“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I took my last breath on the side of a mountain, one summer's day in Afghanistan, when my Army helicopter was shot out of the sky. My name, along with 18 other Americans, joined a growing list of casualties from an escalating war on terror.

As my wife sat alone in our bedroom, the clock ticked a somber drumbeat. Though she'd learned of the crash through the news, the Army had yet to officially notify her that I'd given the last full measure of devotion. For two days, she listened to that clock and believed I'd never come home.

Half a world away, however, I was very much alive. The Army had gotten it wrong. The man who would take my place at the last minute felt it was his duty, not mine, to step into harm's way. And through his sacrifice, he'd given me a second chance at life.

Now when my boys ask me "Daddy, will you go to war again?" I answer, "Yes." I'll fight to make every day count. I'll fight to see them grow up and develop into Godly young men of character. I'll fight for my marriage. Because when you're living on borrowed time, redemption always feels right around the corner.

— Matt Brady