While under heavy gunfire, people tend to fold as their fear rises. But those who want to invoke actual change, press on and rise above the occasion.
This soldier instructs a group of Iraqi troops for a training exercise. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
7. "I saved a kid from a torture house." — an Army Green Beret explains (OIF).
Knowing who your enemy is the key to maintaining the rules of engagement.
In many cases, the enemy uses innocent children to help combat allied forces.
What are your proudest deployment moments? Comment below.