Iraq War Veterans, 20 Years Later: ‘I Don’t Know How to Explain the War to Myself’ | Op-Docs 

The New York Times
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Months after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, I began filming the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment (known as the Gunners) in Baghdad. The unit was housed in a bombed-out palace on the banks of the Tigris that they named Gunner Palace.
Rather than just making a movie about the men, I suggested that we make a film together - an offer that the soldiers quickly embraced. They told the story of the war as only they could: They played guitar, spat out rhymes and played to the camera. But behind all their bravado and posturing, they were just kids who desperately wanted the world to understand the war through their eyes.
In the last two months of 2003, the Gunners lost three men to I.E.D. attacks. They scrambled to create makeshift armor for their soft-skinned vehicles using scrap metal. When asked by a soldier about the lack of armor in 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”
They were the army we had. They fought an enemy they couldn’t always see in a land they didn’t understand for reasons that were never entirely clear. In the midst of the pandemic, I visited the men and spoke with them about how they make sense of their role in a war that has yet to be fully reckoned with. In "The Army We Had," the veterans grapple with a past that still reverberates powerfully through their lives.
- Text by Michael Tucker
- Film by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker
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19 Mar 2023



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Comentários : 17 389   
Mustafa Mohammed
Mustafa Mohammed 2 meses atrás
"The wars will end and the leaders will shake hands, and that old woman will remain waiting for her martyred son, and that girl will wait for her beloved husband, and the children will wait for their heroic father, I do not know who sold the homeland but I know who paid the price" - Mahmoud Darwish
Renaissance Man
Renaissance Man 2 meses atrás
Brilliant quote. No more needs to be said.
Kgosi Japie
Kgosi Japie 2 meses atrás
Hmmmm... powerful
Debrah McCabe
Debrah McCabe 2 meses atrás
@KnowstradamuS Ucka In Iraq?
Pavlo Lowry
Pavlo Lowry 2 meses atrás
@KnowstradamuS Ucka why you're creating another war right now?
PapaDalbec 2 meses atrás
@KnowstradamuS Ucka or sold the homeland 😉
Gabe Schleifer
Gabe Schleifer 24 dias atrás
Credit to the people who made this film, it was very tasteful. No dramatic music, no sensationalist editing, just the stories of people, what they did, why they did it and what they think of it now.
Wills Kissick
Wills Kissick 23 dias atrás
Sharpderp 22 dias atrás
The irony of this all…
Gabe Schleifer
Gabe Schleifer 22 dias atrás
@Sharpderp What irony?
Sharpderp 22 dias atrás
Gabe Schleifer
Gabe Schleifer 22 dias atrás
@Sharpderp What about it?
The Cowboy Preacher
What the US government did to these eager and willing young men and the Iraqi people is tragic and criminal beyond comprehension. My heart goes out to them all.
KS Germania
KS Germania Mês atrás
Not only the Iraqi.
none of your business
none of your business 17 dias atrás
They're trying to do it again with Ukraine.
Jordan Kohler
Jordan Kohler 16 dias atrás
@none of your businessno they’re not 😂 unless by “they” you mean Russia, then ya.
AP 5 dias atrás
All those Iraqi children and people who suffered this prolonged tragedy and injustice. It’s heartbreaking when you feel what happened to them.
ImportedFromSerbia 3 dias atrás
Numbers are better impact than just word said. Over 500,000 children got killed, died, lost during and stayed our military operations in 🇮🇶.
F Carter
F Carter Dia atrás
​@ImportedFromSerbia You bet but the media doesn't say it's innocent civilians they call them insurgents
Alan NCSU 16 horas atrás
Hello... Iraq was in an 8 year war with Iran and over a million people killed, then invaded Kuwait for no reason until we forced them to leave... and chemically bombed his own people. Please tell us again how wonderful the children had it until Sadam, Uday, and Kusay's rule?
Green Bee
Green Bee 15 horas atrás
​@Alan NCSU False equivalence, Iran-Iraq war was a more traditional war concentrated at the borders, with 85-90% of the dead being soldiers. Not a good time but how does that excuse the US invasion? The US invaded and destroyed a country over a total lie and went on to do atrocities on par if not worse than Saddam. They set up torture prison camps like Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo and used chemical weapons by their own admission in Fallujah. Don't act like there is anything moral about US geopolitics, its purely about the self interest and enrichment at the cost of others.
AlphaAchilles 20 dias atrás
I deployed back in 2013 to Afghanistan and ever since then I feel empty inside. Nothing excites me or genuinely makes me happy. And most of friends are either dead or somewhere far away. Don’t really leave the house unless I have too and no one really gets it. Good to know I’m not alone in this.
Weary Willie
Weary Willie 19 dias atrás
That sucks bro. Go back and find humanity, join a team and create some value for a group. You won’t regret it.
PAMELA PORTER 19 dias atrás
This doesn't sound healthy; please seek help. Often, primary care doctors are helpful. I hope you get better.
Lemonjello Smith
Lemonjello Smith 19 dias atrás
You aren't alone at all. Reach out to a veterans group of people with like experiences. I am praying for you.
nobody •
nobody • 19 dias atrás
Thank you for your service! You are loved & appreciated. 🙏🏽
Alex Hynes
Alex Hynes 18 dias atrás
Thank you so incredibly much for your service brother it was not in vain. You made an impact to keep us safe. My next door neighbor is a combat veteran with severe ptsd and has a service dog. He rarly leaves the house as well. I can’t imagine what you went through and we’re exposed to. I’m a Christian who has had massive trauma in life and the only peace I have found in this life is Jesus. Hang in there please the world needs you in it.
Wolficorn 3 dias atrás
I was protesting on the streets of Manhattan before the invasion. The amount of pointless tragedy and waste that occurred is beyond measure. Thx for producing this video.
Demo 2 meses atrás
We need more documentaries like this to show how much humanity is lost in war.
marmac 2 meses atrás
Perhaps even more so to the Aggressors, than the Victims?!
RescueMyLife 2 meses atrás
Well, let me explain it for you...first they either knew about the 9/11 attacks and chose to exploit it instead or they orchestrated it and that is a scientific fact that unfortuantely the majority are still not aware of as the did not attend university to become an engineer as I did. First, WTC 7...buildings DO NOT naturally collapse like that...EVER...NEVER...EVER...100,000,000,000% EVER. So, Afghanistan was about completing the oil pipeline to the Caspian sea that was being held up by the Taliban. We also invaded Afghanistan for its Lithium that we have been running our devices on for the past 2 decades. Afghanistan had the largest concentration of Lithium on the planet. Removing Saddam and the horror that ensued was once again just FOR-PROFIT, POWER, AND CONTROL...and nothing else. It's always economic or political which is economic anyways. You all need to read BOOKS and not screens. Books are here to educate and screens are here to manipulate. It was the biggest lie yet for a Land of northing but lies that benefit the very few and the sake of the many. You need to wake up to the world you live in and see it as they do. There are two realities. There's the one that THEY create for you that you choose to live in that benefits them most...and then there's the real world. Live in the Real World. Read the 4 year brain study and it'll clue you in as to why they are the way they are...born afflicted by a "genetic precursor for an underdeveloped amygdala in utero resulting in sociopathic tendencies" like greed, lying, thieving, exploiting, manipulating, abusing, murdering. As stated: "Not everyone born with an underdeveloped amygdala will become a serial killer (violent criminal) but every serial killer has an underdeveloped amygdala" Awaken to the intentional death and destruction for their sole gain.
Jonny- B
Jonny- B 2 meses atrás
Imagine it from the Iraqi's perspective.
 Sugar And Spice
Sugar And Spice Mês atrás
“How can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism?” ― Howard Zinn I majored in social science. In one of my classes, I was required to join a group of young Iraq Veterans who got together and wrote poetry and discussed their experiences during their military service. That class made me feel like I was on a roller coaster. I cried, and I was angry. It was impossible not to feel their anguish, sadness, and regret. They were still young men, but yes, their were old. They were old, battered, tired, defeated men in young bodies. Iraq war was the dumbest, most shameful thing any decent nation could ever have done. I feel sorrow for the young soldiers, and all Iraqi people who lost their lives, their families, and their homes.
xastad arnakaplon
xastad arnakaplon 28 dias atrás
Abdul Qadeer khan
kamacazi8 25 dias atrás
... Not true, at all.. lol
Fun Moviesxxx
Fun Moviesxxx 23 dias atrás
@kamacazi8 very true
Ink stain
Ink stain 22 dias atrás
a 2nd Vietnam….
Lynn van den Brink
Lynn van den Brink Mês atrás
That clip of them rolling on the ground laughing really shows how young they all were
Secrets. Mês atrás
And how evil they were
Crow Mês atrás
@Secrets. not evil, how naive and misguided they were
Douglas Stone
Douglas Stone Mês atrás
@Secrets. They were laughing like that due to the intense stress of the situation. They probably were having a pretty tough day when they're buddy got a little goofy and sarcastic on the video and they over-reacted to the comedy in a way that would blow off the excess stress and energy.
Ro ar
Ro ar Mês atrás
@Secrets. not evil nor young.. thats just military humour mocking how ridiculous the equipment is... we laugh to avoid getting depressed and develop a humour civilians dont agree with..
Pastafazoo Mês atrás
@Crow Are you a murderer too? Do you know how many lawyers use that excuse for a young murderer? They are old enough to be convicted as adults. I hope no one you know becomes a victim. We'll see how "understanding" you are.
James Mason
James Mason 3 dias atrás
We need to keep our military home. Since WW2 it's been one mistake after another.
Seán Murphy
Seán Murphy Dia atrás
And in ww2 the mistake was the us not getting involved earlier
erwin meester
erwin meester Dia atrás
Mistake? Tell that to the American people that profited from it, the American companies that got the "defence" contracts, the American politicians who cemented their power and grifted donations all on the back of "mistakes" ... no mistakes, US wars are deliberate business decisions
Sunless Dia atrás
@Seán Murphy That's not true. America's 'The Great Depression' among many other factors meant it was very unwise to attack pre-emptively. America's economy had a long way to go.
Dani Golightly
Dani Golightly Mês atrás
I remember talking to soldiers who were serving at the time and how down they were. They all said the same things, how they regretted signing up. How if they’d known what was really going on they’d want no prt of it and they just wanted to be home. It was always pretty heartbreaking.
Toni Ilievski
Toni Ilievski Mês atrás
Ehhh , like thats the only job to survive ..
محمد ابن عبد اللات
Did they think they were going to make smores when they joined?
Jeff Roderick
Jeff Roderick 29 dias atrás
no, but they were told they were heroes and doing the right thing when they joined. Don't worry...they saw otherwise right away and that is why they are all messed up.
Chandrasekharlimit 9 dias atrás
Left me in tears at the end. This was beautifully done, captured, it really helped shed just a small piece of light on the horrors of the war and the absolute insanity of it. There are better ways to solve problems, and the testimonies from actual veterans like this should be a clear sign of that Edit: I want to explicate my meaning when I say “there are better ways”. I’m not saying that from a view where I think I know that “better way”. I don’t have a better solution, I’m not well versed in global relations, public affairs, idk, im just a grad student in Space Sciences, but we all can understand without being well versed that this is not the way to go, especially when the psyche of Americans were manipulated to do horrible and unjustified things.
Saladid 🏳️‍🌈⃠
Moral of the story: don't mess with Iraqis 😂
Avi A
Avi A 2 dias atrás
Shed some tears for innocent dead Iraqi civilians too, they were the real victims, at least these Americans have a home to come back to and a system that supports them, but what Americans did to Iraqis made half a million kids dead and millions others left without a future .. so these mental health PTSD thing , I don't buy the narrative that these soldiers are suffering like those poor Iraqis, it is their privilege to say these pretentious things like they are real victims, but by doing this, they are actually insulting the actual victims which are the innocent Iraqis ..
