Defense Update: This Is Your Military, Too

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Our military, the finest in the world, are best at what they have been trained for.

We have seen many images of them jumping out of aircraft, taking that hill, forging rivers, confronting the enemy, etc.

But our military do many other things.

There are other sides of them.

Here are some images.

Lead image:

Air Force Capt. Marshall Klitzke, an instructor pilot with the 557th Flying Training Squadron at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., poses for a photo at the summit of Mount Everest. Klitzke climbed Mount Everest with six other Air Force members, reaching the summit May 20. The airmen all are members of the Seven Summits Challenge team, an independent group that aims to spread goodwill about the Air Force through the sport of climbing. The team also supports and raises money for wounded warriors. Courtesy photo.

Continuing Promise 2011

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Mickel examines a patient at the Killick Haitian Coast Guard Base surgical screening site during Continuing Promise 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Aug. 18, 2011. Continuing Promise is a five-month humanitarian assistance mission to the Caribbean, Central and South America. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric C. Tretter.

Chaplain praying

Army Chaplain (1st Lt.) Justin Cowan prays during a visit to Guard members in the area of the West Fork Complex fire during Colorado National Guard operations, June 30, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Wendy Waldrop.

afghan children

Afghan children watch as U.S. soldiers and Afghan national security forces enter their school to deliver humanitarian aid school supplies in Jalalabad City in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, May 25, 2013.

Joint Task Force Jaguar soldiers build school in Las Marias

U.S. soldiers build a new school in support of Beyond the Horizon 2013 in Las Marias, El Salvador, May 31, 2013. Beyond the Horizon is an annual humanitarian and civic assistance exercise sponsored by U.S. Southern Command and led by Army South. The soldiers are assigned to Joint Task Force Jaguar.

Well-fitting into “the other side” of our military is the well-deserved recognition of and gratitude for the service and sacrifices by our warriors:

double amputee 2

U.S. Army Cpl. Cody Stanton, an Afghanistan veteran and double amputee, recently received the keys to a new specially adapted home built by Operation: Coming Home volunteers. Soldiers, community leaders, and neighbors attended a ceremony at Stanton’s new home June 27 to honor his service and sacrifice in the defense of freedom. Stanton, a Purple Heart recipient, was injured in January 2012 while training with Afghan Police outside Kandahar, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated. His injuries resulted in the amputation of both legs. . U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Barry St. Clair

No collection of images about our military would be complete without two of my favorite subjects: the homecomings of our troops from combat and images of those other loyal partners of our military, the Military Working Dogs.

SFAT members part of returning 4th SBCT flight

Army Spc. Jessie Nelson hugs her husband, Matt, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 10, 2013. Nelson and about 230 soldiers returned home after an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Nelson is an all-source intelligence analyst assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division’s Headquarters Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

508th MP Company returns home from Afghanistan

Army Staff Sgt. Samuel Spencer III gets an embrace from his family after returning from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan at the Lawrenceville Armory in Trenton, N.J., June 6, 2013, Spencer was assigned to the 508th Military Police Company, which provided security and force protection, and advised the Afghan national police force in the Kabul region.

K-9 partner

Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Hanus and his working dog partner, Beni, conduct a vehicle check at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, July 2, 2013. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones

Dog handler's homegrown values, environment mirror her K-9 career

Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessie Johnson practices placement training with her dog, Chrach, April 24, 2013, at Forward Operation Base Pasab, Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marleah Miller.

All Images and captions: DOD

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Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist