As we near the 10-year anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, Yahoo News asked U.S. servicemen and women who served to share their perspectives and discuss how it changed them. Here's one story.
FIRST PERSON | I joined the Army as a 42-year-old husband and grandfather. I had worked for the state where I lived as a probation officer for juvenile offenders. My hope was that my service would spare another young man from our great country from having to risk his or her life before they had even experienced life.
I found myself in Iraq just weeks after finishing training at Fort Lee, Va. I experienced accomplishment, fear, anxiety, death, friendship, disappointment and disbelief during my time in the military. I served from 2006 until 2012, with three deployments to Iraq.
I saw nothing change. We were great soldiers-- loyal, honorable, brave and dedicated. We sacrificed and continue to sacrifice what we were and what we are because of that conflict. I will never be the same because you cannot erase what you have seen, experienced and have done in the defense of your country. I am a proud American, and I will always be willing to stand again in defense of my country.
Now, what is that worth to the country that I and my fellow comrades defended?
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