12 Powerful Photos From The U.S. Army That Will Move Any American

12 Powerful Photos From The U.S. Army That Will Move Any American

The U.S. Army isn't just one of the world's premier fighting forces; it's also a group made up of men and women who love, mourn, and ache like any other human being. The stunning photos from the official U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Defense Flickr accounts capture these emotions that tell their true story. It is the sacrifices these soldiers make, leaving their homes and serving their country, that allow us to be free. Here are 12 powerful photos from the U.S. Army that serve as an inspiration to us all.

12. Placing Flags

A U.S. Army Soldier with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment — also known as The Old Guard — places American flags by the headstones at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the "Flags In" tradition. The Old Guard has kept this annual Memorial Day tradition of conducting flags since 1948.

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11. Honoring The Fallen

Soldiers from the 1st CAB, 1st Inf. Div., salute memorial displays for five fellow Soldiers after a memorial ceremony at Fort Riley's Morris Hill Chapel. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman, Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, Sgt. Peter C. Bohler, and Spc. Terry K.D. Gordon died after their Black Hawk crashed in southern Afghanistan.

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10. Commemorating D-Day

Ellan Levitsky-Orkin, a Delaware native who served as a U.S. Army nurse in Normandy during World War II, is greeted by a U.S. Army paratrooper during a ceremony honoring the service of U.S. Army nurses during World War II, in Bolleville, France. The event was a commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day operations conducted by Allied forces during World War II.

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9. The Greatest Generation

Leslie Palmer Cruise Jr., an 89-year-old World War II veteran from Horsham, Pennsylvania, salutes the gravesite of Pfc. Richard Vargas during a wreath laying ceremony at Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France. Both Cruise and Vargas served as paratroopers with H Co., 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne, and were part of the airborne assault during the D-Day invasion June 6, 1944. Vargas was fatally struck by a mortar shell. Cruise was inches from him when the shell exploded but was unharmed.

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8. In Rain, Shine, Or Snow

A Tomb Sentinel assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment — also known as The Old Guard — braves the first snowfall of the year while at his post at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

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7. Last Walk

Staff Sgt. Michael Buelna offered a parting gesture as he took his last walk as a Tomb Sentinel. Following his final shift, he laid roses at each of the tombs, and the sarcophagus itself, as a final tribute to the Unknowns.

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6. Paying Respect

U.S. Army Soldiers carry the flag-draped casket of Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene. Greene was killed on Aug. 5, 2014, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, while visiting the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, a training academy for Afghan officers. He was the first U.S. general officer to be killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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5. Never Forget

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Matthew Greene, the son Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, places a rose on his father's casket during a service at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

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4. Bike Ride

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Elizabeth Limon, with the 486th Civil Affairs Battalion, tries out a boy's bike near the site of a U.S. military-built medical clinic at Palo Alto, Dominican Republic, during the humanitarian exercise Beyond the Horizon. The exercise features troops providing services to communities in need while they also receive deployment training.

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3. Patiently Waiting

Julius Brown, 6, patiently waits to embrace his father — Staff Sgt. Julian A. Brown of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain (Light Infantry) Division — during a welcome home ceremony at Magrath Sports Complex in Fort Drum, New York.

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2. Mama's Here!

U.S. Army Spc. Sabrina Day of the 132nd Military Police Company, South Carolina National Guard, smothers her 3-year-old son, Blake, with hugs and kisses at Eagle Aviation in Columbia, South Carolina, upon returning from deployment to Afghanistan. More than 250 family and friends awaited the arrival of the Soldiers who returned from the six-month deployment.

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1. Welcome Home

Upon coming home, Spc. Jessie Nelson, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker), hugs her husband, Matt, at Soldiers Field House on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Nelson was one of 230 4th SBCT Soldiers to return after an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan.

These photos are so moving because they show the sacrifices members of the U.S. Army make and their willingness to give up something for a greater cause. Mostly, they show the humanity in all of us. Whether it's through a joyful reunion, a ceremonial event, or a somber memorial, loved ones and fellow countrymen everywhere are grateful to the members of the Army for their dedication and service to our country.

Sometimes, just seeing U.S. military members at work will instantly make you feel more patriotic.

Click the link below to check out 25 incredible photos of the U.S. Navy in action!

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