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Seven years of war in Iraq?

I'm confused, seven years of war in Iraq? But didn't Bush declare Mission Accomplished on May 1, 2003 when he said, “My fellow Americans...Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."  You Must Be Kidding...
Bush stood in front of a large banner that read, “Mission Accomplished.”
It was a day like any other day — except that it was the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. And, for the most part, that was forgotten.
It’s not that the average American isn’t aware that we still have tens of thousands or troops in Iraq, or that nearly 4,400 U.S. military personnel have died there since the war began. Scattered demonstrations were scheduled around the country to call for the troops’ swift return.But with so much else going on — a torpid economy, a climactic debate over health care reform, a mounting conflict in Afghanistan — it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Americans are still fighting and dying in Iraq.
Total of  137 Photos Below ↓
On War: Seven Years of War in Iraq
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Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller, 20, of Kentucky, a member of Charlie Company of the U.S. Marines First Division, Eighth regiment, smokes a cigarette. Miller came to be known as the "Marlboro Man" for this iconic photograph from the Iraq War. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)
On War: Seven Years of War in Iraq
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US President George W. Bush addresses the nation from the Oval office of the White House late 19 March 2003 in Washington, DC. Bush said that he had launched war against Iraq, promising a "broad and concerted campaign" to disarm Baghdad and topple Saddam Hussein. AFP PHOTO/Luke FRAZZA
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Tens of thousands of antiwar protesters gather on the National Mall in Washington to protest the war on Iraq Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003. (AP {Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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Haylee Schimmelpfenneg embraces her father, Sergeant First Class Robert Schimmelpfenneg, after a deployment ceremony for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team in Fort Carson. The soldier deployment from Fort Carson for impending war in Iraq is the greatest since the Vietnam War. (Glenn Asakawa/The Denver Post)
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Soldiers salute during the National Anthem at the beginning of a deployment ceremony for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team in Fort Carson. The soldier deployment from Fort Carson for impending war in Iraq is the greatest since the Vietnam War. (Glenn Asakawa/The Denver Post)
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Smoke covers the presidential palace compound in Baghdad 21 March 2003 during a massive US-led air raid on the Iraqi capital. Smoke billowed from a number of targeted sites, including one of President Saddam Hussein's palaces, an AFP correspondent said. AFP PHOTO/Ramzi HAIDAR
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A young Iraqi girl cries as a British Challenger tank moves in on the Baath party office. (Odd Anderson/AFP/Getty Images)
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IRAQ--EPW's, Enemy prisoners of war, surrender to Marines just inside the Kuwait Iraq border, Friday morning Iraq time. THE DENVER POST/ ANDY CROSS
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U.S. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit help an Iraqi soldier with water from a canteen in southern Iraq, on Friday, March 21, 2003. Some 200 Iraqi soldiers surrendered to the U.S. 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit just after an hour after it crossed the border into Iraq from northern Kuwait. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
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This photo released 23 March 2003 shows a British Royal Marine from 42 Commando squadron firing a Milan wire-guided missile at an Iraqi position on the Fao peninsula 21 March 2003. Iraqi troops were searching the Tigris river for US or British aircrew who allegedly were shot down over Baghdad. AFP PHOTO/JOHN MILLS
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An anti-war protester, hand covered with a red substance, flashes a peace sign while being arrested during a demonstration outside the White House Friday, March 21, 2003. Anti-war activists rolled out another wave of demonstrations Friday in their campaign against the war on Iraq that includes sit-ins in the streets and at federal buildings, mass rallies and quiet vigils. Hundreds have been arrested. (AP Photo/Teru Iwasaki)
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U.S. Marine Lt. Ben Reid from Charlie Company of Task Force Tarawa waits to be medivaced after being hit with shrapnel and a machine gun round. The Marines suffered a number of deaths and casualties during gun battles throughout the city. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A U.S. Marine amored assault vehicle from Task Force Tarawa flies the American flag during a gun battle. The Marines suffered a number of deaths and casualties during gun battles throughout the city. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A U.S. Marine from Task Force Tarawa walks with his ammunition and weapon. The Marines have had running gun battles over the past two days with a stubborn resistance within and around the city. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Infantry with Task Force 2-69 Armor of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Benning, Ga., disembark from a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to surround a man who was stopped for suspicious activity somewhere in Iraq, Monday, March 24, 2003. An AK-47 automatic rifle and ammunition were found in the man's vehicle. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, David Leeson)
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A soldier with Task Force 2-69 Armor of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Benning, Ga., walks past the bodies of dead Iraqi soldiers in a desert somewhere in Iraq Monday, March 24, 2003. (AP Photo/David Leeson, The Dallas Morning News)
