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We've gathered a new group of questions (and answers) from MyCareerStacks.

Unlike some of the other Google interview questions you've seen in the past, these are more computational and logic-based.

If you want to prepare for an interview at Google, or just see if you have what it takes, you should test yourself with these questions. They will probably pop up in some form during the recruiting process.

### There are a bunch of houses in a row...

We'll say there are "N" houses, where N is some integer. Each house can be painted in either Red, Green or Blue. The cost of coloring each house in each of the colors is different.

Figure out how to color each house so no two adjacent houses have the same color and the total cost of coloring all the houses is as low as possible.

### ANSWER: It's actually a programming problem.

This problem can be modeled as a "Dynamic Programming" problem, a method for efficiently solving a broad range of search and optimization problems.

Here's the line of code you'd use to answer it:

`C[i][c] = H[c] + min(C[i-1][x]) x belongs to {Red, Blue, Green} x belongs to c`

This function is the cost of painting the row of houses ending at the "ith" house so that house is painted in a color "c." (i is a placeholder for a number that goes up as the function computes.)

"c" is chosen such that the previous house is not in the same color.

### Reverse characters of each word in a sentence

Convert "--------- "my career stack" ---------" to ""--------- "ym reerac kcats" ---------".

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

## 24 Must-Read Blogs For Entrepreneurs

Starting a company is hard, so you're going to need a lot of advice along the way.

There are many entrepreneurs, investors and bloggers who churn out business advice daily, but it's a pain figuring out which sites are worth reading.

We've compiled a list of our favorite sources of small business and tech news for entrepreneurs.

Running the gamut from hilarious, to informational, to controversial, to thought-provoking, these blogs are all must-reads for anyone who's running a business.

### Quora

Blog: Quora

Blogger: Any entrepreneur you want to follow, from Fred Wilson to Marc Cuban

Why it's so great: Quora is a Q&A site where experts actually take the time to seriously answer your questions. You can follow topics like "startups" and "entrepreneurship" and people like Fred Wilson or Mark Zuckerberg.  Answers get voted up by by the community so that only the best ones shine. You can find answers to questions like "What is the best way to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship?" or "What are some tips on connecting with high-profile people that can help your startup?"

I hang around high-profile people often. Here's some things that can help you connect:

1. Listen. If they say your idea sucks, listen to the feedback, take notes, and ask for contact info. Then go fix the problems, or come up with another idea and demonstrate you listened.
2. Get to the point. People like Ron Conway are busy. They are wildly rich, so the only thing that is limited in their life is time. You are taking away some of their most precious resource, so get to the freaking point. Don't try to chit chat or ask about their kids or make small talk. Go right for the big ask. They are used to it.

### PandoDaily

Blog: PandoDaily

Blogger: Sarah Lacy

Why it's so great: Sarah Lacy and her band of bloggers at Pando are making an effort to become the "site of record for Silicon Valley." Much of the staff came from TechCrunch, so they're well sourced. Lacy conducts exclusive interviews with high profile people in tech and curates the top tech/entrepreneurship stories from other startups in the site's right rail.

Last week Naval Ravikant went to an industry dinner. He asked a friend in the venture business how things were going. The friend slumped over in his chair, shrugged sadly and said, “The business is becoming commoditized.”

It’s an extreme interpretation, and not everyone shares it. Times have never been better for a handful of firms who are rolling in the returns, raising as much from LPs as they want and still doing business the way they always have.

But matters have also never been more polarized for the VC-haves and have-nots, and this sad-sack VC has a few people to blame. Chief among them is his friend Ravikant, whose site AngelList has dragged the stealthy, back-room world of venture capital kicking and screaming into the light — something many industry watchers never thought could be done.

And now, AngelList is doing the same thing it did to VCs to recruiters.

Why it's so great: LinkedIn Today curates articles that are fitting for your industry and that people in that industry are sharing. As such, it's a good source of entrepreneurship and business news all in one place.

Hiring Your First Set Of Employees - Greylock Capital

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

## Reddit Users Present 25 Real-Life Cheats

Cheat codes are secret combinations that unlock special abilities in video games.

Reddit users have compiled a long list of "real-life cheats" that can help you navigate the mall, the bar, Macy's and everywhere else.

We've picked out our favorites and are sharing them here.

### If you need to withdraw more than your limit, sometimes you can withdraw twice from the same ATM or the one next to it before the bank stops you.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

### When you're talking to someone, cross your arms to check if they're listening. If they cross theirs as well, they truly are.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

### If you have crushing chest pain, call 911 first. Then chew some aspirin. I work in cardiology.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We go through dozens of books each year here at Business Insider's War Room. Many aren't worth a second glance, but there are some every business owner should read.

So, we've put together a list of the best books for entrepreneurs — either from our own recommendations or touted by big-time VCs, CEOs and startup founders.

Are there any other important books you think should've made the cut? Let us know in the comments.

