But what about those left to fight a different war here at home?
In our final Men to Marines report, we bring you a story about letters and the lessons behind them.
Admiration doesn't need perfect grammar, flawless syntax or the right diction. All it needs is meaning.
Letters allow us to relive history by filling in the gaps and holes with vowels and consonants.
It's a special day for the students in Mrs. Reid's 5th grade class at William Tell Elementary School in Tell City.
The recipient of more than 100 letters finally returned to sender.
"We have a special guest today, everybody knows Justin," Reid said to her class. "Justin is back from boot camp and he brought along his recruiter.
"Knowing you guys would still write me while I was in boot camp, it made my days go by," said Pvt. Peter.
94 days to be exact.
Over the last 13 weeks and change, 19 year old Justin Peter became Private Justin Peter. His mailing address was Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. His mailbox there was stuffed.
Private Peter had the 25 students back home in Tell City writing him letters every step of the way. The deliveries seemingly reminded Pvt. Peter of the reason why be became a Marine to begin with. But there are lessons buried in these letters.
"We were able to learn how to write a friendly letter by having the heading, the date, the closing," said Reid. "Then having the body of the letter, this way the kids were able to write a letter to someone they knew.
As often as he could, Private Peter would write back.
Before shipping out in October, Peter stopped in to visit. Three months later, he came back for a little show and tell. Peter had an answer to every question the students presented.
"You were able to see Justin from a civilian, a 19 year old civilian, to a 19 year old Marine," Reid said to her class. "That's pretty cool! And just think, you guys helped him get through boot camp by writing all those letters."
On this day, Mrs. Reid's fifth grade class is very well behaved. Maybe it's because her only son, her Marine, is rubbing off on them.
"Being Justin's mom, these letters helped me get through the 13 weeks of having Justin gone," said Reid. "Having these 25 students in this room go through this with me, helped a lot."
"It was a great experience for not only myself as a mom, as an educator, but also the students here."
Ten and eleven year olds are barely old enough to understand why we need Marines like Pvt. Justin Peter in Afghanistan. But if you look closely, there's plenty of admiration.