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.

Sgt. Chris Cunningham has served five tours in Afghanistan, surviving some of the most horrific fighting of the past decade. Cunningham is now working in something of a safe haven at Combat Outpost Arian in Ghazni province. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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From Front-Line Soldier To Trainer, An Afghan Odyssey

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Capt. Jared Larpenteur plans a combat mission at the 82nd Airborne's Delta Company command center in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, earlier this year. Amy Walters/NPR hide caption

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Grandfathers' Stories Inspire Military Service

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Darryl St. George, a Navy corpsman with Weapons Company of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., reads a book as the sun rises over a temporary base nicknamed "Patrol Base Suc" in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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A Teacher Leaves The Classroom For Afghanistan

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A Marine walks along a mud wall while conducting a search and clearing operation in Afghanistan's Helmand province, as the dust from a wheat thrashing machine falls like snow. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Marine: 'We're Starting To Fall To The Wayside'

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Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew Zemore, 23, from Fredericksburg, Va., is a self-described troublemaker who liked to party too much. Zemore said he fell into the Marine Corps and now is on a Explosives Ordinance Disposal team, searching out bombs with a hand-held metal detector. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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For Some, The Decision To Enlist Offers Direction

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