### "Predictably Irrational," by Dan Ariely

Ariely's book looks deep into human behavior and consumer habits, and it's focused around the revelation that humans are wired to be irrational. Ariely goes deeper by using plenty of first-hand experiments to show that the world is fuzzier than traditional economists would like it to be.

### "The Four Steps To The Epiphany," by Steve Blank

Blank's book prompted the whole "Lean Startup" movement, which says that you need to get traction in the market as quickly as possible, instead of developing a final version of a product before releasing it.

### "How to Change the World," by David Bornstein

Bornstein profiles a variety of "social" entrepreneurs in his book. The case studies serve to show that you can succeed if you have a hunger to actively change the world, and that idealism can be an infinitely strong motivator.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

## The 13 Secrets To Facebook's Success

Eight years ago, Facebook was a coding project in Mark Zuckerberg's dorm room.

Now its a global business with \$4 billion of revenue that is used by 1/8th of the world's population. And it's worth more than \$100 billion.

When Facebook started, there were dozens of other social networks going after the same opportunity.

Here are some reasons why--reasons that apply to almost every business.

### 1. Move fast

Mark Zuckerberg built the first version of Facebook in his spare time in his Harvard dorm room.

He didn't write a business plan.

He didn't endlessly ask friends and advisors what they thought of the idea.

He didn't "research the market," apply for patents or trademarks, assemble focus groups, or do any of the other things that entrepreneurs are supposed to do.

He just built a cool product quickly and launched it.

### 2. Remember that ideas are a dime a dozen--it's all about execution.

From the moment Facebook was launched, there was a huge fight about whose idea it was.

Two Harvard seniors, the Winklevosses, said it was their idea--that Mark Zuckerberg had "stolen it."

This led to a legal fight that has lasted for nearly a decade.

Meanwhile, outside the clubby world of Harvard, there were dozens of other entrepreneurs who had similar ideas. And lots of them launched those ideas. But, today, there's only one Facebook.

Why?

Because ideas are a dime a dozen.

What matters is making them happen.

As the fictional Mark Zuckerberg told the fictional Winklevoss brothers in the movie: "If you had invented Facebook, you would have invented Facebook."

Don't waste time congratulating yourself for having a good idea. Just go make it happen.

### 3. Keep it simple (don't overbuild)

Many companies get so entranced with all the amazing features they want to build into their products that they make their products so complex that no one can figure out how to use them.

Or they take so long to develop their products that by the time they come out, they have already been leapfrogged.

The first version of the "thefacebook" was very simple. It did one thing well.

Then Zuckerberg and the Facebook team improved it over time. And, each time, they made sure that the service was still easy to use.

(Okay, the privacy controls are ludicrously complex, but no one pays attention to those).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

## Photos of the Day: Feb. 23

FLAG RUN: An Afghan police officer ran after confiscating a U.S. flag from protesters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday. Hours after the Taliban urged retaliation against Westerners for the burning of Qurans at Bagram Airfield, an Afghan soldier opened fire on U.S. troops in Nangarhar, killing two soldiers. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)

LIFE ON MAIN STREET: People watched Republican presidential candidates debate on a large television screen on Main Street in Mesa, Ariz., Wednesday. Arizona and Michigan Voters go to the polls Feb. 28 in primary elections. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

DIGGING IN: Police removed pro-choice advocate Margaret Doyle after a state Senate committee approved a bill Thursday in Richmond, Va., that defines life as starting at conception. The vote now sends the bill to the full state Senate. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch/Associated Press)

PRIMETIME PUTIN: A big monitor showed current prime minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin speaking during a rally at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow Thursday. Mr. Putin warned against the dangers of foreign influence. (Maxim Shipenkov/European Pressphoto Agency)

HEALING HAND: A family member placed his hand on the forehead of a man who was injured in a bombing of a bus station in Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday. At least 12 people were killed. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters)

MIGHTY CLOSE: A barber used a blade to clean a customer’s eyelid in Suining, Sichuan province, China, Thursday. According to traditional Chinese beliefs, getting a haircut on the second day of the second Chinese lunar month, which falls on Feb. 23, is likely to bring good luck. (Reuters)

## Pictures of the Week: September 23, 2011

People take refugee at a makeshift shelter after earthquakes in Cuilapa, Guatemala, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Four earthquakes struck the southeastern part of Guatemala in less than two hours Monday afternoon, causing at least one death, authorities said. At least three people were reported missing.

Anti-death penalty protester is helped off the ground after hearing about a delay of the execution by the U.S. Supreme Court for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis In Jackson, Ga., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis was scheduled to die Wednesday for killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail.

