The Cincinnati Enquirer recently surveyed 105 members of the 478th Combat Engineer Battalion who served in Iraq from March-July 2003. Some of their survey comments, which were anonymous:
BEST MEMORY OF IRAQ?
"Seeing Marines hang laundry from the window of Saddam's palace.'' - Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) from Hamilton County
"The smiling faces of the freed Iraqi children and all the laughs I had with my friends while we were on missions.'' - NCO from Campbell County
"The flight home.'' - Specialist from Hamilton County
"Visiting the ruins of Babylon.'' - Specialist from Montgomery County, Ohio
"Knowing that I led my squad and others in the platoon to excellence and safety - no injuries or death.'' - NCO from South Carolina
WORST MEMORY OF IRAQ?
"Seeing children in poor conditions and thinking of my own.'' - NCO from Grant County
"The heat, seeing the filth that people lived in and some of the other things that come with being in Iraq, like the frustration of driving with the fear of ambush."' - NCO from Campbell County
"The constant heat and blowing sand.'' - Specialist from Kenton County
"Being shot at. Remembering what people looked like through my rifle sights. The 100-year storm at the border.'' - Specialist from Allen County, Ind.
WHAT WILL YOU TELL YOUR GRANDCHILDREN (ABOUT IRAQ)?
"That I went overseas as a patriot of America to help people who had less than I do remove a maniac from power." - NCO from Grant County, Ky.
"That the true heroes are the soldiers who didn't come back.'' - Specialist from Indiana
"It was an experience, something you should go through and see life through different eyes. But once is enough.'' - Specialist from Kenton County
"That sometimes you must make difficult decisions and stand behind them regardless of what criticism you receive from those who don't understand. We followed and supported our commander-in-chief for a valuable cause that makes our country safer and frees the Iraqi people.'' - Officer from Dearborn County
"Very little. I took plenty of pictures of sites and friends. War is not a regularly thought-of point of conversation.'' - NCO from South Carolina
Special section home
Coming home, changed by war
Finding purpose, perspective
Voices from the survey