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IRAQ-PRISONERS -- In the first six days of war with Iraq, the American and British armies have taken more than 3,500 prisoners of war, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday, March 25, 2003. It is not clear exactly where the prisoners are being held -- in temporary pens created by the advancing allied units, or in more centralized locations, according to military officials contacted late Tuesday night. Iraqi POW's sit bound inside a circle of barbed wire waiting to be questioned following a battle with 3rd Infantry Division Task Force 1-64, Sunday March 23, 2003. (Brant Sanderlin/Cox News Service)
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Joseph Dwyer, 26, from Mt. Sinai, NY, carries a young Iraqi boy who was injured during a heavy battle between the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry Regiment and Iraqi forces Tuesday, March 25, 2003 near the village of Al Faysaliyah, Iraq. (AP Photo/Warren Zinn, Army Times)
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Marine Corp. Eric Silva, of New Jersey, fights the wind for his tent during a severe sandstorm at Camp Viper in the Iraqi desert, Tuesday, March 25, 2003. Iraq often sees sandstorms in the spring, but Tuesday's storm was exceptional, bringing dust and sand from as far away as Egypt and Libya. (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Macor)
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U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, take cover after coming upon a mortar attack during an orange sandstorm on a road south of Baghdad, Iraq on Wednesday, March 26, 2003. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)
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Lenny Rodriguez, right, of Queens, forcefully argues in favor of the war with Michael Duce, left, of Manhattan, during a demonstration against the war through Midtown Manhattan, Thursday, March 27, 2003. (Justin Lane/The New York Times)
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A family leaves the besieged city of Basra as oil fires burn in the distance. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Soldiers of the British Light Infantry distribute aid packages to locals at Zubayr near Basra, southern Iraq, Saturday, March 29, 2003. Significant numbers of Iraqi civilians are trying to leave Basra everyday to get food aid from points around the city before returning. (AP Photo/Brian Roberts)
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U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Stephen Plumer from Arvada, Colorado of Task Force Tarawa reads a letter from his mother. The Marine was receiving his first mail since leaving Kuwait a week ago. His mother sent him a box of Goldfish snacks, U.S. flags and a letter. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A U.S. Marine from Task Force Tarawa helps a woman with a bag of flour after opening a warehouse. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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U.S. Army Chaplain Capt. David Nott comforts Tyler Jordan as the 6-year-old carries the flag that draped the casket of his father, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Phillip A. Jordan. Jordan was killed in action in an ambush near An Nasariya, Iraq. (Bob Falcetti/Getty Images)
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U.S. soldiers from the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division assault a military compound in Najaf, Iraq, Wednesday, April 2, 2003. The 101st cleared downtown Najaf Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju)
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U.S. Marine armored attack vehicle from Task Force Tarawapass a highway sign. The Marines continue to sweep through the country looking for enemy forces. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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United States Marines carry a wounded Marine to a helicopter for evacuation to a mobile surgical hospital after after two convoys headed in opposite directions collided on a road south of Baghdad Thursday, April 3, 2003 in central Iraq. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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Fellow Marines carry the casket of Marine Capt. Ryan Beaupre out of St. Anne's Catholic Church following his funeral Thursday, April 3, 2003 in Beaupre's home town of St. Anne, Ill. Beaupre died when the helicopter he was piloting crashed in Kuwait last month. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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Lt. Jeffrey Goodman, left, and Lance Cpl. Jorge Sanchez, drag a wounded civilian away from his burning vehicle during an advance on Baghdad by the 2nd Tank Battalion Friday, April 4, 2003. The man was injured when he raced into the midst of a battle. (AP Photo, Cheryl Diaz Meyer, Dallas Morning News)
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Residents of Karbala, Iraq raise their shirts to reveal that they have no weapons as they approach a checkpoint manned by members of Task Force 2-69 Armor, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Benning Ga., Friday, April 4, 2003. (AP Photo, Dallas Morning News, David Leeson)
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U.S. Army 3rd Division Task Force 3-7 soldiers bow their heads in prayer during a Christian worship service for soldiers occupying the Baghdad International Airport. U.S. Forces continue to maintain control of the airfield as other coalition forces continue to make periodic advances into Iraq's capital. (Scott Nelson/Getty Images)
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A U.S. Marine drags a picture of Saddam Hussein to a burn pile. The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit entered the town looking for weapons and destroying pictures of Saddam Hussein. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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A British paratrooper, left, talks with an Iraqi girl while holding his position near the main street in Basra as coalition forces took control of much of Iraq's second city. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)
