The original euphoria of the war as evidenced by the defacing of Saddam or the looting that took place at the base I was on quickly gave way to despair and uprisings. I was in the second wave in 2004. My first month there was marked by a Shia uprising and the end of my tour witnessed the battle of Fallujah. In between we had almost daily mortar attacks on our base. By the time we left, what had started out as hope for a quick transition to a new future had obviously become a quagmire that threatened to last many years.
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