David Easterling, manager of the Suicide Prevention Program at Fort Riley in Kansas spray-paints Army boots white in 2009 as part of an on-base display to commemorate the six Fort Riley soldiers who committed suicide in 2008. Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

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Veterans from around the country have deployed to the Northeast to help after Superstorm Sandy. Jeff Blaney (left) of San Francisco was in the Army and Jamie Havig was a Navy medic attached to the Marines in Iraq. Quil Lawrence/NPR hide caption

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Nick Staback, who lost both of his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan, talks with his mother, Maria Staback, in Scranton, Pa. Maria Staback took a leave of absence from her job to move in with her son while he was recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Veterans applaud at an Oct. 8 campaign event in Swanton, Ohio, for Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Health care and unemployment are among veterans' chief concerns this election season, and both the Obama and the Romney campaigns have offered solutions. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

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Mitt Romney takes the stage at a campaign rally at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sept. 8. Brian Snyder/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Lt. Brad Snyder mounts the starting blocks while training on his starting technique. Snyder was permanently blinded last year by an IED in Afghanistan, and is now competing in the Paralympics in London. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Rob Jones and Oksana Masters will compete in adaptive rowing at the London Olympics this week. Jones is a former U.S. Marine who lost both legs to an improvised land mine in southern Afghanistan. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Homeless veterans, their families and volunteers stand in line for food at "Stand Down," an annual event hosted by the Veterans Village of San Diego. The VA estimates that about 67,000 vets are homeless. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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A U.S. soldier watches members of the Afghan Public Protection Force arrive at the transition ceremony on the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul on March 15. The APPF replaces all private security contractors in the country. Ahmad Jamshid/AP hide caption

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The Afghan government wants Muslim preachers to tone down sermons that often criticize the presence of American troops and praise the Taliban. Here, an Afghan youth drags his sheep past a group of men praying at a mosque in Kabul in November 2011. Muhammed Muheisen/AP hide caption

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Manullah Ahmadzai, 27, lost the sight in his right eye while serving as a front-line soldier in the Afghan military. Ahmadzai is one of many soldiers who have been severely injured and say promised government benefits don't always arrive. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Afghan women pass U.S. soldiers near Bagram Air Base outside Kabul in 2010. While conditions for Afghan women have improved over the past decade, but they still face many restrictions, as well as abuses like honor killings. Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Afghan miners in a makeshift emerald mine in the Panjshir Valley in 2010. Reports suggest that Afghanistan is sitting on significant deposits of oil, gas, copper, iron, gold and coal, as well as a range of precious gems like emeralds and rubies. Currently these minerals are largely untapped and are still being mapped. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images hide caption

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