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People take refugee at a makeshift shelter after earthquakes in Cuilapa, Guatemala, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Four earthquakes struck the southeastern part of Guatemala in less than two hours Monday afternoon, causing at least one death, authorities said. At least three people were reported missing. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

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Anti-death penalty protester is helped off the ground after hearing about a delay of the execution by the U.S. Supreme Court for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis In Jackson, Ga., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis was scheduled to die Wednesday for killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) #

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A caretaker at the Calauit island wildlife sanctuary feeding giraffes with tree leaves in Busuanga, Palawan province, in the western Philippines. Calauit island wildlife sanctuary covers 3,700 hectares and is home to endemic animals and African wildlife and was declared a game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in 1977 as the Philippines responded to an appeal by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to save endangered animals in Africa. AFP PHOTO/ TED ALJIBE #

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Members of Indian Army engineering wing help a Buddhist monk to descend a huge landslide following Sunday's 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Phengla around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Gangtok, in Sikkim, India, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Thousands of homeless villagers in the Himalayas spent a miserable night outdoors in heavy rains after a powerful earthquake flattened houses and rescuers struggled to reach victims in the mountains of India, Nepal and Tibet. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

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Soldiers stand guard as Israeli settlers with Israeli flags participate in a protest march against Palestinian statehood September 20, 2011 from the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar to the Palestinians town of Nablus, West Bank. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he plans to apply for full membership for a Palestinian state after he speaks at the UN General Assembly this Friday in New York City. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) #

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Traders signal offers in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index futures pit at the CME Group following the Federal Reserve meeting September 21, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Federal Reserve says it will sell \$400 billion of its shorter-term securities to buy longer-term holdings in an effort to stimulate the economy. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

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A worker puts finishing touches on a ribbon display on a giant lantern shaped structure set up on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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Freed American Shane Bauer, center is welcomed upon his arrival from Iran, in Muscat, Oman Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. After more than two years in Iranian custody, two Americans convicted as spies took their first steps toward home Wednesday as they bounded down from a private jet and into the arms of family for a joyful reunion in the Gulf state of Oman. (AP Photo/Sultan Al-Hasani) #

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The Statue of Liberty is seen through the windows of a boat prior to the start of the 125th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty ceremony on Liberty Island on September 22, 2011 in New York City. The 125th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty is to be celebrated on October 28th, 2011. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #

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Supporters of Yemen's President Ali Abduallah Saleh gather at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier where a Palestinian flag hangs during a rally celebrating his return to Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen on Friday after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in a move certain to further enflame battles between forces loyal to him and his opponents that have turned the capital into a war zone. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) #

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An Indian villager and a child, evacuated by helicopter from Chungthang de-board at a helipad in Mangan, India, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. The 6.9 magnitude quake Sunday evening claimed lives in northeastern India, Tibet and Nepal. Rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and mudslides that blocked the roads leading to villages in the remote, mountainous region. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

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A supporter of Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier hold portraits of former Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier, also known as "Papa Doc," below, and his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, also known as "Baby Doc," top, as protesters gather outside a hotel where the group interrupted a press conference by Amnesty International in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday Sept. 22, 2011. Amnesty International was expected to reveal new testimony from victims of the dictatorship and their relatives. Duvalier returned to Haiti in January from exile in France. He was ousted from Haiti in 1986 after a 15-year rule. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) #

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A woman suspected of being a Gadhafi loyalist is seen behind bars inside a detention facility in Misrata, Libya, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi's former prime minister has been arrested in Tunisia, officials said, as Libya's new rulers and NATO warned the fugitive leader and his loyalists that they are running out of places to hide. (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo) #

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote during the Facebook f8 Developer Conference at the San Francisco Design Center in San Francisco on September 22, 2011 in California. KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images #

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Supporters of Yemen's President Ali Abduallah Saleh stand on flag poles celebrating his return to Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen on Friday after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in a move certain to further enflame battles between forces loyal to him and his opponents that have turned the capital into a war zone. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) #

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In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, an Indian man removes a dried cloth from a string in New Delhi, India. India's Planning Commission, tasked with updating its poverty line figures to reflect rising prices, told the nation's Supreme Court Wednesday that fifty cents a day was "adequate" for the average Indian villager to spend on basic needs. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) #

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A defecting Yemeni soldier takes position behind sandbags during clashes in Sanaa on September 22, 2011 as tribesmen join battles between rival military units, raising fears among frightened residents of a descent into civil war. MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images #

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Girls walk in a park in Moscow, on September 21, 2011. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images #

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Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian demonstrator during clashes at the Qalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in Qalandia Wednesday, as thousands of flag-waving Palestinians rallied in towns across the West Bank to show support for their president's bid to win U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill) #

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A displaced Pakistani boy, center, looks on as he and others collect water from a tanker in Umerkot District in Pakistan's Sindh province, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Flood victims camped out near inundated fields and crowded hospitals on Monday as authorities and international aid groups struggled to respond to Pakistan's second major bout of flooding in just over a year. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A photo taken on September 20, 2011 shows rescue serviceman checking for people as a passenger boat capsizes after being hit by a restaurant boat on the flooded Jialing River in southwest China's Chongqing municipality. Nearly 1.7 million people have been forced to abandon their homes and dozens more have died in heavy flooding across large parts of China, the government reported. STR/AFP/Getty Images #

