This book has been a labor of love for almost fifteen years. I first became associated with Brigham Young University’s Saints at War project shortly after the turn of the century while serving as a faculty member at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and I express my appreciation to Robert C. Freeman and Dennis A. Wright, who conceived and established this important project. It has been a continuing honor to associate with the soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and civilians who have served our country exceedingly well in times of conflict.

I am grateful for the able and willing assistance I have received from numerous librarians, archivists, and curators at Brigham Young University’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections and the Harold B. Lee Library. Any book is a collaboration and an unconscious recipient of indebtedness to others. I wish to express my gratitude to the Church History and Doctrine Department chairs Arnold K. Garr, Richard E. Bennett, and Alexander L. Baugh as well as to Terry B. Ball, Brent L. Top, and Daniel K Judd—deans of Religious Education. I am grateful for the support of the Religious Studies Center, who provided much of the funding for this research. I am indebted to Religious Studies Center publications directors Robert L. Millet, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Dana M. Pike, Thomas A. Wayment, and Scott C. Esplin for encouraging this ongoing research. I appreciate the excellent work that R. Devan Jensen, Emily V. Strong, Brent R. Nordgren, and Emily Cook at the Religious Studies Center did to create and lay out this book.

At the risk of leaving someone out, I wish to express my profound gratitude to the small army of student research assistants who have contributed to this project during the extended time of its preparation. Students have assisted with cataloging, filing, checking, editing, sorting, and evaluating the numerous stories and anecdotes received. The many student research assistants and readers who have contributed to this book include Katie Heath, Joseph R. Stuart, Mary E. Moberly, Ian S. Lindsay, Nathan Freeman, Phil Abbott, Scott Lovejoy, Trevor Slezak, Elizabeth DeFranco, Jessica Snyder, Amanda Van Leuven Campos, Shauna Humphries, Talia Abbott, Clark Allen, Brooke Bons, Justin Childs, Camille Duncan, Jared Evans, Ingrid Gubler, Kayla McDonald, Meg Meiners, Elizabeth Nelson, Seth Nelson, Sarah Palmer, Patrick Phinney, Brendon Wolfe, Mikel Cressman, Sara Duncan, Natalie Packard, Stewart Foster, Allison Foster, Abby Rich, Zachary Lambert, Joshua White, Miranda Lape, Savannah Jardine, and Alayna Calderwood.

I am especially indebted to Gene Wikle, who, while serving as the first Latter-day Saint district president in Afghanistan, actively supported this project in myriad ways—from contributing photos and stories to sitting for interviews and encouraging others to contribute their own experiences. I am also grateful for the support and assistance of Guy Hollingsworth, who served as the first president of the Baghdad Iraq Military District.

Finally, I wish to sincerely thank the many men and women who have willingly shared their life experiences (and in many cases their photographs, as well) to help us share insights into Latter-day Saint experiences during the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Thank you for your service!