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A picture of Saddam Hussein is set on fire by U.S. Marines. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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Villagers celebrate the arrival of the U.S. Marines as the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit entered the town. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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U.S. Army Stf. Sgt. Chad Touchett, center, relaxes with comrades from A Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, following a search in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces damaged after a bombing, in Baghdad Monday, April 7, 2003.(AP Photo/John Moore)
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U.S. Marines from the 3rd Batallion yell to urge infantrymen to rush across the damaged Baghdad Highway Bridge, Monday, April 7, 2003, as they move forward into the city while under fire in the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Kuni Takahashi)
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A Iraqi man begs for help for himself and his friend after failing to stop as they approached a coalition tank in Baghdad, Tuesday, April 8, 2003. The man lying on the road in the background was shot several times, but was alive and transported to medical help by Charlie Company's 1-64 3rd Infantry Division. Two other men in the car were killed. (Brant Sanderlin/The Atlanta Journal-Consitution via Cox News Service)
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Iraqis cheer as United States Marines from Task Force Tarawa pass their home as the Marines move through central Iraq. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division display a portrait of President Saddam Hussein as they make their way through the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Wednesday April 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Takanori Sekine, Kyodo)
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Cpl Edward Chin from New York of the 3rd battalion, 4th Marines regiment, set up the star and stripes flag on the face of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's statue before to tear down it, in downtown Bagdad, Wednesday, April 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)
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Ray Fiore screams U-S-A with about during a pro-war rally About 25,000 people attended the rally held near the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
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U.S. Marine Corporal Rick Colella from Auburn, New York of Task Force Tarawa prays during an early Palm Sunday service. The Marines are waiting for their next mission. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Family members mourn the death of three male relatives, in Baghdad, Iraq Thursday, April 10, 2003. The three - a father, his teenage son, and another male relative - were shot and killed by U.S. Marines Wednesday night, April 9, after the car they were driving allegedly did not stop while passing a building occupied by U.S. Marines. The victims' relatives were waiting for their return, and did not know about the incident until relatives towed the car, containing the three bodies, to the family's home on Thursday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times)
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First Sgt. Keith Gladden calls an honorary last roll call in front of the fallen comrade memorial display during the memorial service at Fort Sill, Okla., Thursday, April 10. 2003, for three servicemen from Fort Sill who were killed in the war in Iraq. Sgt. 1st Class Randall Rehn, Sgt. Todd Robbins and Spc. Samuel Oaks Jr., shown in photos, from left, were killed in Iraq on April 3. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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U.S. Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit stand guard on a field position during a mission. The unit is involved with an operation in the area. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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Two Iraqi women carry furniture away from an Iraqi government office building on fire downtown Baghdad Friday April 11 2003. Widespread looting continues in the Iraqi capital. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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An Iraqi boy offers some water to a United States Marine of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, while he was out on patrol Friday, April 11, 2003 in a neighborhood near central Baghdad. Marines patrolled through streets in search of any remnants of resistance as well as intelligence on weapons caches or hiding places of enemy forces. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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Three Iraqi soldiers sit bound and hooded, waiting to be interrogated by Marines of the Force Recon attachment to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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Former POW Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, center, is escorted by US soldiers to a waiting C-130 transport plane at an air base, Sunday, April 13, 2003. Johnson was with a convoy of the 507th Maintenance Company that was ambushed March 23 in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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U.S. Marines arrest a suspected looter in the street as the U.S. troops search the city to arrest looters and try to bring order to Baghdad on Sunday April 13, 2003. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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U.S. Army Third Infantry Division Sgt. Roscoe Archer of Fort Stewart, Georgia catches a nap on a couch in the Republican Presidential Palace. The compound is now guarded and has been secured by the U.S. military. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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A U.S Marines arrest an Iraqi prisoner of war after a scuffle in the main Square of Tikrit, April 14, 2003 some175 kilometers - just over 100 miles - north of the capital Baghdad. The Marines captured the city after meeting with little resistance from Saddam Hussein loyalists. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)