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Displaced Pakistani Ijaz Nawana, 6, looks on while sitting on the ground playing with tyre, as he and others take refuge on a roadside after fleeing their homes in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Israeli settler youths wave Israeli flags at the start of a protest march against Palestinian statehood, from the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar near the Palestinians town of Nablus, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is determined to seek U.N. recognition this week of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in 1967. Israeli security forces fear the U.N. bid could spark violence in the West Bank. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) #

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Eddie Reyes is comforted while remembering fifteen of his colleagues in the New York Police Department Emergency Service Unit who were killed on September 11, 2001 during a first responders wreath-laying ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial on September 20, 2011 in New York City. The ceremony, which marks the first of seven "first responder days" for members of 9/11 first responder agencies and their families, honored the 441 first responders whose names are now inscribed on the September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

## Pictures of the Week: August 12, 2011

Paper lanterns float along the Motoyasu River in front of the illuminated Atomic Bomb Dome near Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan. The Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing, as the nation fights a different kind of disaster from atomic technology – a nuclear plant in a meltdown crisis after being hit by a tsunami.

People loot a shop in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London’s most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer’s Olympic Games.

The shrouded body of 12-month-old Liin Muhumed Surow lays before burial at UNHCR’s Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 60 miles from the Somali border.The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates.

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Paper lanterns float along the Motoyasu River in front of the illuminated Atomic Bomb Dome near Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. The Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing, as the nation fights a different kind of disaster from atomic technology - a nuclear plant in a meltdown crisis after being hit by a tsunami. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) #

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An Indian Muslim girl wears a fancy dress as she waits for noon prayers to begin at the Jama Masjid, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims throughout the world are marking the holy month of Ramadan, where observants fast from dawn till dusk. (AP Photo/ Kevin Frayer) #

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Artists of the Havana Company warm up before participating at the Circuba festival's opening gala in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. More than 100 circus artists from fourteen countries are participating at the 2011 Circuba festival to be held in Havana Aug. 8 - 14. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes) #

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Giraffe mother "Jujis" (L) looks after her giraffe baby "Thabo" in their enclosure at the zoo of Hanover, northern Germany on August 12, 2011. The 1.90 metre tall and 80 kilogramme heavy Rothschild giraffe baby will be fed by his mother for th next15 months. The Rothschild giraffe is among the most endangered giraffe subspecies with only a few hundred members in the wild. AFP PHOTO / HOLGER HOLLEMANN #

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Captain Max Ferguson, company commander of the US troops from the Charlie Company, 2-87 Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team play with Afghan children during a joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers at Kandalay village in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on August 8, 2011 while US troops launched missile attacks on Taliban targets in nearby Kelawai village killing at least three and capturing two insurgents. US forces push their counterinsurgency efforts to battle for the hearts and minds of the local population. TOPSHOTS AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD #

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A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid meteor shower on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009 in Vinton, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevin Clifford) #

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A youth sits on a window sill surrounded by flood waters in Tikiapara, some 25 kms west of Kolkata, on August 10, 2011. The strength of the annual June-September downpour is vital to hundreds of millions of farmers and to economic growth in Asia's third largest economy which gets 80 percent of its annual rainfall during the monsoon. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu #

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A Somali lady stands with several jerry cans of water, ready to be transported by camel in the town of Dhobley on August 11, 2011. Idman is suffering from malaria and severe malnutrition, but his parents have no money to buy him drugs. With no health facilities in the region, the family are hoping to cross to Kenya's Dadaab refugee complex, some 100km away. Hundreds fleeing drought and famine-hit areas elsewhere in southern Somalia stream daily into the small town of simple tin shacks and huts. Although Dhobley is just five kilometres (three miles) from the Kenyan border, the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex -- the largest in the world with more than 400,000 people -- is still a tough 100-kilometre walk ahead. AFP PHOTO/PHIL MOORE #

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TOPSHOTS Supporters of former presidential challenger and opposition leader Kizza Besigye try to run away from Ugandan authorities in the town of Masaka in Uganda on August 10, 2011. Besigye pledged to join in with the protests at a candle-lit vigil in the town of Masaka, around 140 kilometres (87 miles) southwest of Kampala. Army and police fired teargas at a crowd of opposition supporters following the service as they tried to make their way to lay a wreath at the house where the child was shot. MICHELE SIBILONI/AFP/Getty Images #

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Representatives of the 21st Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York walk with a dragon head on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before ringing the closing bell on August 11, 2011. US stocks made another dramatic comeback after a stunning fall on Thursday, in another day of extreme volatility in markets around the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average battled back from Wednesday's 520-point loss with a 3.94 percent gain, adding 422.84 points to close at 11,142.78. The broader S&P 500 rebounded 4.63 percent, up 51.87 points to 1,172.63, while the Nasdaq gained 111.63 points, or 4.69 percent, to 2,492.68. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images #