Brian James
Brian James Mês atrás
I don't know one veteran, myself included, who feels like they made a difference. We had no mission apart from "wait until someone fires at you and then fire back." We didn't bring freedom and democracy; we tore the country apart and left it in chaos and ruin. And we treated innocent people like they were terrorists. When people call me a hero and thank me for my service, I flinch. I feel like I should be punished for what I've done, not praised.
Shehab 17 dias atrás
you are the 1st person on this comment section that i felt is truly honest and the ONLY from everything ive heard and read and watched that i truly felt that you deserve respect for saying and admitting this , thank you for what you said respectfully
Arborist 16 dias atrás
I know what you mean brother, I completely agree.
Ebola Warrior
Ebola Warrior 16 dias atrás
Only time I felt like I helped was when I was helping kids at the TCN/LN depot. Other than that, I wasted two years of my life.
a random
a random 16 dias atrás
Former marine rifleman here...yep
Josh Nic
Josh Nic 16 dias atrás
Which is why it blows my mind When I hear people talk about how they never would’ve joined the Nazis, like if it was your country yes, of course you would have.
S133py 💤
S133py 💤 Mês atrás
I was born in Iraq in 2002 and all my family is from iraq, we had to leave our own country and leave everything behind due to this, it breaks my heart. I never really got to learn my roots. RIP to all my iraqi brothers and sisters 🇮🇶 ‎لاتنسى أبدا
xastad arnakaplon
xastad arnakaplon 28 dias atrás
Abdul Qadeer khan
Shahnawaz Khan
Shahnawaz Khan 15 dias atrás
May ALLAAH give them Jannatul firdaus Ameen
Corvus_Kay 10 dias atrás
What I dont understand is how they always show the perspectives of american soldiers in Iraq (which of course is also important in its own right), but nearly never the perspectives of Iraqi people. Shows how the victors get to define the narrative. Although I'm from Germany myself I am eternally sorry for you. And though I do not pray to any god I hope such a criminally unjust invasion is either avoided or never again treated that way. May you find peace in where you are and what you do now.
Seamus O'Reilly
Seamus O'Reilly Mês atrás
20 years: it passes fast. Mine is over 50 now and I still dream about it. It never goes away, young brothers. You just have to park it in the back of your head and live your life.
3 Dogs Digging
3 Dogs Digging Mês atrás
Thank You for your service and sacrifice for our country. Welcome Home, from a Vietnam war widow.
Sophie Scholl
Sophie Scholl Mês atrás
Everyone gets what deserves on the end
JVon Dia atrás
My brother in law served and was the filmographer. So he had to view the worst of the worst. I remember one night he woke up and put on his gear and started rounding us up telling us they were coming and we had to get to safety. It ended with my dad holding him down and trying to comfort him. He was never the same. His desensitized mindset left us cold. He would describe the grotesque scenes he had to document on film and it almost made me vomit.
richard4831c Mês atrás
I’m so confused about that time in my life as a Marine in Iraq; it took about 5 tries to reply to this video. I’ve found some solace in pursuing a career that makes people’s lives better and doing my best to fade back into society. I completely understand what the last guy feels. I wish I could’ve been a phone call away for you Chad to stop you from following through.
Victor Kreig
Victor Kreig 25 dias atrás
the government wanted to get rid of as many GenX as they could and even now they are still self removing through the mental anguish they go through, as much of a mistake as it might be I wouldn't mind at all removing everyone 60+ in our government and replacing them with vets
Mels Maryon
Mels Maryon 21 dia atrás
​@Victor Kreig why replace them with vets? Being a veteran doesn't say much about how good you would be as a politician
mikedechant1 15 dias atrás
As a civilian, none the less, they understand the cost of war. That counts for something. The man in the video that knew that the invasion of Iraq was wrong before the politicians did, he was more qualified as a young soldier than the ignorant politicians were. Think about thar for a second.
БРАТИК 15 dias atrás
Гори в аду
MegaGrawp 10 dias atrás
@Mels Maryon We have historic low numbers of veterans in congress.
Brendan McCallion
Brendan McCallion 5 dias atrás
This is powerful filmmaking and powerful storytelling from the veterans here. That ending just really got me, it's hard seeing someone with so much love for his brother have to get through all this alone. 😔
Axel Mês atrás
The guy who said he felt the need to sign up after 9/11 was spot on. That was precisely the mood a lot of people felt in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. And the Bush Administration took full advantage of it.
codyjames01111 26 dias atrás
That's the whole purpose of a false flag attack
💜Wizard customz💜
💜Wizard customz💜 26 dias atrás
It was done by our own government.. what do you know about gadafhi
FLMan 25 dias atrás
They created it.
Quixotic End
Quixotic End Mês atrás
War and hard times really force you to realize that you are just as capable of that evil you hate so much. I love how self aware some of these guys are about it. I certainly regret some of my worst moments, even if I was following orders
Geens JC
Geens JC Mês atrás
Well said
Nameless King
Nameless King 21 dia atrás
Heart of Darkness
Namik 21 dia atrás
Good that at least all these people weren't slaughtered for nothing. They're dead so some guys from the other side the world can became self aware after 20 years
Quixotic End
Quixotic End 20 dias atrás
@Namik wow, great logic there
J B 26 dias atrás
My brother served in Afghanistan and even there, he has tons of regret. He was in the 101st for 12 years. He was deployed in some really remote areas to destabilize supply routes and engage with the Taliban. However, as was true in Iraq, missions bled into a lot of other things, including hearts and minds. He was deployed multiple times and each time it was always "12 months maximum." When he hit month 18 deployed, he got really bad. He's never been the same and he definitely caries some really troubling thoughts that impacted his ability to be there for his kids. I'll never know the struggles he has, but from the outside, those struggles will never heal.
