Troops from all walks of life reflect on their experiences in Iraq as the war enters fourth year. more »
Blogging from Iraq
Bert Stover, Chief Warrant Officer 2, writes about his National Guard deployment to Iraq. more »
Washington Post staffers Mary Hadar and David Von Drehle were online Monday, March 20, at noon ET to discuss the 100 Iraq veterans project.
U.S. service members who have died since 2001. more »
More News from Iraq
Ongoing coverage of the war in Iraq from The Washington Post.
"One time, I was on the phone with my child and there was a mortar attack and she asked me what the sound was, and I had to think of something to tell her."
"It sucked over there. There were times I was up for 3 or 4 days straight. But it's my job, it's my duty to be over there. As much as things sucked, seeing the dead bodies and smelling them, I can't really find a real negative experience. That comes with the territory, it's part of my job."
"I think I'm a better friend and a better son and a better citizen of the world because I went over there, because I gained that appreciation for what really matters in the world. You don't know if tomorrow will be here. You don't know how long you have. You have to be the best person you can, while you can."
"They wanted their country to be like ours. They want their country to be free. To have what they want, the freedom to exercise their own religion. To walk around their own town without worrying that someone will tell them they're doing something wrong. They wanted to have their farms and feed their wife and kids."
"Everything was like slow motion. I saw a medic. He was going, 'What hurts?' I couldn't hear him but I read his lips, saying 'what hurts?' I said, 'My finger, it's killing me.' He said, 'Your finger? Have you seen your arm?' I said, 'What's wrong with my arm?'"
"Seeing wounded from Fallujah, dealing with it, you try not to think about it, you try to get involved in escapist activities like reading. Go to service, go back to rediscover faith, find it if you don't have it."
"There would be a generator broken. We'd have soldiers that could fix it, but they couldn't touch it because they would void the contract. So we couldn't fix our own stuff, would have to call and put in a work order with [Kellogg Brown & Root]. It just seemed like a big bottleneck for almost everything you needed or wanted to do. You wanted to fix a road or building, you couldn't do it."
"I remember one day this guy came in and pulled up his robe and his intestines are hanging out. I'm like, he's walking! I had never seen something like that before. I said, 'What's wrong with you?' They said he was injured. I said, 'You need medical attention.' He said, 'No, I need a job.'"
Editor: Tanya N. Ballard. Design: Alyson Hurt. Video: Christina Pino-Marina, washingtonpost.com. Photos courtesy of Adam Reuter, Connie Woodyard, Jeramey "Jay" Lopez, Tonya Shelley, Chris Arndt, Michael Gillis and Brian Onieal - March 19, 2006