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A U.S. Marine pulls down a picture of Saddam Hussein at a school. A combination team of Marines, Army and Special Forces went to schools and other facilities in Al-Kut looking for weapons caches and unexploded bombs in preparation for removing and neutralizing them. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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A man lies handcuffed with his artificial leg after U.S. Marines caught him and other looters robbing from a bank. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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U.S. soldiers sit on top of a tank decorated with portraits of Saddam Hussein outside one of the Presidential Palace complexes Monday, April 28, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. Saddam Hussein's 66th birthday arrived Monday with none of the elaborate fanfare of the past and a spate of rumors that the deposed dictator was still alive. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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WELCOME HOME NEIGHBOR! Jerri Churchill runs with her American flag to greet her neighbor Lieutenant Colonel Pete Byrne who had just returned to his Parker home after flying F-16s in the Iraq war. Byrne an American Airlines pilot had been mobilized with the 120th Tactical Air Command on February 4th 2003. He returned home today, April 30, 2003 to Buckley Air Force Base with 15 other pilots. Churchill's children play frequently with Byrne's two sons. DENVER POST PHOTO BY CYRUS MCCRIMMON
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President Bush gives a "thumbs-up" sign after declaring the end of major combat in Iraq as he speaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast May 1, 2003. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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A woman cries out the name of her missing son as U.S. Marines search for evidence at a mass grave. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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U.S. Marine Kirk Straseskie, 23, seen in this undated photo, died Monday after a Sea-Knight helicopter crashed into a canal shortly after takeoff in Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. Straseskie is the first soldier from Wisconsin to die in connection with the war in Iraq and efforts to rebuild the country. The copter crashed into the Shat al-Hillah Canal, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. Four Marines on the helicopter were killed. John Straseskie, 51, said Tuesday his son jumped into the canal after the helicopter crashed to try to rescue the crew. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Rick Loomis)
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An Iraqi women carries a pail of milk past U.S. Army soldiers from the 299th Engineering Battalion of the Fourth Infantry Division as they carry out a raid. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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U.S. Army Lieutenant Andrew Carrigan from Boston, Massachusetts, Corporal Darvick Xiong from Wausaw, Wisconsin and Specialist Steven Payne from Jolo, West Virginia of the 101st Airborne Rakkasans regiment take time out on Halloween day for a donkey race. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Iraqi boy Ayad Alim Brissam Karim shows one of his pictures taken before his accident. US helicopters attacked the vegetable field where he played leaving him with no sight and burns to his face. (Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images)
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A newly married Iraqi couple walks away from the banks of the Tigris River after posing for photographs. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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A man stands near the remains of a building after a massive bomb attack that killed at least 10 people. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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A U.S. Army soldier keeps people back from the scene of a destroyed building after a massive bomb attack. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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An Iraqi boy holds a leaflet in broken English that reads ?Fallujah, the cemetery of the Americans," near a burning car in the flashpoint town of Fallujah, 50 kms west of Baghdad 31 March 2004. Angry residents armed with shovels mutilated the charred bodies of two people, believed to be foreigners, caught in an insurgents' attack and warned the rebel Iraqi town would be the "cemetery" of US occupation forces. AFP PHOTO/Karim SAHIB
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Iraqis chant anti-American slogans as charred bodies hang from a bridge over the Euphrates River in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, Wednesday, March 31 2004. Enraged Iraqis in this hotbed of anti-Americanism killed four foreigners Wednesday, including at least one U.S. national, took the charred bodies from a burning SUV, dragged them through the streets, and hung them from the bridge. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
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Children play on a burned U.S. military vehicle after it was caught in a battle with supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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A stunned Marine with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, wipes his eyes after learning that a fellow Marine in his platoon was seriously injured after being shot in an ambush while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq, Tuesday, April 6, 2004. The Marine regained his composure and headed into the fight. Insurgents and rebellious Shiites mounted a string of attacks across Iraq's south and U.S. Marines launched a major assault on the turbulent city of Fallujah on Tuesday. Up to a dozen Marines, two more coalition soldiers and at least 66 Iraqis were reported killed. (AP Photo/North County Times, Hayne Palmour IV)