Playboy Republic
Playboy Republic 8 dias atrás
Sometimes I forget how long it’s been since this happened. My uncle enlisted in the Army in 2002 at barely 20 year’s old and finished basic by early 2003, he was deployed to Iraq 🇮🇶 where he was a CSM driver in the 1st Calvary Division. Now he’s 41 with 2 grown kids and two younger boy’s. He continued after 2003 and a deployment to Iraq to stay in the Army where he eventually had become a staff sergeant until his time was, left the Army and became a police officer and then finally a detective, recently leaving law enforcement after 13 year’s and 6 year’s of military service. He avoided any talks or topics about either his time in Iraq and what it was like over their. He’s proud to have served in the military but had mentioned he wasn’t so sure he felt the same way about our involvement in Iraq or the Middle East for that matter.
B J Mês atrás
I look back at my deployments, and it's like it wasn't even real life. The trauma from the experience is real though. To be put in that situation at such a young age, with that amount of responsibility. The older I get the more I realize the damage we did how bizarre the entire thing was.
Sophie Scholl
Sophie Scholl Mês atrás
poor you. How many civilians died bca of you, and how many did you save?
Dimuthu Yapa
Dimuthu Yapa 22 dias atrás
Your media and government got you on a chokehold, and now you pay the price of your sins.
Music, Marx and Materialism
Your profile image shows enough to me
Beez 12 dias atrás
After being in Afghanistan 08-09 I still don’t know what our mission was. We just went on patrol every day and night and reacted to contact. We never really had any offensives other than patrolling new areas and searching houses. It felt like we were just their guarding the opium fields and controlling the drugs. We patrolled the poppy fields, did regular patrols in the bazaar to check the drug prices, let one guy harvest the opium but then the guy down the street we took his opium and blew it up with c4. Nothing made sense other than being the muscle for the drug cartels.
Carlos Easy
Carlos Easy Dia atrás
Don’t be worried someone had a mission - to pump the oil 👌
Baneen bzz
Baneen bzz 2 meses atrás
As an Iraqi who lived through this and grew up in it, i could barely finish this video. It was horrible and forever damaging to all Iraqis who had to go through this.
Izzet 2 meses atrás
Sometimes it’s important to finish painful things, just see.
Amanda Smith
Amanda Smith 2 meses atrás
Salam alaikum Baneen, I'm so sorry for what you, your family, and your nation suffered. The Iraqis are the victims in this. The war in Iraq wasn't "a mistake." A mistake is when you spill milk. The war in Iraq was a crime against humanity, and the Iraqis people deserve justice for the evil brought up on them by the US.
Orange 2 meses atrás
​@Amanda Smith USA USA USA USA
Russell Lariscy lll
Russell Lariscy lll 2 meses atrás
Amanda, don’t be so pretentious and act like nobody in Iraq was up to no good
and what about it?
and what about it? 2 meses atrás
@Izzet they lived through it, they've seen it already. We're the ones who need to finish the video (I'm Iraqi too but was born in NZ)
Lu Su
Lu Su Mês atrás
Wow to see them so young in the war and see them now and how much they grew up was really impactful. They we’re just kids in 2003
Tian Zhou
Tian Zhou 17 dias atrás
This is how all wars are fought..
Bronchiosaurus Mês atrás
It breaks my heart looking at them and hearing their storys, my utmost respect and sympathy to all involved in this!
samdajellybeenie Mês atrás
Same here. Everyone's story is sad but Beaty and Commisso's stories were especially so. Beaty talking about how our system doesn't work yet we expected the Iraqis to just adopt it and believe in it... I understand why Jon Stewart got so mad at Congress after they kept refusing to pass bills that would take care of veterans and 9/11 first responders. Congress didn't understand what they were sending those boys over there to do and the toll it took on them. Maybe Biden understands but I'm not sure many others in our government do.
Music, Marx and Materialism
My heart breaks for Iraqis, not invaders
True Reaper45
True Reaper45 14 dias atrás
@Music, Marx and Materialism It's not on the soldiers, it's on the leadership.
Luke T
Luke T 5 dias atrás
@True Reaper45 its on both
Bk Powell
Bk Powell 3 dias atrás
As a Vietnam Vet, I understand exactly what they went through and what effects them today. Iraq as in VN we did not fight to protect our country we fought to protect each other. We are all brothers.
The Roof Fairy
The Roof Fairy 2 dias atrás
...and thats what life is all about....legends.
TheTjay11 Dia atrás
Welcome home and thank you for your service !
David Abruzzese
David Abruzzese 17 dias atrás
The end with Commisso broke my heart. I just cannot imagine what these people have gone through and it hurts to know they’ve endured it
Kori West
Kori West 2 dias atrás
And the people responsible for all of this still haven’t been held accountable.
LISTERFIEND 45 2 meses atrás
I was an infantryman in Baghdad during OIF 06-08 at 19 years old. I feel I’m greatly fortunate that I came back with only limited hearing in my left ear compared to the physical and mental wounds suffered by some of my friends. It’s weird to come back and feel so detached from everyone around you. Like you are there but you aren’t. I dread opening my social media and seeing the news of another friend that finally succumbed to his demons and lost his battle with PTSD. This war shaped me and my worldview. I will never trust government and media again. Their callous disregard of American and Iraqi lives made me have a visceral resistance to authority and any attempt to control us the citizens of this nation. I refuse to let Americans live in the fear of the man coming in through the door. The man that was me.
Eduard Gindin
Eduard Gindin 2 meses atrás
I hear you, bro. I deployed twice and I've been on medications for the last five-six years or so...
Sha'ron Market
Sha'ron Market 2 meses atrás
yeah 👍🏿 never trust tha man stay strong brotha
Changing World LLC
Changing World LLC 2 meses atrás
Jason Hunt
Jason Hunt 2 meses atrás
What are you up to these days @listerfiend?
Yo2 2 meses atrás
I fear way too much propaganda--like duty or honour or right vs wrong--is directed towards Americans when it comes to military affairs. It's just war. Someone high up decided it's in US national interests to remove Saddam. No different from Panama or Libya. The primary role of the US military is to serve US interests. Nothing more, nothing less. Militaries rarely get to decide when, where, why, how or with whom to fight.
Everything is Everything
A friend of mine died from an I.E.D. and left his two kids and wife who was pregnant at the time. He was an amazing human, kind, intelligent and loved his family. He was only in Iraq for two weeks before his death. I know he went there to defend America, but as the years pass, Iraq looks like a big mistake, there was no reason to be there. Afghanistan was the objective, and getting bin Laden. I will never understand what was going on in the Bush administration, that made this stupid miscalculation.