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A pregnant Somali woman sits by a tree trunk at UNHCR's Ifo Extension camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Tuesday Aug. 9, 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama has approved \$105 million for humanitarian efforts in the Horn of Africa to combat worsening drought and famine. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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A Somali boy sings an Irish song to his classmates during class at the Illeys primary school in Dagahaley refugee camp north of Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Thursday Aug. 11, 2011. The United Nations warned Wednesday that the famine in East Africa hasn't peaked and hundreds of thousands of people face imminent starvation and death without a massive global response.About 1,300 new refugees arrive each day in Dadaab camps in northeastern Kenya. The new influx are running away from a famine that is getting worse in southern Somalia as an al-Qaida-linked militants in the country barred some major aid groups from operating in its areas of control, worsening the situation of the most vulnerable people. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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People loot a shop in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London's most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer's Olympic Games. (AP Photo/PA, Lewis Whyld) #

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A masked youth pulls a burning garbage bin set on fire by rioters in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London's most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer's Olympic Games. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) #

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The sun sets behind a mast of a fishing boat as kids walk at the port of Palouki about 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Athens , Greece , on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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An Indian police officer hits news photographer Shekhar Ghosh, right, from the Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, during a protest against corruption by supporters of opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. Police used bamboo batons and water canons to control thousands of angry supporters of India's main opposition party who were marching in New Delhi to protest against the government's hosting of last year's Commonwealth Games among other corruption charges. Auditors slammed India's preparations and conduct of the Commonwealth Games last year as deeply flawed, riddled with favoritism and vastly more expensive than planned in a final report that could result in criminal prosecutions. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

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In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, workers fix an electrical power transmission tower in near the Sports City under construction in Greater Noida, India. The Indian car racing fraternity is banking on the Budh International Circuit near New Delhi to kick off a mass following for motor sports with its maiden Formula 1 race this year. Even as workers slog overtime to get the venue in shape, officials are growing confident of the event on Oct. 30 changing the face of car racing in India, a country of 1.2 billion where cricket reigns and other sports take a backseat. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan) #

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A Kashmiri woman removes lotus leaves from the water of Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. Dal Lake is famous for its natural beauty and a popular destination for both Indian and foreign tourists. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

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An Indian police officer looks from behind his rain covered shield during a monsoon rain shower as he and others stand guard at a protest by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. According to local news reports , India's monsoon rain index rose nearly 14 percent in the last week, an increase over the previous period where rain levels were down. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

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Street beggars use a plastic sheet to take shelter from rain in Srinagar, India, Friday, Aug.12, 2011. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

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Indian Muslim boys stand on a platform to offer prayers at a mosque in Allahabad, India, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims throughout the world are marking the month of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar where observants fast from dawn till dusk. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #

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Indian Muslim men smoke as they break the Ramadan fast near the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. Muslims around the world are marking the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where the observant fast from dawn until dusk. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

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Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend a prayer as they gather in the religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim to protest against summer events organized by the city council, Jerusalem, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

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Somali boys walk in the Dagahaley refugee camp north of Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Thursday Aug. 11, 2011. The United Nations warned Wednesday that the famine in East Africa hasn't peaked and hundreds of thousands of people face imminent starvation and death without a massive global response. About 1,300 new refugees arrive each day in Dadaab camps in northeastern Kenya. The new influx are running away from a famine that is getting worse in southern Somalia as an al-Qaida-linked militants in the country barred some major aid groups from operating in its areas of control, worsening the situation of the most vulnerable people. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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The shrouded body of 12-month-old Liin Muhumed Surow lays before burial at UNHCR's Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 km (60 miles) from the Somali border,Saturday Aug. 6, 2011. Liin died of malnutrition 25 days after reaching the camp, her father Mumumed said. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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Muhumed Surow grieves following the burial of his 12-month-old daughter Liin Muhumed Surowlays at UNHCR's Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 km (60 miles) from the Somali border, Saturday Aug. 6, 2011. Liin died of malnutrition 25 days after reaching the camp, Mumumed said. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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In this Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 photo, U.S. Army Pvt. 1st Class David Hedge from Bealeton, Va., front, and fellow soldiers from 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment are bathed in rotor wash moments after arriving by Blackhawk helicopter for an operation to disrupt weapons smuggling in Istaqlal, north of Baghdad, Iraq. A radical anti-American Shiite cleric is calling on U.S. troops in Iraq to leave the country and go back to their families or risk more attacks. The rare statement by Muqtada al-Sadr was translated into English and posted Tuesday on his website. In it, the powerful Iraqi cleric appeals directly to the roughly 46,000 U.S. troops still in the country. He says Iraq does not need their help.(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo) #