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U.S. Marines pray over a fallen comrade at a first aid point after he died from wounds suffered in fighting in Fallujah, Iraq, in this April 8, 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)
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Marine Sgt. James Hollon, 24, from Deerpark, Texas, takes a bath at the home that the Marines of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, have been holding on the northwest side of Fallujah, Iraq on Sunday, April 11, 2004. Hollon said this was the first time in about a month that he's been able to wash himself. (North County Times, Hayne Palmour IV)
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Cpl. Will McDermott, front, from Phoenix, Ariz and other Marines from the 1st Battalion 5th Marines sleep in their fighting holes in Fallujah, Iraq Thursday, April 22, 2004.(AP Photo/John Moore)
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In this recent but undated picture made by the US Department of Defense, flag-draped coffins of US war casualties are seen aboard a cargo plane in Dover, Del. A website published photographs of American war dead arriving at the nation's largest military mortuary from Iraq and Afghanistan, and a NASA spokesman said that at least 18 rows of photos on the site were of the Columbia astronauts. The photographs were released to First Amendment activist Russ Kick, who had filed a Freedom of Information Act request. (AP Photo/thememoryhole.org)
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A photo obtained by the Washington Post and released Thursday, May 6, 2004, shows a soldier identified as U.S. Army Spc. Lynndie England, 21, of the 372nd Military Police Company with a naked detainee at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad date unknown. (AP Photo/The Washington Post)
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U.S. Marines with the 1st Expeditionary Force play baseball at their base near Fallujah, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2004. U.S. forces are making preparations for a big offensive to retake the rebel-held western cities of Fallujah and Ramadi ahead of nationwide Iraqi elections due in January. (Ashley Gilbertson/The New York Times)
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US Marines of the 1st Division raid the house of a city council chairman in the Abu Ghraib district of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2004. The Marines arrested the city council chairman of Nasar Wa Sulaan, Baghdad, Taha Rasheed and other council members following the raid. American forces are preparing for a major assault on Fallujah in an effort to restore control to a swath of Sunni Muslim towns north and west of the capital ahead of crucial national elections due by Jan. 31. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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A U.S. Marine takes cover in a ditch as a Bradley fighting vehicle patrols nearby as US troops received heavy fire in Falluja, Monday, Nov. 8, 2004. (Shawn Baldwin/New York Times)
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Insurgents, using small arms and mortars, launch an attack on U.S. forces in Fallujah, Iraq, Monday, Nov. 8, 2004. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
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U.S. Marines of the 1st Division take position on the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq, Monday, Nov. 8, 2004. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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U.S. Marines advance down a street in Fallujah, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004, as U.S. forces punched into the center of the insurgent stronghold, overwhelming bands of guerrillas in the street with heavy barrages of fire and searching house to house in a powerful advance on the second day of a major offensive. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Luis Sinco)
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US Marine of the 1st Division push further into the western part of Fallujah, Iraq, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004. U.S. military officials said Saturday that US Forces had now "occupied" the entire city of Fallujah. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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A U.S. Marine of the 1st Division carries a mascot for good luck in his backpack as his unit pushed further into the western part of Fallujah, Iraq, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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US Marines of the 1st division enter a house to take up position in the western part of Fallujah, Iraq, Monday, Nov. 15, 2004. U.S. ground forces were trying to corner the remaining resistance in the city. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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Samar Hassan, 5, screams after her parents were killed by U.S. Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division in a shooting. The troops fired on the Hassan family car when it unwittingly approached them during a dusk patrol. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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Military vehicles carry caskets bearing the remains of U.S. servicemen in this undated handout photo released April 28, 2005 by the Pentagon. The release this week of more than 700 images showing the return of American casualties to Dover Air Force Base and other U.S. military facilities follows Freedom of Information Act requests and a lawsuit charging the Pentagon with failing to comply with the act. The military digitally concealed faces and other identifying marks. (U.S. Department of Defense/The National Security Archive via Getty Images)
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Fallujah, Iraq | June 2005