Murad Gerad
Murad Gerad 29 dias atrás
Wasn't a miscalculation bro. Scary thing is they got what they wanted.
Everything is Everything
@Murad Gerad What did they get?
enteraqua 18 dias atrás
@Everything is Everything +$
Shteven 17 dias atrás
@Everything is Everything It was always about money
Robin Heyt
Robin Heyt 7 dias atrás
Something about grown man crying and embracing eachother that just cuts right into your heart
R.A.M PRODUCTIONS 15 dias atrás
This is masterfully put together wow. Hit me right in the feels at the end!
max rose
max rose 20 horas atrás
This kind of content needs to be made and seen more often. Modern wars have become pointless endeavors where nobody wins.
Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin 2 meses atrás
seeing the small clips of the soldiers, followed by the modern day interview with them. Is one of the greatest things I've ever seen from a docu/film. Absolutely incredible.
truhigh 2 meses atrás
I k r
Roddy Dykes
Roddy Dykes 2 meses atrás
What’s especially shocking is how old these guys look in the modern videos. I remember the beginning of the Middle East war and it didn’t seem like that long ago
Comrade Nikola
Comrade Nikola 2 meses atrás
@Roddy Dykes 20 years is a third of your life more often than not. And they already expired a third of their life by the time they started filming.
earthy Nomad
earthy Nomad 2 meses atrás
Am so happy to hear that as a refugee. Me and those who left from my family are still praying daily for God's justice and punishment. Queen Elizabeth met her maker already. Remaining Bush and every savage politician and soldier who made our lives unbearable. America hasn't change that's why they are sending more soldiers to east Africa . Thank god for death it will catch everyone and then then everyone will be held accountable. No where to escape from death. God is greater than all. Viva Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and the rest of oppressed nations.
Shawn C
Shawn C 2 meses atrás
Mopar Dave
Mopar Dave 23 dias atrás
This is probably one of the best videos I have ever seen in BRvid . This brought me to tears , god bless our soldiers . Pointless war
JCMWTT 27 dias atrás
my heart goes out to all the Iraqis and young soldiers who suffered through this meaningless war
Mustafa Joseph
Mustafa Joseph 23 dias atrás
Thank you to whoever produced this. It hits home. Eternal nightmare of loss, guilt and fraternity
Josh P
Josh P Dia atrás
This era was different. Society was changing as a whole. Social media was evolving and it was, and still is, an age of suspicion. This war was on suspicion. The actions are tough, but what matters is the heart. The guys wanted to do hard things for good…I thank these guys for willing to face the unknown for the unknown…
Aya Shnawa
Aya Shnawa 2 meses atrás
As an Iraqi... tears did not stop flowing watching this video. To this day, hearing fireworks makes my heart drop because they sound like bombs exploding. I startle hearing any loud voice. If a person does not pick up a phone, I think of them dead... This is the first time, I realize that it's actually been 20 years. I was only 9 when this started... The aftermath is still real, and my sisters are at risk of having to go back there, their refugee status is confirmed but their documents are "pending".....
Soren Axelson
Soren Axelson 2 meses atrás
Sadaam was a bad man but what my country did to Iraq was just as bad. I was born in 2003, so when I look at things like this, I see a history documentary, not something that I personally remember. Despite that, I do feel some guilt about this but I don't know why. For whatever it's worth, I'm sorry.
Joey 2 meses atrás
@Soren Axelson Gadaffi killed in 2010 for oil and he tried to replace dollar with gold backed currency
prairiehorse 2 meses atrás
@Soren Axelson It was awful what America did and still continues to do in less obvious ways in many countries across the world. The drone strikes still have not ended.
Matthew Clark
Matthew Clark 2 meses atrás
@Soren Axelson I was born in 1993 and I have the same feelings. All we can do is make sure we try not to make the same mistakes our parents made by supporting future war and hope we do not vote for someone who wants it.
Thu Hương
Thu Hương 23 dias atrás
The story of the brother, Jason who die after enough suffering rom the war is extremely sad. I hope Commisso found peace after his death. The fact that he follow his brother to look out for him is admirable
The Cowboy Preacher
The soul wounds of war are deeper than any physical wounds could ever be. In many indigenous tribes they understood how damaging war was, returning warriors were required to undergo many purification ceremonies to purge themselves of the demons picked up in combat; before they could come in contact with the tribe. The issue is deeper than PTSD. Many vets have tormented souls because of what they were asked to do. There must be healing and atonement. Healing is possible, but one must seek out alternative methods.
LA Mambas
LA Mambas 23 dias atrás
for most veterans, the pills and alcohol are the only escape. The strength of it wears off after a few months, then the guilt and memories are always following them. It’s hard to unsee some of those things
Opal May TODAY
Opal May TODAY 19 dias atrás
Definitely not the end I expected.😢RIH Jason. Thank you all for your service & sacrifices you made. ❤❤❤
Herkermer Mês atrás
Hearing what happened to them on November 1st 2003 is wild. It is weird to think about how that day for me I remember really well. While I was having one of the best days of my life someone on the other side of the world was having their worst day of their lives. Really makes you appreciate the days you got and be grateful for what you have that others could not have. I hope everyone is able to take those steps back and be grateful for what you have. For those going through rough times and those through great times. Life is so crazy.
Jay Shaft
Jay Shaft 2 meses atrás
Out of the 500 soldiers that were in my PTSD study group, only three are still alive. Out of the 1000 in another group, only 43 are left. PTSD and mental traumas never go away, it always haunts you.
coachsimon_sc 2 meses atrás
That is bleak and horrifying...
Jay Shaft
Jay Shaft 2 meses atrás
@Cbot Exactly the problem for the most part. I have watched many a vet die while waiting for treatment. Many also received treatment, but it was either not enough, or too little, too late. I have my own terrible PTSD from years of working with people, and the continuous losses over the years.
