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“One routine that I would do just to stay grounded would be to make sure that I call home and talk to my kids and talk to my wife. That’s why I wear the uniform – for them. For my family to make things better. To try to give my kids things that I didn’t have. Another thing I do is I try to spend time with God on a daily basis through either reading my Bible or doing Bible study. I’m a part of a men’s ministry at my church and we’re doing a mentor group and we’re reading a book a month and writing a synopsis. That has helped me with just staying on task and in a good frame of mind to just keep pushing here.”

- Shane, Army | Erbil, Iraq

Editor’s note: To help foster connection and understanding between civilians and service members, we created this series, “Front & Center,” and traveled to USO locations around the world to speak to troops about life in the military and the everyday things they love. Here’s what they had to say.