"It's actually kind of a family tradition," said SFC Chad King with the Missouri Army National Guard. "Everyone in my family has been in the military. For me, it was kind of following in the footsteps. My grandpa was in, my dad was in, all my brothers are in."
It is a family legacy King continues to carry.
He has served in the Marines and most recently is a member of the Missouri Army National Guard.
He is continuing to serve his country even if it means sacrificing his health.
"We were running some operations in Afghanistan and going down the road when we hit and IED," said King. "Our truck got blown up and all three people were knocked unconscious."
King suffered severe head trauma last year during his deployment in Afghanistan.
He was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries.
But even after the explosion, his love for service and the legacy of his family keep him fighting to protect his homeland.
"I received a Purple Heart but I don't think I'm so injured that the military can't use me anymore, " said King. "So I'm going to continue the family tradition and continue to serve until I'm no longer needed."
Even as the country reflects back on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks, it is an honor for King to put on the uniform day after day.
"Looking back on it, I'm glad I could be a part of it," said King. "Serve my country and actually defending freedom for the attacks that took place on our nation."