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An Ultra-orthodox Jewish man sleeps as others pray during the mourning ritual of Tisha B'Av at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. The Jewish holy day of Tisha B'Av, when Jews mourn the destruction of the biblical temples, is marked Tuesday. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

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A Palestinian baby sleeps in his carrycot while Palestinian women attempt to pass the checkpoint on their way to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque on the second Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims around the world are observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan where they refrain from eating, drinking, smoking from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

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In this photo taken on a government-organized tour a woman holds up an image of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during a protest in front of the Hungarian embassy in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. Dozens of reported residents of the town of Majar, where the Libyan government claims that 85 civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike last Aug. 9, protested in front of the Hungarian embassy which is currently representing the U.S and the European Union interests in Libya, to demand a stop to the NATO airstrikes. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

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This image released by the District Governor of Spitsbergen's office shows the dead male polar bear which had attacked youths who were camping on a remote Arctic glacier as part of a high-end adventure holiday at Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago, in Norway, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 . The polar bear was shot and killed by other members of the group. The attack took place on the Svalbard archipelago, which is home to about 2,400 people and 3,000 polar bears and one British youth was killed in the attack. (AP Photo / Arild Lyssand / District governor of Spitsbergens office / via Scanpix) NORWAY OUT #

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Somalia Transitional Government soldiers prepare to take positions near Mogadishu, Somalia stadium Sunday Aug, 7, 2011, after a brief fight with Al Shabaab fighters. Islamist fighters withdrew Saturday from almost all their bases in the famine-struck Somali capital, the most significant gain for the embattled U.N.-backed government in four years. Commanders toured newly abandoned positions Saturday, including a former sports stadium where the militia's tire marks were fresh in the grass.(AP Photo/ Farah Abdi Warsameh). #

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A jockey races along the beach during the traditional beach race on the Sanlucar de Barrameda's beach in southern Spain, on Aug. 10, 2011. Sanlucar horse racing dates back to 1845 and is one of the oldest in Europe; it currently takes place near the mouth of the Rio Guadalquivir several times during the month of August. (AP Photo/Miguel Gomez) #

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Riot police block supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko outside the Pecherskiy District Court in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. A court in the Ukrainian capital has arrested former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for violations of procedure during her abuse-of-office trial. Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, has criticized the trial as an attempt by President Viktor Yanukovych to bar her from elections. She has refused, as required, to stand up while addressing the judge, repeatedly insulted him and questioned his objectivity. Her supporters also have repeatedly disrupted hearings. (AP Photo/Sergey Svetlitsky) #

## Looking Through the Eyes of Soldiers

The veterans project of Brooklyn-based photographer Jennifer Karady uses the narrative, set-up shots of art photography to address real people and events more typically treated by photojournalists. In 2004 she began reading about the profound effects of combat stress and eventually decided she wanted to make photos with veterans to stage their war stories. When she discovered that post-traumatic stress disorder was being successfully treated with virtual reality technology, with veterans re-enacting their “trigger” moments, she knew she had hit on a way to tell the veteran’s narratives.

Ms. Karady says: “I realized that making a photograph about one’s experience could potentially offer relief to veterans suffering from psychological trauma and that perhaps I could utilize my artistic practice to help people. The idea evolved as I realized that I needed to create a safe space in which veterans could re-enact their moment from war. Though this project is conceptually inspired by a therapeutic model, I am extremely aware that I am not a therapist, and I do not claim that the process is clinically therapeutic. However, the process can be helpful for the veteran in transforming an experience that may have had a negative effect on his or her life into a positive experience. Also, I’ve found that the act of telling one’s story publicly can be deeply empowering and validating.”

Ms. Karady’s photos are the culmination of months of interviews, preparation and planning. Her exhibition, “In Country: Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan,” will be at the CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. through Aug. 27. The show is already hanging but officially opens July 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The text that follows is transcribed and edited from interviews conducted by Ms. Karady.

Former Specialist Shelby Webster, 24th Transportation Company, 541st Maintenance Battalion, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with children, Riley, Dillin and Sidnie, brother Delshay, and uncle Derek; Omaha Nation Reservation, NE, October 2010

I was 20 years old when I joined the Army. I was a single mom and I had two babies that I left – a two- year-old and a three-year-old. When I found out that I was deploying, I remember crying on the phone to my dad, “I don’t want to go.” I didn’t join just to join. I joined the military thinking I would give my kids a better life.

