Liam Walsh


Liam Walsh graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2006, when the U.S. involvement in the Iraq war was at its height. Walsh would serve 14 months in Baghdad as an officer with the personal security team for the battalion commander. While there, Walsh learned to deal with local officials, along with IEDs and rocket attacks. Walsh would also be deployed to Afghanistan twice, the second time as a company commander helping to train Afghan security forces. As of the interview in 2014, Walsh is a captain and studying for his master’s degree at Tufts University.





On patrol in Tarok Kalache, Arghandab District, Kandahar Province, summer 2012


1st Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment. Summer 2008. FOB Justice, Baghdad


Saying farewell to my Afghan National Army counterpart at my change of command ceremony, Combat Outpost Terra Nova, Arghandab District, October 2012

Kenneth Pitts


Ken Pitts grew up as an “Army brat,” moving every three years to new postings, including Panama and West Germany. Shortly after he joined the Army in 1989, Pitts would return to Panama, this time as part of “Operation Just Cause,” the campaign to oust Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. As a member of the Massachusetts National Guard, Pitts would take part in missions to Kosovo and Afghanistan, in addition to Counterdrug Support Operations. He retired from the Army in 2012 as a master sergeant.



Kenneth Pitts as a sergeant, 1994

Kari Otto


Kari Otto joined the Army in the 1980s as a way to help pay for college. From ROTC at Colorado State University to garrison commander at Natick Labs, Otto tells of her experiences as a combat engineer helping to build base camps in Belize, Cuba, Bosnia, Egypt and Afghanistan. She also describes her reaction to 9/11 and what it was like to be transferred from Afghanistan to Natick in 2008.


Thomas Lamont


Thomas Lamont was born and raised in Natick, and was studying for a career in the media at Worcester State College when he decided to join the military. He enlisted in the Army (Mass. National Guard) in 1985 and was trained as a tank commander. Lamont has received additional training as a UH-1 Huey helicopter pilot, contract officer and human resources tech. He served in Afghanistan from 2010-11. As of the interview in 2014, Lamont is a chief warrant officer with Joint Force Headquarters, Mass. National Guard.



Thomas Lamont on board a plane


Thomas Lamont in Afghanistan


Thomas Lamont early in his military career

Joseph J. Gallick

U.S. Army 1986–2009


Joseph “Father Joe” Gallick wanted to serve in the military because his relatives did so during World War II. An ordained priest with the Orthodox Church, he began his career with the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps in 1986. Gallick would serve in a variety of units, both stateside and overseas, including Afghanistan, during his 23-year career in active duty and the Reserves, retiring in 2009 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.



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Laurence Bazer

U.S. Army 1989–0000


Laurence Bazer became a chaplain in the United States Army in 1989 and served in the New York States National Guard in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He later served a six-month tour in Afghanistan, celebrating the High Holy Days, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.


Rabbi Bazer lights the Menorah at a ceremony in the White House


Rabbi Bazer in Afghanistan


Rabbi Bazer celebrates Hanukkah in Afghanistan


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David S. Ball

U.S. Air Force 1991–2017


As an ICU and Emergency Room nurse, David Ball had experience. He also had friends who were Air Force flight nurses and, wanting to make a difference, he joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 1991. With 18 years in the Reserves as a Flight Nurse, his duties have taken David to Kosovo in 1999, Afghanistan in 2003, and Iraq in 2005. In this interview, he offers insight into the duties of the Flight Nurse and technicians. He also talks about the heartache of transporting a seriously injured soldier and the humanitarian mission to save a young boy in need of a heart transplant.


Kosovo, 1999


David Ball in a C-141, Afghanistan, 2003


Iraq, 2006

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