â˜…Â A Los Angeles Times Best Seller!Â â˜… They were walking to class on 9/11 when the World Trade Center and Pentagon were struck. These midshipmen were soon to graduate from the Naval Academy into a nation at war, the first officers to do so since Vietnam. The men and women of the Class of 2002 lost their youth to a decade of deployments and their innocence on battlefields in distant places. Each story provides a glimpse into the lives of modern day Navy or Marine Corps officers who were faced with unique challenges and sacrifices. Their stories poignantly explain the trials of war and reveal a world many don't understand. Refreshingly honest, their narratives take readers on a journey from Annapolis to the far corners of the world to experience the unique challenges of operations at sea, on the land, and in the skies. Themes of leadership and service are on display throughout. The editors spent three years inviting their classmates to open up their hearts to share what they endured on the frontlines. The end product is a superb collection of experiences that depict what Admiral Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.), 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, calls 'the next greatest generation.' Serving as a virtual podium for the voices of those unlikely to write about war, these first-person accounts of real-world operations are written with humility and respect for those they served with, bringing deserved recognition to all veterans of this so called 'Long War.' With a foreword by David Gergen.