I drove a PLS (palletized load system truck). We transported all sorts of supplies from Kuwait into Iraq when there was nothing there. Whatever they needed, we hauled. The funny thing about it is that we weren’t armored. We only had flak vests and our little M16s.
When we convoyed into Iraq for the first time, it was probably two o’clock in the morning. I remember being so tired and seeing explosions and thinking, “Wow, this is like the movies. This isn’t happening.” Then we started getting attacked. We had a big convoy of about 20 trucks. We stopped and my squad leader, Sergeant Jackson, jumped out and said, “Be ready, lock and load!” At that point I thought, “How am I going to shoot and drive?” I remember shaking and almost freezing up. And my TC (passenger and vehicle commander), Gabe, said, “It’s OK, Web. It’s OK. I’ve been through this already.” He was trying to reassure me because I was terrified. They had us line up all the trucks in four rows. Sergeant Jackson told us to get out of our trucks just in case. So we were in the sand, lying in the prone position just waiting. Then we hear gunfire and I remember thinking, “What am I going to do, I’m a girl.” I lay there crying to myself, “God, please, I don’t want to die. I want to go home to my kids.” I was so scared. It was so hard.

I’m Native American and I believe in my culture. I believe in my Omaha ways. I said a little prayer to myself asking God to protect me and to watch over my babies if something were to happen to me. This feeling came over me and, I don’t know if it was my subconscious or what, but I heard a voice that said, “It’s going to be alright.” I recognized that voice as my Grandpa Danny’s voice. I was 10 when he passed, but I remember him – he was a good grandpa and always protective. In this moment I also smelled cedar and we pray with cedar. When I smelled it, I took a deep breath and I smelled and smelled. I thought, “What the heck?” I looked around and asked Gabe, “Do you smell that?” He said, “No, I don’t smell nothing.” I could still see and hear tracer rounds and explosions and could feel the ground shake. But a feeling of calmness had come over me and I thought, “I can do this.” When I called home and told my Dad that I smelled cedar, he cried. He said, “Well, we’ve been praying for you. We’ve been having meetings for you.”

My Dad had my kids while I was gone. It seemed like during those two years I saw my kids probably one or two times. My kids are ten and eleven years old now and I had another baby after I got back. My youngest is now five years old and totally different compared to my older kids who have separation anxiety – they always have to know where I am. My youngest is more independent; she’s her own kind of person. But the older two are always looking for me, asking, “Where’s Mom?” And I say, “I’m right here.”

Shelby Webster works as a probation officer at the Omaha Tribal Court.

Former Satellite Communications Specialist Aaron Grehan, 11th Signal Brigade, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with girlfriend, Neta, and mother, Judy; Peterborough, NH, May 2007

Four months into my tour of Iraq I got kidney stones because of all the calcium in the bottled water. I was airlifted to a place called LSA Dogwood, which is just outside Baghdad in the middle of the desert. It’s a pretty good-sized tent hospital. Now, the thing with this place is that there are no trees; there’s nothing out there. It was probably 120 degrees during the day—a good bit hotter than it was in downtown Baghdad. The tent next to mine housed all the burn victims, both U.S. troops and Iraqis. It was miserable. There were nothing but screams and moans coming from that tent.

I had an IV because they wanted me to pass the kidney stones, so every two hours I had to get up and go to the bathroom. I had to walk through the tent with all of the burn victims. There’s guys over there whose legs would be so blackened that it didn’t look like a leg, and there were little kids that you couldn’t even recognize as a human being. It was horrible. At that point I really started looking at the war differently. I saw how it affected people—the inhumane consequences. They couldn’t have stuck me next to a worse tent to have to walk through every day.

About six days into my hospital stay, there was a loud explosion. And then another one, and another one. Soon we’re all getting under our cots as if that’s going to protect us from some 3,000-pound hunk of metal coming in and exploding. The explosions are getting more frequent and more intense. You could hear commotion from all the tents; everybody’s yelling and screaming, commands are being shouted, confusion. People don’t know which command was coming from where. Sometimes the military can be so inefficient like that. Somebody came in and said, “We gotta get out of here!” Then someone else came in and said, “No, stay put!” Then another person came in and said, ”We’re getting transported out of here. Everyone get outside so we can get into vehicles!”

We headed outside and everybody’s out there in their hospital gowns, their asses are hanging out in the wind. Half of us had our own IV bags, just holding them up, and mine kept backing up so I could see this stream of blood going in. It sucked because it hurt. We’re outside and it’s 120 degrees and we look over and there’s this cloud of smoke a quarter of a mile away. Everyone is wondering what is going on, and finally word circulates that there’s an ammo dump over there. Real smart of the U.S. Army to store all of these munitions and explosives so close to a hospital. They had millions of pounds of IEDs, explosives, etc. It had gotten so hot out there that one of them exploded and it set everything else off, at this point everything from grenades to rockets, and the rockets had started going off, zipping around randomly. It was pretty insane.

We got word that there were no vehicles. There were probably over a thousand of us just sitting outside not knowing what to do. Then we were told to start walking in the opposite direction of the cloud of smoke. There was this mass exodus of people in hospital gowns holding their own IV bags walking through the desert. We walked almost two miles over open desert before they sent vehicles to pick us up.

Aaron Grehan is a psychedelic trance DJ and organizes electronic dance events in and around New England.