D RiteMoLawzBks
D RiteMoLawzBks 2 meses atrás
​@Jay Shaft I'm genuinely curious, but were opioids drugs (substance abuse) and/or COVID-19 any of the contributing factors? That survival rate for young people considered to be in their "prime" was one of the most depressing stats I've seen in a while.
Abu Firdaus
Abu Firdaus 2 meses atrás
The blood you split and children you made orphans will always haunt you forever... I promise you we shall meet on the day of judgment Let the western government protect you but on that day no one shall aide you.... To Allah we belong and to him we shall return...
Bored Panduh
Bored Panduh 27 dias atrás
I still feel like there's that boy I was over there constantly fighting to bring back all the trauma I seen caused and suffered myself over there. I feel like there is a constant battle inside myself fighting for my life to be "normal". Trying to understand that I will never have a normal life after that is a pill I still can't swallow.
Dwuudz Mês atrás
We need to have a serious look at who we are as a nation…
Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma 29 dias atrás
Google "War is a racket" by USMC Major General Smedley Butler
xastad arnakaplon
xastad arnakaplon 28 dias atrás
Abdul Qadeer khan
D2387 8 dias atrás
​@Anand Sharma "Everything is a Rich Man's Trick" touches on this very well and much more
Rodney William
Rodney William 18 dias atrás
I'm just in awe of how young these men are. Conversations around the insanity of Iraq feel like a lifetime ago. So much has happened since then it's so easy to forget.
john adamson
john adamson 27 dias atrás
Beatty hit the nail on the head. There was no clear goal or strategy. It costs many, many lives. Civilian and soldier alike. I'm a brit, a year later in 04 I was 19 and in Al Amarah. I feel the same as some of these vets. The Iraq was a waste and a con, and it makes the memories worse. I still serve and struggle to wear the uniform with pride.
Jackson Rush
Jackson Rush 10 dias atrás
It put a smile on my face seeing those veterans joking around making the best of a truly awful situation
James D
James D 5 dias atrás
I remember when I was 17 junior year of high-school and some of the boys signed up for army. They began wearing the uniform everyday to school. I knew even then that they will regret it later or never come back from that war. I knew they were being exploited. When one lacks knowledge and experience they get exploited. It happened to me too just in a different way but we all get exploited by those above us.
John Lombardo
John Lombardo 19 dias atrás
while I know the war was fought for selfish reasons, I still thank all of you brave men and women who served because you wanted to make a difference. I am sorry you had to go through what you did though, and struggle daily with the choices you made. I hope you find peace in that you didn't have those intentions before your superiors brainwashed you in to believing the people you encountered were the bad guys, when you know most of them were not. Just know, God will forgive you for being lost, it is never too late to be who you intended . ❤❤🙏🙏
Trevor Merrick
Trevor Merrick 19 dias atrás
Amazing video! God bless the veterans. Thank you for everything you do.
Jacqueline Marie
Jacqueline Marie Mês atrás
10:30 “when you’re a kid” he was still a kid as he spoke those words. heartbreaking
1individeo 27 dias atrás
he was still a kid physically but his mind was 20 years older
ricksher1320 10 dias atrás
I am only 56 seconds into the video and seeing the equipment you guys had in Baghdad is almost identical to what we were using in Somalia and the look of the area so similar, it brings me chills to this day. "Combat vet", yeah that and $2 will get you a coffee and a "Thank you for your service".
James Reed
James Reed 2 meses atrás
It’s crazy to see how we all look back and realize we got played.
AI TechnoCore (Hyperion)
Not once...but more than 7 times...
RPH 2 meses atrás
A lot of people knew Iraq was a bunch of BS.
Esau Bangura
Esau Bangura 2 meses atrás
We were warned and didn't listen...
entreri76x 2 meses atrás
Imagine how Vietnam veterans felt…
Jason 6 horas atrás
I couldn't finish it, but thank you for making this. Hope all those guys are doing good. -Iraq Vet
Bubbabeanskinz 6 dias atrás
My best friend was a combat soldier for two tours. He made it back home and was noticeably different. I watched him go down the drain.. dude was definitely someone you didn’t want to cross. I still till this day have dreams about my homie. He was a badass. RIP J Salas!!
Adam 20 horas atrás
Weighs heavy on my heart for you brothers. I hope you all find a way to keep on living. I love you all.
Kaine 👻
Kaine 👻 19 dias atrás
Back to when times were simpler but got complicated real fast.
Leanne Edwards
Leanne Edwards 13 dias atrás
I didn’t want this to end. It was amazing
Zenzu 2 meses atrás
This just made me realize that they want all the 18-20 year olds they can get because at that age you don’t think for yourself, you’ll just do what you’re told to
CloudofW 2 meses atrás
Ummm no, plenty of 18-20 year olds think for themselves, but those are not the guys who join the military. It’s usually guys who have little opportunity or just want to be a soldier (a small minority of 18-20 year olds)
J 2 meses atrás
​@CloudofW you're prob 18-20 years old lmao
CloudofW 2 meses atrás
@J nah I’m old, I watched dumb friends join up in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars thinking they were all gonna be heroes, most of them now alcoholics or dead
MSotelo503 2 meses atrás
​@CloudofWThat's what "Not Thinking for themselves " means, They had an idea of becoming a Super Hero.
WOAHH BRO 2 meses atrás
That's prime age for physical ability and energy. Plus, younger people tend to be more aggressive, ambitious, and feel they're invincible. Makes for a solid soldier. Joining a military isn't automatically a foolish decision. It's a crucial career. Someone has to do it.
LocustLotus 4 dias atrás
Beatty was the realist in this interview. my parents fled from the Iraq war, a pointless war. bombs falling on their homes, praying it wouldn't hit their home. there was no one these veterans were fighting, but their own people.
Sayton 17 dias atrás
I thank every one of those people for trying to defend us when they thought we needed it, you are heroes no matter what! You may have been tricked by your own government but you guys did what most could never do, which was being brave in the face of danger. You may have been tricked but keep the faith and find your strength again when the real enemy shows itself. God bless
C.R 7 dias atrás
Credit is owed to those who put this together. More videos like this one are needed.
