Nina Crossland holds up a photo of her aunt Phyllis Macay. The U.S. military says pirates killed Macay and three other American hostages they were holding on a yacht off Somalia's coast. Jeff Chiu/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Chiu/AP

Retired Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Pakistani police officers surround the U.S. Consulate during rallies on Feb. 18 condemning Raymond Davis, a U.S. Embassy employee who shot dead two Pakistanis in Lahore in January. K.M.Chaudary/AP hide caption

itoggle caption K.M.Chaudary/AP

A mobile phone shows a Skype application. Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Leigh Ann Hester, now a police officer in the suburbs of Nashville, Tenn., is the first female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star medal for valor in combat. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Left: Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught during her time serving in Vietnam; when she joined the military, she received training on how to put on makeup — but not how to fire a weapon. Right: An illustrated poster of Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, the first woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star for valor. Both women are profiled in this series. Courtesy of Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught; David Gilkey, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught; David Gilkey, NPR