Former Staff Sergeant Andrew Davis, 75th Ranger Regiment, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, with wife, Jodie, and Iraq war veterans and friends Tom and Andy; Saratoga Springs, NY, October 2009

At the beginning of the war, my mortar section and a company of rangers were sent to Haditha. There is a hydroelectric dam about nine kilometers long on the Euphrates River that was rumored to be laced with explosives. If it blew, it would flood the Euphrates floodplain, keeping us out of Baghdad. It was supposed to be a two-hour mission, and we ended up in a thirteen-day firefight.

It was about day five when Jeremy, one of my mortar gun-leaders, was hit. It was the middle of the day and hot as hell. There was a wall on the front of the top of the dam and a wall in the back. We were on the backside, and we started making shelters to protect us from the harsh sun. We placed our rain ponchos on the wall of the dam, secured them with rocks and stretched them to the ground, creating a little tent. I told my soldiers constantly: “Don’t fucking stand up, you’re a silhouette, you’re on top of this dam, they can see everything you’re doing, right?” But since the artillery hadn’t hit anywhere close to us in a few days no one thought that anything was going to happen.

Jeremy and I were literally sharing a poncho, and one of the rocks holding it in place fell down. Jeremy stood up to fix it, we heard a whistle, and he was laid out. His eye was just kind of dangling and it was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. I quickly called for the medic. In the meantime we stopped the bleeding as much as we could, put his eye in his head, and covered his head. The medic came down, and I started gathering my men to move once the medic took over. The last thing I remember was looking at Jeremy and seeing the medic, and he went like that [makes gesture of sliding hand across throat], and I just thought, “Holy f***, all these guys were best friends.” I wasn’t even worried about me anymore.

After that, I told my soldiers to get down to the water and clean the blood off their clothes. They had their buddy’s blood on them, and we weren’t getting new clothes anytime soon. You can’t be wandering around with your friend’s blood because it ruins morale. We started joking about it, making eyesight jokes, which sounds morbid to your average person, but it’s the only way to get through it. Looking back, things like that were just sick, but everyone laughed at the time. It gave new meaning to the fight; everyone got more careful. I always think about all of us sitting in a circle with our helmets and Kevlar on, and it was hot and there was blood everywhere, and just making jokes. It was so primitive and so sick but it was what helped get everybody back to normal.

I was an avid backpacker and camper before I went into the military. I was an Eagle Scout, I was always camping, and I won’t set foot under a tent now. When I think about it, I honestly don’t know if what happened on that dam is the reason, but I won’t anymore. My wife has probably asked me a hundred times to go camping. I don’t even like sleeping away from my base—I mean, my house.

While Andy Davis’ friend and colleague Jeremy survived his injuries, he is currently blind in both eyes and sustained some brain damage. Andy ran for the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2006 and narrowly lost the election. He is the cofounder of a nonprofit that assists student veterans on campus based at the University of Minnesota. Andy presently works for the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs in Albany, NY.

Former Staff Sergeant Starlyn Lara, C Detachment, 38th Personnel Services Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, January 2010

We were in a convoy between my camp at Kirkush Military Training Base and Camp Anaconda in Balad, which is where everything happens—that’s the hub. At the time I was the FOO (field ordering officer) and I was responsible for all of the money that came in and out of the installation. I would convoy very frequently in order to transport money—like \$100,000 in cash—under my vest.

I was in a Humvee, but our unit isn’t a tactical unit, so we didn’t have armored Humvees. What we had were Kevlar plates that lined the seats but not the vehicle. They were designed to keep you from dying but not designed to protect you. When the bomb went off, it actually shot pieces of the engine up. I was in the passenger seat. As soon as the vehicle exploded, my first thoughts were about the safety of the money. Then there was just all this blood, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. My ears were ringing from this huge concussion blast. I couldn’t hear, and my vision was blurred. And so many things were happening. I couldn’t make out the sounds around me—I was disoriented. I was looking…the windows were shattered and my arms were cut, I was bleeding, and I just couldn’t figure out where all of the blood was coming from. It seemed like forever but it probably took place in the blink of an eye.

There are many things that connect me back to that moment. It’s usually only when I can’t sleep or when I am sleeping. I had a really weird dream that I was chasing a pink rabbit. I was trying to catch the damn pink rabbit and it was huge. I think it’s funny—I’m laughing in the dream, going, “I can’t believe this pink bunny!” And then, the pink bunny runs into the street, and I’m wondering, “Why is the pink bunny in the street?” And I stop, and the pink bunny gets hit by my Humvee. I see myself in the vehicle and I realize that the pink bunny is the bomb. So sometimes my dreams aren’t necessarily reliving the experience. They’re some kind of distortion, how I find ways to cope with the things that really can’t be coped with. There’s really no easy way to get around them.

Starlyn Lara currently works as a human resources/accounts payable assistant at Swords to Plowshares, a nonprofit veterans organization that provides numerous services for veterans in need, and as a part-time emergency medical technician.