Capt. Sarah Cleveland gets an up close view of a Roughtail Stingray while diving in the Wings in the Water exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The exhibit is home to three different types of stingrays and holds 265,000 gallons of man-made salt water. (DOD photo by Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Piper)

Diving to heal the wounds of war

18 July 2012

Capt. David McRaney's dream of scuba diving in Australia seemed impossible after sustaining combat injuries in Afghanistan, until he learned about a wounded warrior dive program.

Staff Sgt. Erin Gibson, 31, of Covington, Ohio, leans in to reassure her patient, the victim of an IED blast, that she's doing everything she can to relieve his pain. Gibson is a flight medic serving with Task Force Corsair, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Eric Pahon)

The best Soldiers for the worst moments

16 July 2012

Medevac operations are a rollercoaster of emotions, swinging from hours of overwhelming boredom to explosions of frenzied activity every time the radio crackles “Medevac! Medevac! Medevac!”

A close up from the painting "Gen. Ward" by Patricia Rice. The painting is the official portrait of retired Gen. William E. "Kip" Ward, the first commander of U.S. Africa Command, and will be displayed at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. The most technically difficult aspect of the painting was the camouflage, Rice said. Each 4-by-6-inch section took almost 12 hours to complete. (DOD photo by Jacqueline M. Hames)

The art of military portraiture

13 July 2012

One woman's passion for art and ardent support of the military collide to produce amazingly life-like portraits of those who serve.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Samuel Banks, a survivor from a Liberian refugee camp in the Ivory Coast, holds up the only things he had with him when he was forced to flee his home country of Liberia, when rebels led by the extremist Charles Taylor invaded from the north and purged entire cities of their citizens. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Winstead, U.S. Army Alaska)

One man’s journey from refugee to Soldier

11 July 2012

Soldiers who know Chief Warrant Officer 3 Samuel Banks call him "the happiest man in the Army," even though the tragic events of his early life have given him more than enough reasons to be bitter.

Fort McHenry today. About 1,000 Soldiers defended it from a British assault for 25 hours, Sept. 13-14, 1814. If the fort had fallen, the city of Baltimore, America’s third largest city at the time and an important port, would have fallen. (Photo courtesy of the National Parks Service)

The Army and the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’

3 July 2012

Although the battle that inspired our national anthem is often remembered as a naval battle, it was a group of American Soldiers that prevailed "through the perilous fight."