Luke Daily
Luke Daily 3 dias atrás
god bless them, i hope the best for every single soldier who went through this
emsie76 6 dias atrás
16:30 hit me hard. When they leave us that way, we feel like a failure.. like you let them down somewhat. I know exactly how he feels, “why didn’t he call me?” 😢 Please talk to someone.. you are loved, and wanted. Don’t feel alone EVER.
Ahmed Mês atrás
I remember myself as a 8 years old Iraqi kid during the war and the horrible experiences and panic situation that we went through, one of them is 3 am house hit !. It just changes you in an unexplainable way and I always wonder why would the people do such a thing to each other. All the harm for what ? The thousand years of civilization and human history couldn't get us a peaceful getaway !! It was so hard to watch this video.
laurita28061 Mês atrás
{ ذَ ٰ⁠لِكَ بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَوۡلَى ٱلَّذِینَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَأَنَّ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِینَ لَا مَوۡلَىٰ لَهُمۡ } [Sure Muḥammad: 11]
supersleepymedic Mês atrás
I’m so sorry to read what you went through 😞
Dale Fry
Dale Fry Mês atrás
The only reason we were there and fighting mad was the attacks on our country on Sept. 11, 2001. Those hijackers thought they were doing a great thing for their homeland but it sure caused a lot of their people to die later.
laurita28061 Mês atrás
@Dale Fry Poor you, thinking that what Media told you werw truth
Sarah S
Sarah S 21 dia atrás
I remember being in high school when the Gulf War was announced. I was a latchkey high school kid home alone after school and I just cried. I went out on my back deck and put my head between my knees and cried. I knew we would loose my Gen X boys and men to a corporate war mentality. It was devastating and the wars have never stopped.
Mohammed Aziz
Mohammed Aziz Mês atrás
It was a difficult childhood. My heart with all families that lost their members 🥺🥺 (War is the dirtiest action) From Iraq love and peace to all world ❤
Victor Kreig
Victor Kreig 25 dias atrás
The sad part is Iraq by now could probably be a really good place to live, but it seems your neighbors don't like that idea and regularly do things to keep that from happening. I hope one day it will stop
Sober T
Sober T 25 dias atrás
I'm so sorry for you, your family, friends and country. Sending love from UK
Victor Kreig
Victor Kreig 19 dias atrás
@IceColdYellowRedBull ask someone with better English skills to tell you what I wrote as you don't seem to understand what I said at all
Nicholas Fonville
Nicholas Fonville Mês atrás
My brother has never been the same since his first deployment to Iraq back in 2005. It's such a sad situation because both sides are fighting for what they believe to be right. And then the civilians don't even understand what's going on. To them all they see is their home being annihilated. My heart goes out to the Iraqi people who didn't survive as well as the ones who now have to live with the traumas of war and to the soldiers who didn't come back and the soldiers who are now scarred forever. I am a 100% disabled veteran of the Army myself. I love you all and your life is worth so much more than what our leaders convince us to believe. God bless you all.
MeAPineapple Dia atrás
I vividly recall enlisting in the Army prior to the devastating attack on the Twin Towers. As soon as the towers fell, I sensed that war was inevitable. Despite pleas from other tearful parents to reconsider, my recruiter called and asked if I still wanted to serve. Driven by a sense of duty to defend my country, I felt compelled to honor my commitment. Looking back, while I don't regret serving, I would have approached the decision differently had I known what I know now. The effects of war on young adults are profound, and I have struggled with them personally. While recruiters are tasked with bringing in new recruits, it's crucial to have a strong support system in place to help navigate the life-changing decision of joining the military.
Paul Perry
Paul Perry Dia atrás
Worse, Bin Laden was no relation to Iraq. Nothing to do with it at all.
Destiny Thomas
Destiny Thomas 24 dias atrás
I was 4 when this started. I had an uncle and aunt in Iraq I remember not seeing them for years. They both made it home thank goodness. Rip to all our fallen warriors, thank you for your services. Yall seemed like such cool dudes
Banzai 2 dias atrás
This short doc really shows how it's actual kids that are being sent to war. Older Beatty has a heart of gold though
nicknack 2 meses atrás
This reminds me of my friend Josh who went to Iraq as a fresh faced young man and came back a broken adult. He suffered from alcoholism and depression until he took his own life. That wasn't what we envisioned growing up would be like when we were kids. Miss you my brotha. Mourn you til I join you.
adamjb21 2 meses atrás
Almost made me shed a tear thinking about the innocence and naivety of childhood, only to be suckerpunched by the actual realities of the world. Blessings to you and yours
Iron Knee
Iron Knee 2 meses atrás
At least 4 guys out of the 90 I served with have gone down a path that ended the same. It affected everyone differently. Sorry for your loss.
Chimpin Out
Chimpin Out 2 meses atrás
Sorry man, my condolences.
Jay Klink
Jay Klink 2 meses atrás
You know, when your looking back at that era, a couple buddies of mine who were only two years older, were involved in the first month(s) of the Iraq war. At the time, we thought as them as soldiers; but these guys were still boys really. Very brave guys, when I say "boys", there is no intention of disrespect, or to suggest they weren't capable soldiers, just the opposite, in fact. It's just the age, when I was 18, I didn't even know, what I didn't know; but I thought I did, if that makes sense lol.
CHRISPARKERSTL 24 dias atrás
this is honestly one of the most moving documentaries I have seen in a long time
Chris Akins
Chris Akins 4 dias atrás
I was there at the same time as these soldiers; however, I was serving in the Marines! Regardless of branches I can relate to every word and emotion shared in this video! At times I hate my experience in Iraq and at times I’m grateful to have been apart of something! However, I sure do wish it would have been something better than Iraq!
Pineapple Smoovey
Pineapple Smoovey Mês atrás
Seeing that innocent family just basically accepting death in their eyes was brutal
Farbod Kamiab
Farbod Kamiab 17 dias atrás
Very well-made. Brought tears to my eyes.
