The gray line in the upper left comes from an aerial view of Afghanistan's crucial Highway 1, the main route between Kabul and Kandahar, the two biggest cities. U.S. forces are still working to secure the route which runs through lush farm valleys and the high desert terrain. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

toggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

President Obama delivering the commencement address Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Larry Downing /Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Larry Downing /Reuters /Landov

In this copy of a photograph on display at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, Kan., a wounded soldier is helped by Army chaplain Emil Kapaun (on the soldier's left) during the Korean War. The Kansas native died a prisoner of war in 1951. Mike Hutmacher/MCT/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Mike Hutmacher/MCT/Landov

The Pentagon. New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants a review of how sexual assault cases are adjudicated by the military. Jason Reed /Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Jason Reed /Reuters /Landov

In 2011, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandra Schwartz, and her daughter Destiny Bautista, were living in San Diego, Calif., with Schwartz's then-fiance, U.S. Navy Counselor 1st Class Luz Bautista, who was pregnant at the time. Then, same-sex partners weren't able to get the benefits that heterosexual couples could. Lucy Nicholson /Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Lucy Nicholson /Reuters /Landov

U.S. military suicides rose in 2012. Here, the Army's "Generating Health and Discipline in the Force" report, right, is seen last January. The reports was a follow-up to its "Health Promotion/Risk Reduction/Suicide Prevention" report. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dec. 21, 2011: Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, left, kisses her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va. Gaeta's ship had returned from 80 days at sea. Their "first kiss" that day was a first of its kind for the Navy. Brian J. Clark/The Virginian-Pilot/AP hide caption

toggle caption Brian J. Clark/The Virginian-Pilot/AP

A soldier from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division on patrol in southern Afghanistan. (October, 2010, file photo.) Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, far right, escorts Afghanistan's Minister of National Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak (center) and Minister of Interior Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi (left) in the Pentagon. Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/OASD/PA hide caption

toggle caption Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/OASD/PA

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor