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-- ten years ago this time I was working around the clock -- the Pentagon.
Watching out my friend and colleague Rick Leventhal on the Marines going into Iraq in -- Rick ten years later.
Your thoughts my friend.
Well as an incredibly challenging time I did an amazing opportunity to see how our military works in an actual battle.
And an actual war -- we wanted to take this week.
To look back at the Iraq War through the eyes of some of the men that we spent the most time -- back in 2003 that would be members of the marine -- third light armored reconnaissance battalion or third LA are in the third -- -- to Thomas commanded by then lieutenant colonel Stacy clarity Brunette who led nearly a thousand Marines into battle many of them seeing combat.
For the first time with this gentleman.
Then lieutenant colonel -- -- -- program -- defenses at the border fired the first shots on the ground take out Iraqi guard post and then.
Rolled north past burning oil fields and and a firefight so their mission -- to protect.
All they're advancing coalition forces.
All the way to the outskirts of Baghdad and with the tenth anniversary approaching I asked this now general.
About his reflections looking back at 2000.
I think we left Iraq better we found it a problem that the Iraqis are in control their own destiny that was not true with the time.
They can they be able to take what we've given them and they can determine where they want to go in the future.
That's certainly wasn't -- -- son Hussein.
General clarity says his only regret was that he -- -- able to bring everyone home and back in 2007 Mike he led the surge that Senator McCain -- referred to in an Al Anbar Province.
That -- widely credited with bringing peace to one of the most dangerous places on -- -- time we we spoke to the general in.
Iraq back in 2007 and then we spoke to him at the Pentagon where he is now director of operations for the Marine Corps he's been selected -- promotion for two stars.
He'll head Okinawa Japan this summer to command the entire.
Third marine division and told us why he's still serving.
It was something and I was something to the country -- -- something to the core.
And I owe something to the Marines and sailors of serve was.
And I think I can do that better -- -- from in the military.
More with general clarity tonight -- -- report prepared 6 o'clock Mike and tomorrow we're gonna focus on the garner.
And our vehicle who fired those first shots on the ground before the war officially started.
Awesome -- I look forward to watching your reports that Rick.
I had the privilege and honor of doing an embed with -- -- tenth mountain division soldiers in 2005 when the Iraqis were gonna -- we had a purple fingers in the air.
Spending time with the guys whether they -- soldiers or Marines that.
I find it was like never prouder moment for me in terms of being an American he talk about.
Who don't create the policy but after it carried out at the tip of the spear and -- what it's like being with them for those days on end.
It's a humbling experience might these are guys who many kids are 181920 years old and a foreign land for the first time.
None of them ever complained.
They all did their job sometimes their jobs are very very difficult and you know we were experiencing this in many -- for the first ourselves as journalists and the conditions were wrong and they were very challenging an extremely taxing.
And -- these guys work right through it and while we were there for a few weeks nine weeks in 2003 these guys are there for nine months to a year and they are great Americans in their their.
They're doing remarkable service of their country and you know it was really impressive to watch them more and like you said you know they had a mission to.
To do they were tasked with a mission they went out there and -- that mission they weren't there to question why.
There were some discussions you know as there will be off hours but.
They were committed and they were.
Very very impressive.
In the field.
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