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Shawn Spicher, from Hemet, California, is reflected in a mirror at his field base. Spicher, 21, with the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, participated in combat in Fallujah and elsewhere during his two tours in Iraq, and has learned "that this life can be over in an instant." Marines with the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines have had a storied history in Iraq, which includes being the U.S. troops that famously pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, and leading the first assault on Fallujah in April 2004.(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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David Stibbs, stepfather of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Evenor C. Herrera, weeps over his son's casket . Herrera was killed last week in Iraq when a bomb exploded during combat. (Preston Utley/Vail Daily)
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This video image released by Iraqi state television shows Saddam Hussein's guards wearing ski masks and placing a noose around the deposed leader's neck moments before his execution Saturday Dec. 30. 2006. Clutching a Quran and refusing a hood, Saddam Hussein went to the gallows before sunrise Saturday, executed by vengeful countrymen after a quarter-century of remorseless brutality that killed countless thousands and led Iraq into disastrous wars against the United States and Iran. (AP Photo/IRAQI TV, HO)
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Lance Corporal Jason Derks (L) and Lance Corporal Daniel Patrick, who both returned from the war wounded, mourn for their fallen companions of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment as the Marines of Regimental Combat Team 5 (RCT-5 ) memorialize 100 Marines, soldiers, and sailors who died during the regiment's 12-month deployment to fight in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq on February 15, 2007 at Camp Pendleton, California. The RCT-5 was assigned to cultivate the combat capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces in the greater Fallujah region and helped facilitate the expansion of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Division's battlespace in Fallujah proper and saw the repositioning of Marines to the edges of the city. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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Baghdad, Iraq | February 2007
A U.S. soldier in the 10th Mountain Division winces in pain as his gunshot wound to the leg is treated by medics of the 28th Combat Support Hospital based in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Wounded children and adults were rushed to the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, a military hospital that takes wounded Iraqi and U.S. forces alike. The boy had shrapnel wounds and a piece of shrapnel lodged in his skull but is expected to recover. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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Protesters call for the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Cheney at the State Capitol. Several hundred anti-war protesters marched through downtown Denver, starting at the downtown Denver office for Halliburton and walking down the 16th Street mall to the State Capitol building. The rally marked the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. (Karl Gehring/The Denver Post)
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Seen through splintered bullet-proof glass, US soldiers from 2-12 Infantry Battalion examine their damaged Humvee after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated on the vehicle, following a patrol. On the anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq US soldiers still face daily attacks on the streets of the war-torn capital. (David Furst/AFP/Getty Images)
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A US soldier from 2-12 Infantry Battalion calls out to his comrades to see if they are injured seconds after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated on the vehicle during a patrol in the predominantly Sunni al-Dora neighborhood. (David Furst/AFP/Getty Images)
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A U.S. Army solider of the B-CO 2/325 AIR 82nd Airborne Division and an Iraqi interpreter order cheese from a local store. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Jerry Byrd from Taft, Calif., of the B-CO 2/325 AIR 82nd Airborne Division rides a childs bike during a light moment on patrol. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division are reflected in a store window as they patrol through the streets. The soldiers are part of the U.S. increase in military presence in Iraq, a move, coming amid growing domestic opposition to the war, that aims to quell spiraling violence in the capitol. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A woman tries to plead her case to a U.S. Army soldier of D-CO 2/325 AIR 82nd Airborne Division after they arrested her relatives for possible connection with insurgents. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A woman cries over the dead body of a relative as U.S. Army soldiers of the D-CO 2/325 AIR 82nd Airborne Division investigate the shooting while they are on patrol. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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School children react to U.S. Army Specialist Ron Kreiger from Schuylkill Haven, Penn. of the D-CO 2/325 AIR 82nd Airborne Division visiting their school. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A U.S. Army soldier of the D-CO 2/325 AIR 82nd Airborne Division searches people after asking them to get out of their vehicles during a traffic stop. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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U.S. Army (L-R) Private First Class Eli Salaz from Denver, Colorado, Specialist Robert Ruiz from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Specialist Trey Mckinney from Amarillo, Texas and Specialist Angel Hernandez from San Diego, California of the D-CO 2/325 AIR 82nd Airborne Division play a game of dominoes and read a book as they relax at combat outpost Ford. