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Award-winning journalist and author Kevin Sites asks the difficult questions of these combatants, many of whom he first met while in Afghanistan and Iraq and others he sought out from different wars: What is it like to kill? What is it like to be under fire? How do you know what's right? What can you never forget? Sites compiles the accounts of soldiers, Marines, their families and friends, and also shares the unsettling narrative of his own failures during war (including complicity in a murder) and the redemptive powers of storytelling in arresting a spiraling path of self-destruction. He learns that war both gives and takes from those most intimately involved in it. Some struggle in perpetual disequilibrium, while others find balance, usually with the help of communities who have learned to listen, without judgment, to the real stories of the men and women it has sent to fight its battles.