Army Spc. Arturo Barajas provides security for Iraqi army soldiers in southern Mosul, Iraq. Department of Defense. Photo by Spc. Christa Martin, U.S. Army.
The first time I heard about the city of Mosul, I was a soldier in Iraq.
A rocket had hit a military mess hall near there and ripped through the Tuesday lunch crowd. The mess hall was the one place we gathered together. The one place where we took off our flak vests, laid down our weapons, and ate together. Sixty-six people—some military, some civilian—were wounded before anyone knew what happened. That was the cost those soldiers paid that day. Many others pay an even steeper price.
Today is the day that we sit with that. Today is the day we remember all a soldier leaves behind when they die.