Specialist Jacob William Moore, 21, stares into the distance as he clutches the hand of a seriously wounded comrade on board a medevac air ambulance racing towards Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan. Spc Moore was part of a stretcher team carrying a wounded man to safety when they hit a second explosive device, buried in their path. The men, from the 2-502 Infantry’s Attack Company were operating in Nalgham, in Zhari district. Two Americans and one Afghan soldier were killed in the attacks, four others, including Spc Moore, were wounded.

The troops are part of the 101st Airborne Division - known as the screaming eagles - sent to Afghanistan in Jun 2010 as part of Barack Obama’s surge. Moore and his comrades paid tribute to their fallen as “phenomenal soldiers”. They said the general public in America have no idea what is going on in Afghanistan. Moore returned to active duty and finished out his tour in Afghanistan.

You spend your day in a cool, air-conditioned office? They spend theirs out in the relentless desert sun.

You wear a finely cut suit? They wear dirty combats, mountains of kit and a rifle.

You drive your Mercedes to work to feel “impressive”? They take an armoured personnel carrier, designed to at least reduce the effects of explosive attack.

You argue with your partner each night, then fall asleep right beside them? They would give anything just to see them, living thousands of miles away and speaking only through letters.

You complain about a headache and feel life is unfair when you’re ill for a day or two? They carry on even after being blown up and shot at, losing limbs and never living the same life again.

You protest about the war and call soldiers “murderers”? They do their job anyway, because they know it’s only what they do which gives you this freedom to do so.

Soldiers are heroes, and it’s about time all citizens were aware of that ♥
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