Those Who Serve
A very small number of Americans are now serving in the military — less than 1 percent. In this series, NPR looks at those who have made the decision to fight in America's wars.
Capt. Jared Larpenteur plans a combat mission at the 82nd Airborne's Delta Company command center in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, earlier this year.
On Independence Day, we continue an occasional series, Those Who Serve, with a story about an Army captain who grew up hearing about the exploits of his grandfathers in Asia during World War II. Now he's a captain serving in Afghanistan.
July 6, 2011 Darryl St. George, 29, taught high school history on Long Island, N.Y. "But I felt like something was missing. ... I felt compelled to serve," he says. So he enlisted and became a Navy corpsman. His former co-workers had a tough time understanding that decision.
July 5, 2011 For Sgt. Jon Moulder, like many Marines serving in Afghanistan, the question is whether it's all worth it. Moulder has survived four roadside bomb explosions. He's seeing a counselor about post-traumatic stress. And he's feeling forgotten by Americans back home.
July 4, 2011 Marine Pfc. Dave Kroha signed up when his mom offhandedly suggested it after he got into a few bar fights. Less than 1 percent of Americans now serve in the armed forces, and their reasons for joining vary — from patriotism, to family tradition, to adventure, to finding purpose.