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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U.S. Marines of Echo Company 2 battalion, 7th Marines try to catch a calf that broke lose during a security patrol. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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U.S. Marine Corporal Anthony Williams from Gig Harbor, Washington of Golf Company 2 battalion, 7th Marines wears a United States Marine Corps tattoo on his back. The Marines are part of the United States military effort to control the violence in Iraq. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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U.S. Marine Corporal Anthony Williams from Gig Harbor, Washington of Golf Company 2 battalion, 7th Marines talks on the radio during a security patrol. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A man walks behind U.S. Marine Corporal Jakob Willmann of Mobile, Ala. Assault Platoon 3 of Weapons Company 2 Battalion, 7th Marines during a security patrol. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A US soldier stands guards at a school. (Mohammed Sawwaf/AFP/Getty Images)
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Mary McHugh mourns her slain fiance Sgt. James Regan at "Section 60" of the Arlington National Cemetery. Regan, a US Army Ranger, was killed by an IED explosion in Iraq in February of this year, and this was the first time McHugh had visited the grave since the funeral. Section 60, the newest portion of the vast national cemetery on the outskirts of Washington D.C, contains hundreds of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Family members of slain American soldiers have flown in from across the country for Memorial Day. (John Moore/Getty Images)
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Women sip tea and look on nervously as the man of the house, suspected of being a terrorist bomb financier, is questioned by U.S. troops. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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Adrea Castillo (L) hugs her father Army SGT Guillermo Castillo during the singing of the singing of the Army Song during a Purple Heart ceremony. SGT Castillo was wounded by an IED blast in Iraq. Twenty members of the US armed forces were awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded while serving in the war on terror. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Pft. Daniel Sims of Clemson, South Carolina of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment of the U.S. Army sits during watch duties in a partially destroyed building that's being converted to an Army field post. Insurgents who were in control of Amariyah until recently attempted to destroy this building and an adjacent bunker with explosives and burning tires, but the Army was able to salvage the compound and is now occupying it. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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SFC. Richard Gregory of the National Police Transition Team (NPTT) with the U.S. Army Bravo Comp. 212 Cavalry speaks to residents about concerns regarding security and utilities. Progress has made in recent months in Ghazaliya in combating extremists who were threatening the populace and fighting coalition troops. ( Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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An Iraqi woman and her child walk past U.S. Army Humvees patrolling a neighborhood. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Members of the U.S.Army Alpha Company 82nd Airborne run up to a roof while searching an area immediately after rockets were fired by insurgents. The Bush administration has rejected an appeal by Republican Senator John Warner asking Bush to announce by Sept. 15 a plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Protesters march past the U.S. Capitol during an anti-war march. Activists marched around DC passing federal buildings to protest the war in Iraq. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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An Iraqi woman shouts "Don't shoot!" as US soldiers from Alpha Company, 1/38 Infantry Regiment detain her son and husband (L), who are suspected of targeting their Stryker convoy with an IED. Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)
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Junior ROTC cadets are reflected in a store window as they march in a parade during a Veterans Day ceremony. Veterans Day honors military veterans from all wars that the United States has fought. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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US soldiers with the 101st Airborne rest after conducting a house-to-house search. Hints of US military progress in Iraq are shifting the political ground under Democratic White House candidates, and boosting the spirits of Republicans who have taken a beating over the unpopular war. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)
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A view of crosses marking soldiers lost during the war in Iraq is seen at Arlington West on Santa Monica Beach, California, 25 November 2007. Each Sunday from sunup to sundown since 15 February, 2004, the temporary memorial is erected in the sand just north of the pier at Santa Monica Beach by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace (VFP) and other volunteers. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
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Iraqi children look at US soldiers from Bravo company, 1st Battalion, 38 regiment infantry as they search Iraqi houses for weapons and suspects as part of the operation 'Rock Hammer 5'. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)
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Sgt. First Class Steven Lee of Maumae, Ohio with the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry pauses in the pre-dawm hours before his men board Stryker vehicles en route to house to house searches. It was the soldiers first visit to the area since two of their comrades died there two weeks ago, killed by a roadside bomb that detonated during a dismounted patrol. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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A US soldier from the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, plays with a young girl during a patrol. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