Dylan Grigsby
Dylan Grigsby 24 dias atrás
Whole way through I was keeping the tears back and keeping the lump in my throat down. Then that ending hit
TomatoBeanz 16 dias atrás
"I Don’t Know How to Explain the War to Myself" - That's called intuition, the spirit calling out the lies that brought you to a place where no violence was justified.
Madman/tv 2 meses atrás
I feel this. For me one of the hardest parts of the military was the cognitive dissonance you were surrounded by. Everyone had that moment where something didn't feel right or you questioned what you were doing, and everyone around me I saw pushed that feeling away and acted like it was normal.
maryann Hope
maryann Hope 2 meses atrás
Kevin Mills
Kevin Mills 2 meses atrás
my girlfriends husband is a marine, he should thank me for my service i dont slaughter people i make them feel goood
michael tabor
michael tabor 2 meses atrás
Part of permawar is normalizing it.
Badger 2 dias atrás
'When you join, you have no politics, you go where they send you' that's the most powerful thing I've seen in a while. Also I really felt for Sergeant Beatty @ 7.12 , I think he's a really good guy, but he's really been through the mill, and I must say if 'I' had an army I'd want him in it 1100%. Hang in there fella, you're a good man you've just been in a very bad situation. The middle east is a great place, but it also has its troubles, I hope for better for everyone there....and Jasons suicide hit me hard...
William Wilcox
William Wilcox 9 dias atrás
All I can do is thank everyone who served. I have nothing but PTSD and trauma at least you have each other. 💪🇺🇸
Tristian Linan
Tristian Linan 11 dias atrás
Beatty was one of my highschool wrestling coaches!!! I knew his son for a couple of years through wrestling, football, and some classes. Coach Beatty was one of my favorite ever coaches in life along with with other coach we had for wrestling. I never imagined I’d see him in this video but when I heard his voice I was instantly thrown back. A great man and a great coach!
Pieter Pennings
Pieter Pennings Mês atrás
I hope these guys can find some sort of peace after what they've been through. I know America has horrible care for the veterans who gave their life, in one way or another, for the country that won't care for them.
10klp 3 dias atrás
For you to follow through wjth finishing this documentary 20 years later is awesome. Thank you for this story.
Hayley Sulfridge
Hayley Sulfridge 2 meses atrás
My brother did a 6 month tour in Iraq and he was never the same. He came home with pictures of things he saw, gruesome things i can still see in my head to this day, and the fact that he witnessed them in person kills me. His job at one point was retrieving body parts from a nearby river for burial. I used to think of him as older and wiser, and now i realize he was a baby. He had no chance of normalcy after that. It’s disgusting. Also the garbage avoiding on roads they mentioned? He would almost cause accidents over his reflex to avoid that stuff on the road.
Azzajay Brah
Azzajay Brah 2 meses atrás
It really sucks when you get exactly what you signed up for. I once signed up for skydiving and they actually chucked me out of a plane.
Hayley Sulfridge
Hayley Sulfridge 2 meses atrás
@Azzajay Brah did that make you feel better? You must feel so smart and hilarious….
michael beedie
michael beedie 2 meses atrás
The sick thing is when we realise our countries don't have these peoples backs! They use them as pieces in they're game of monopoly and they are the bravest most selfless heroes who hope to do well for they're country. I hope one day Western leaders are held accountable for actions they made other people take. I wish your brother all the best in his recovery and will never forget his lost friends. Lest we forget!
idnintel 2 meses atrás
very sorry to hear this, this is why these disgusting wars must end once and for all. No more wars for power whims of politicians!
Douglas Sinclaire
Douglas Sinclaire 2 meses atrás
and imagine what happens to peoples brains when they see it in movies and on tv and game, in even more gruesome manner.
Sali Amin
Sali Amin 24 dias atrás
I’m so sorry that they put you boys through this…. I’m sorry that they made you put all of them through this. You wanted to protect us.
Aidan Hudgell
Aidan Hudgell Mês atrás
It’s amazing to see the transition these men have made since they got out. A lot of them seem to be making it
Linux-djanta 21 dia atrás
The head is still messed up and those nightmares .Talking about myself
Fighting Words
Fighting Words 13 dias atrás
War Is a Racket is a speech and a 1935 short book, by Smedley D. Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-time Medal of Honor recipient. Based on his career military experience, Butler discusses how business interests commercially benefit, such as war profiteering from warfare.
Tommy Holsworth
Tommy Holsworth 27 dias atrás
Hopefully there is more of this stuff. Respect to all of you guys
Rich Tygart
Rich Tygart 13 dias atrás
My buddy was in Iraq at a checkpoint and a car didn't stop so they lit up the car and when they walked up to the car they saw it was a mother and father and baby all burned up and full of bullet holes. Fast-forward 29 years and my buddy's wife died last year. I see it in his eyes that he feels like it's some sort of karma that came back to bite him.
Mackenzie Norberg
Mackenzie Norberg 6 dias atrás
Absolutely horrific 😢
Ion Florie Ho
Ion Florie Ho 6 dias atrás
29 years is a lifetime. Your buddy's wife lived a lifetime.
different Abdi
different Abdi Mês atrás
My heart goes out to all the Iraqi families who lived through this horrible tragedy
Biser balkanski 1903
right what about them?
Sanctus Paulus 1962
@Afayanl Iraq under Saddam was a murderous dictatorship and was a threat to America's relations with Kuwait. It had nothing to do with 9/11.
Afayanl Mês atrás
@Sanctus Paulus 1962 And what gives America the right to topple governments of sovereign nations?
Porcelainvector Mês atrás
I don’t get emotional often but the ending had me in tears
Wildcat 859
Wildcat 859 16 dias atrás
Did a good job with this story. I literally felt it. To my cord I think? The amount of trauma, guilt, pain, stress etc etc these guys went through is sad to think of
2BOR4B 14 dias atrás
“Who’s actually the enemy” my father took 3 tours in Iraq, and has said that numerous times, they all are dressed like civilians, so you really don’t know who is the enemy.
Neal White
Neal White Mês atrás
Man, that ending 😢 thank you guys.