Michael Desantis, National Guard (2013)

Michael DeSantis grew up in Malden, Massachusetts, longing to serve as a police officer, firefighter, or member of the military. He felt an obligation to enlist after the 9/11 attacks, but only did so in 2006 when he realized that the window was closing on his opportunity to serve. At age 26 he joined the Army National Guard and was eventually deployed to Afghanistan’s Ghazni Province. Desantis describes efforts to build Afghani infrastructure, working with the civilian population, coming under heavy fire, IEDs, and adjustment to civilian life.

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