In August 2005, Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Williams and his squad were sent on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq. En route, their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Of Travis’ entire 12-person team, he alone survived. Here, Travis reflects on the hours and days after the explosion, as well as his life now, and pays tribute to the men he left behind.

StoryCorps is proud to present “1st Squad, 3rd Platoon” alongside “The Nature of War” and “The Last Viewing” to honor Veterans Day 2014. The stories come from StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, which aims to bridge the gap between veterans and civilians. Told in the voices of veterans and their family members, these films honor the service and sacrifice of the military community and tells them that we—as a nation—are listening.

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