U.S. Army mine-resistant armored vehicles (MRAPs) and Afghan National Army vehicles pass through a village during a joint patrol in the Jalrez Valley in Afghanistan's Wardak province. On Monday, factory workers who produce MRAPs in York, Pa., rallied to protect the Pentagon budget against the automatic budget cuts that will take effect in 2013. Maya Alleruzzo/AP hide caption

toggle caption Maya Alleruzzo/AP

Carl Schuler is one of 10,000 vets to have donated blood samples to the Million Veteran Program. Amy Standen for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amy Standen for NPR

Army flight medics work on a Marine who was wounded by an improvised explosive device, or IED, in southern Afghanistan.

Kevin Frayer/AP hide caption

toggle caption Kevin Frayer/AP

Dominic Fredianelli and Cole Smith returned to their homes on Michigan's Upper Peninsula after their tours in Afghanistan. Justin Hennard/ hide caption

toggle caption Justin Hennard/

Norris and Janis Galatas at their home in Collinsville, Miss., with their horse, Cinnamon. The couple is struggling to make their mortgage payments.

Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR

Lt. Col. Jason Morris pays his respects at a memorial service in Sangin, Afghanistan, on Nov. 26, 2010, for three Marines who were killed: Lance Cpl. Brandon Pearson, Lance Cpl. Matthew Broehm and 1st Lt. Robert Kelly. Morris commanded a battalion in volatile Helmand province that suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit in the Afghanistan War.

Lance Cpl. Joseph M. Peterson/U.S. Marine Corps hide caption

toggle caption Lance Cpl. Joseph M. Peterson/U.S. Marine Corps

Military members who lost their limbs overseas participate in a run in California.

Reed Saxon/AP hide caption

toggle caption Reed Saxon/AP

Darryl St. George was a high school teacher on Long Island before becoming a Navy corpsman. In June, he was serving in southern Afghanistan. He's back in the U.S. for the time being and has visited his former school.

David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

toggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor