On Oct. 25, 2003, Lt. Mark Donald, a Navy SEAL medic, was on patrol in Afghanistan as part of a joint American-Afghan convoy. But for two whole years, he was not able to speak of the valorous actions he took on that day.

While driving along a dry riverbed in Paktika province, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the canyon, throwing McDonald’s vehicle up in the air, rocking all the men inside.