There used to be a time in our country's history when many people had a connection to someone serving in the Armed Forces - people had a brother, a cousin, an uncle or an aunt who served in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam.
Today, having that connection to the military is not as common. Volunteers fill the military's ranks, and civilians have grown farther apart from those who put their lives on the line.
All this week, we're bringing you stories about Michigan's post 9/11 veterans - stories about what life has been like since their return home.
So who are these veterans? We met nine of them who shared their stories with us.
Go to our Beyond the Battlefield page to get to know some of these Michigan veterans.