Sgt. Jared Hammonds frantically scanned an Afghan poppy field, searching for a glint of silver in the soil.
The 27-year-old Marine reservist from Conroe was looking for a wedding band.
The ring belonged to Staff Sgt. Jeremy Smith, 26, of Arlington, who lay dead a few feet away. He had been wearing it on a chain around his neck when his platoon came under fire, but in the chaos of the battlefield it had gone missing.
There was nothing more Hammonds could do for his friend except this one thing: Find the ring and return it to his wife, Rachel.
“I know he would do the same thing for me,” Hammonds said.
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