This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the war in Iraq. In the past decade, nearly 4,500 troops have died in Iraq, 30,000 have come home wounded, and the United States has spent $2 trillion on combat operations and reconstruction, according to the New York Times. Alhambra Source asked residents: How has the war in Iraq affected you? Everyone had a story from family and friends who served in the war and the fear of having a loved one in battle, to the effects of the war's high price tag on federal budget cuts, to pride in the regime change and the infrastructure the war effort has brought to Iraq.
How has the war in Iraq impacted you? Let us know in the comments section.
"My father is an Arabic-English interpreter and spent about two years in Iraq translating for United States generals, soldiers, and doctors. It was difficult for our family to be without him, especially whenever we heard about the various bombs that would explode near his location. I was proud of the sacrifice he was making to take care of his family and help American troops be as safe and aware as possible, but I couldn’t wait for him to come home.” -Nasrin Aboulhosn, 25
"I think it's worth it, just from being there and seeing, at least in Afghanistan. The more you want to play ball with a country, they have to be on the same terms as us…Iraq now has a great police form. The UN still has peace keeping there. The more that you can help bring that infrastructure all in place, the safer it is." -Robb Rudluff, U.S. Navy, 38 (Listen above)
"I was there in Kuwait getting ready for the war to begin. Ten years sure has flown by so fast." -Michael Anthony Orozco
"The only affect that it's had on me is through friends that have gone. I've seen the change in them, and it's mainly because of the things they've seen in the war. It's kind of hard to explain, I don't know if you've known anybody before they joined the military, and the way they change after they join. Some of my friends are taking tons and tons of Xanax and other prescription meds just to cope with all these different ups and downs they experience from the military and from going to war." -Michael Daviau, 24 (Listen above)
“I had a co-worker who had a son who served in Iraq. I remember, a few years ago, I was talking to her about her family and she mentioned she had a son in the military. When I asked what he did, she said he was a helicopter mechanic who had recently started a second tour of duty in Iraq. She told me that she didn't want him to go again, but she realized that he liked what he did. Then, her voice wavered a little and she teared up. I told her that I thought her son was brave and I was sure he would be alright. I never forgot that conversation and seeing the toll on the parents when their daughters and sons go to war.” –Joe Soong, 49
"I graduated from Alhambra High School in 1979 with twin brothers, Robert and Frank Bodeman. Both enlisted into the military after leaving high school. Frank retired from the military but Robert continues to serve, has done duties in Iraq and will be heading back to Afghanistan around May. Both of them are my age, 52…I know Robert continues to be on the frontline." -Rick Eng, 52
"I help out at the high school a lot. And I feel like if this whole war hadn't started, there would be a lot more money going into schools. I think that's the biggest problem, is we're putting so much effort, and so much money and time into that, where we should be putting a lot more into schools. Because we're not going to be around forever, but they're going to be around a lot longer." -Alyssa Trulson, 21 (Listen above)