10 years after the Iraq war | Photo Journal | Indy Week
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Too many funerals, too many families destroyed, too few happy homecomings.

10 years after the Iraq war 

Deployment ceremony for Company D of 1st/252nd Combined Arms Battalion of the N.C. National Guard as they headed back to Iraq

Photo by Jeremy M. Lange

Deployment ceremony for Company D of 1st/252nd Combined Arms Battalion of the N.C. National Guard as they headed back to Iraq

I don't remember where I was on March 20, 2003—somewhere in Richmond, Va., in school, working hard to get through. I was in much the same place when the event that precipitated the U.S. invasion of Iraq, 9/11, occurred. Thinking I had problems—which, in retrospect, were so petty.

For much of the past eight years I have been trying to repay my debt of ignorance by documenting what happened not only to the soldiers who served in the Iraq war but to their families. Too many funerals, too many families destroyed, too few happy homecomings.


Support the Troops parade, Raleigh - PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE
  • Photo by Jeremy M. Lange
  • Support the Troops parade, Raleigh

Marine Cpl. April Ponce De Leon was being deployed to Iraq in two weeks but no longer supported the war - PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE
  • Photo by Jeremy M. Lange
  • Marine Cpl. April Ponce De Leon was being deployed to Iraq in two weeks but no longer supported the war

Spc. Steven R. Jewell was killed near Fallujah, Iraq, on Aug. 14, 2007 - PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE
  • Photo by Jeremy M. Lange
  • Spc. Steven R. Jewell was killed near Fallujah, Iraq, on Aug. 14, 2007

We have lost so much, even those indifferent to the sacrifice. Meanwhile, the fate of Iraqi civilians has passed from the hands of a dictator to that of lawlessness in a country where violence is the currency. There have been, and will continue to be, moments of progress and hope, but the future of Iraq is uncertain.

So after 10 years, what did I learn? I care about all the lives lost. I still don't know if it was worth it.

Company D returns home after suffering seven KIAs, five from North Carolina - PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE
  • Photo by Jeremy M. Lange
  • Company D returns home after suffering seven KIAs, five from North Carolina

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  • Too many funerals, too many families destroyed, too few happy homecomings.

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