It's well known that many U.S. service members join the military to protect their country from its enemies and to serve a higher purpose. It's a calling that's drawn millions of Americans into uniform over the nation's history.


But when the bullets start flying, most of those higher-minded motivations are stripped away, and it becomes about protecting that buddy at your side. It's a bond unlike any other.

While often this camaraderie manifests itself in acts of courage during battle, it can also shine in private moments of tenderness and respect — even under life-threatening stress.

In episode one of National Geographic's amazing series "Inside Combat Rescue," there's a short scene that shows this inseparable bond — one that many might miss as the action of a medical evacuation swirls across the screen.

As Special Forces soldiers load their severely-wounded comrade — the team's medic — on the Black Hawk MEDEVAC, each takes a second to kiss their fellow soldier before he's flown to a field hospital.

It's in those few seconds — barely noticeable by most viewers — that the true bond between combat veterans is on display (the video is cropped to the specific scene).

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