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My father spent nearly three years fighting in the Pacific, earning two Bronze Stars and a Silver Star, and two battlefield commissions. He declined a Purple Heart for fear of alarming my mother. Dad, like all combat veterans I have met from old World War I heroes—all moved on, now—to the shamefully abused Vietnam Vets, to the young wounded soldiers I have spoken with at airports as they limped home from Iraq and Afghanistan, refused to think of himself as having done anything special. But he and they did. And we are all the beneficiaries.

Lincoln understood. This is for you, Dad:

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