With only a few days left in 2017, we decided to take a look back at the year that was on USO.org. Of all the stories the USO published this year, these were your favorites according to our data. One thing is crystal clear: our readers love lists and great photography, so we plan to bring your more in 2018. Happy New Year!

7. When Shots Rang Out, He Ran Toward the Gunfire. That’s Why He’s Our National Guardsman of the Year.

Leroy Manigault, Jr., epitomized the true nature of a citizen-soldier while on duty at his civilian job as a uniformed officer with the Montgomery, Alabama, Police Department in March. Working as a high school resource officer, Manigault quickly responded to an active shooter situation at the end of the school day. His decisive actions distracted the shooter and helped prevent a potentially tragic situation.

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6. Who Serves in Today’s Army? These Graphics Provide a Glimpse.

Since the Army’s official birth on June 14, 1775 — more than a year before the Declaration of Independence — it has played a vital role in the growth and development of our nation.

The Army that helped win our independence looks a lot different today that it did back in the 18th century. On the Army’s 242nd birthday, created a series of four infographics that provide a snapshot of what today’s Army looks like from a statistical perspective. All our facts and stats are courtesy of the Defense Department.

5. When Military Pet Parents Deploy, What Happens to the Dogs and Cats Left Behind?

Clothes, shoes and charging cables soar through the air before landing in the suitcase lying open on the bed. Your beloved pooch stares from the doorway, not sure whether to run and hide or get excited for his own vacation at the local pet resort. There, he has his own suite, personalized attention and a spa day.

Now imagine your work trip isn’t just a few days somewhere in the United States, but six months to a year halfway around the world. You’ve worked hard to come up with a Family Care Plan that accounts for any and all foreseen situations, including a long military deployment, but Plans A through Z have fallen through. Now the big eyes peering at you are asking, “What now?”

4. #Flex4Forces and Show Your Strength on Social Media

Thousands got involved in our #Flex4Forces digital campaign, which called on Americans to show their strength as a Force Behind the Forces by striking a biceps flex in support of our nation’s military and sharing it on social media. The campaign underscored the USO’s historic mission to strengthen service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country. Even superstars like Jessica Biel got involved. See below:

3. 8 Things You Need to Know About the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division on its 100th Birthday

The Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, an elite division specializing in air assault, turns 100 this year.

Based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 82nd Airborne soldiers are easily recognizable by their maroon berets and “AA” arm patches, has been involved in virtually every U.S. military conflict since World War I. In honor of the 82nd’s centennial year, we rounded up 8 need-to-know facts about the division.

Photo credit Joseph Andrew Lee

U.S. Marines stationed at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, look on as awards are presented to their fellow Marines for their performance in the USO Field Meet held April 21, 2017.

2. Here Are 22 Things Only Marines Know About the Corps

Eleanor Roosevelt is rumored to have once described Marines as having “the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals” she had ever seen.

Whether or not she actually said that, and whether or not those things are true about Marines is largely debatable, but click here to see 22 facts most Marines won’t debate.

Photo credit National Archives photo

Helmeted American soldiers crouch, tightly packed, behind the bulwarks of a Coast Guard landing barge in the historic sweep across the English Channel to the shores of Normandy. Minutes later, they dashed up the beach under fire from the Nazi defenders. These Coast Guard barges rode back and forth through D-Day bringing wave upon wave of reinforcements to the beachhead.

1. Here are 11 Hard-To-Find D-Day Photos Straight From the National Archives

If you think you’ve seen every photo from D-Day, think again. USO Senior Digital Archivist Michael Case combed through National Archives files and hand-selected some hard-to-find photographs in honor of the 73rd anniversary of D-Day.

You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.