Jordan Turner looks down at the scrap paper on the table in front of him.
The instructions sound simple enough: On one side, write a negative word associated with grief; on the other, a positive word.
Words have always come easily to the lanky 15-year-old, who hours earlier walked into a Washington-area hotel conference room full of unfamiliar faces and easily fell into conversation with teens and adults alike.
"Where are you from?" asks one teen.
Tacoma, Washington, he says.
"You been here before?" another asks.
No. This is my first time.
Nobody asks Jordan the next question, the one that would explain why he's in this room with more than two dozen teens about his age.
Nobody has to ask. They all know. Not the details, necessarily. But they know the reason: Somebody in the military -- a father, a mother, a brother or a sister -- is dead.
That is, after all, the only reason any of them are here at grief camp.
For some, it's the first time they'll openly talk about what happened -- the first time they'll feel safe enough to admit they feel helpless, alone in their pain. For others, it will be a second, third, fourth ... even a seventh time.
Sitting in this group, Jordan stares at the blank piece of scrap paper: How do you sum up grief in one word?
Others around the room are struggling, too.
At a nearby table, a teenage boy plays with a pen, thinking of a word that explains how he feels about his father's death in Balad, Iraq, how it forced him to grow up fast. Across the room, a girl looks up at the ceiling, trying to find a word that describes her feelings about how her father was killed six months earlier in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan.
Slowly, in blue ink, Jordan writes: FRUSTRATED.
That word, he will say later, captures everything about the questions he still has more than four months after a rocket struck his brother, Army Pfc. Neil Turner, in the chest.
The other half of the assignment is more painful, more problematic.
What was positive about what happened to Neil, Jordan thought. What good came out of his death?
New generation, stark reality
These teens have never really known a world without a war on terror.
They were too young to understand what it meant when hijacked planes smashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field on a clear September day in 2001.
They have grown up with cycles of long deployments that sent parents and siblings repeatedly off to war.
They are part of a new generation, living with a stark reality: Nearly 6,500 military personnel have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Roughly 5,000 children have lost a parent, and more than 5,200 have lost a sibling, according to estimates.
The youngest will grow up only knowing their lost loved one through stories told by family and friends; the older ones will try to come to terms with their loss while coming of age, navigating that awkward period between childhood and adulthood.