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U.S. President George W. Bush winks while delivering his final State of the Union address as Vice President Dick Cheney (L) looks on at the U.S. Capitol January 28, 2008 in Washington, DC. Bush, in his last address, spoke on such topics as the uncertainty of the economy, the status of the war in Iraq, and immigration reform. (Photo by Pool via Getty Images)
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Sgt. Ricky Butler with the U.S. Army 501st M.P. Company 1st Armored Division and of Memphis, Tenn., participates in a joint patrol with members of the Iraqi Police. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Cpl Albin Ash swings five-year-old Mia Melugin, whose father GySgt Andy Melugin is serving in Iraq, as Albin and other Marines and Sailors of the 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) deploy to Iraq for a seven-month tour in the Al Anbar Province. The 1st ANGLICO, lead by Lt. Col. Michael J. Gann II, will imbed with Iraqi Army units and other US or coalition forces to coordinate and use Close Air Support (CAS), cannon artillery, and rocket fires to deliver accurate and lethal fires upon their enemies. (David McNew/Getty Images)
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A horse drawn caisson carries the casket of Army Maj. Alan Greg Rogers to his burial service at Arlington National Cemetery. Rogers, of Hampton, Florida, died Jan. 27 of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was conducting a dismounted patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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U.S. Army Sgt. Cole Weih from Dubuque, Iowa, holds the dogtags his grandfather wore during World War II in Mosul, northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday, March 30, 2008. Weih says the tags are a piece of home that he carries with him as a reminder that he's not just a soldier, but that there is still home to go back to. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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President-elect Obama, right, hugs Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, director, Illinois Department of veterans Affairs, following a wreath laying ceremony at the Bronze Soldiers Memorial in honor of Veteran's Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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Squad leader Sgt. Lonnie Buthmann of San Diego wrestles Robinson outside the troopsÕ housing as Ian smokes. Now that their turn on the Quick Reaction Force is over, they look forward to more down time to do laundry, eat meals at a more leisurely pace and work out in the gym. The two-year journey of Ian Fisher from Bear Creek high school in Lakewood, Colorado to Army boot camp to Fort Carson to deployment in Iraq. Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post
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In this Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008 file image from APTN video, a man throws a shoe at President George W. Bush during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in Baghdad. (AP Photo/APTN)
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A U.S soldier shakes hands with an Iraqi child on March 5, 2009 in Baghdad, Iraq. A group of U.S soldiers attended the reopening of the al-Fadael elementary school today in the Al-Hurriya district north of Baghdad after it was repaired from damages suffered during the war. U.S President Barack Obama announced last week plans to leave around 35,000 to 50,000 U.S. military forces in Iraq after pulling the majority of them out by August 2010. (Photo by Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images)
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Iraqis celebrate in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 29, 2009, to mark the milestone of U.S. troops leaving Iraqi cities, fireworks colored Baghdad's skyline and thousands of people attended a party in a city park late Monday where singers performed patriotic songs. U.S. troops will be out of Iraqi cities by tomorrow Tuesday 30, in the first step toward winding down the American war effort by the end of 2011. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)
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Iraqi soldiers march during a parade in the ground of the old Iraqi Defence Ministry, the last of the 86 positions occupied by the US military in Baghdad since the US-led invasion in 2003, on June 29, 2009. US combat troops will pull out from Iraq's cities and main towns June 30 as the war-torn country takes sole charge of security in a major stepping stone to a complete American withdrawal. AFP PHOTO / ALI AL-SAADI
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U.S. Army National Guard Specialist Pedro Montero of the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team holds his daughter Jaelyn Montero, 11mths, as they say goodbye to each other during a deployment ceremony on January 5, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ceremony, honoring the Florida National Guard?s 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, is the first in a series of company-level and battalion-level deployment ceremonies taking place this week throughout the Florida. The event honored 600 of the nearly 2,500 members of the Florida National Guard's 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team who are being deployed to Kuwait and Iraq, the largest single-unit deployment of Florida National Guard since World War II. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A photograph of a soldier that was killed in Iraq hangs on a wooden cross at a roadside memorial that features over 5,000 wooden crosses which represent U.S. troops that have been killed in Iraq March 19, 2010 in Lafayette, California. Today marks the seven year anniversary of the U.S. led war in Iraq. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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