Michael A. Dahl Jr., 23
He was an inspiration to me. Sometimes it’s hard being a single parent. But he kept me going.
— Patricia Dahl, mother
Once Dahl learned he would be deploying to Iraq in 2007 as a cavalry scout, he took an Arabic class. He would sit at his computer at home practicing Arabic late into the night, his mother said. After he arrived in Baghdad, Dahl called home to describe how much he enjoyed working on reconstruction projects and playing with Iraqi boys in the streets. 'What he liked about it was they were helping to rebuild the city.' his mother said 'They would just protect the people. He felt compassion for them.' He was killed on a later tour in Afghanistan when his vehicle was hit by roadside bomb.