CNN PRODUCER NOTE Former U.S. soldier nuprinboy spent a year in Iraq, from April 2003 to 2004, as company commander in the 4th Infantry Division -- the image, taken by a friend, shows him handing out candy to several young Iraqi children. He found Iraq a beautiful country, although he was shocked by the terrible stories many Iraqis told him about Saddam Hussein, the ousted president whose regime the U.S. toppled. His time in service was often difficult, with the loss of many close friends and colleagues in combat, and for him the war's legacy is mixed. "I think when my unit left in 2004 we made a difference and the lives of the common people were better off, but legacies are hard to define," he said. "I lost a lot of close friends and soldiers during my deployment, I know they would have gone on to amazing and productive lives. I can't measure the worth of their sacrifice." To do his part, he holds fundraisers every year for veterans' charities and is planning to start his own.
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer