Tenth Anniversary of the Iraq War

The 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War is marked by the same kind of bloodshed we've seen in the past decade.  A wave of bombings in the Baghdad area Tuesday has left at least 65 people dead.

On March 20th, 2003, with the U.S on the brink of war, it was the 3rd light armored reconnaissance battalion that fired the historic first shots on the ground, over the Kuwaiti border into Iraq. Sgt. Bill Gwaltney is the man who pulled the trigger.

The explosive rounds from a 25mm bushmaster chain-gun, leveled an Iraqi guard post, helping clear a path for the invasion.  The enemy responded, firing mortars, and a couple days later, ambushing the battalion.  The firefight lasted an hour, Gwaltney never leaving his big gun.

Gwaltney said: "People were engaging all around, (i was) looking out seeing what I could see, seen a couple Iraqi troops, fired on 'em, didn't see 'em anymore once i fired on 'em.  Gwaltney is still in the corps, promoted to First Sergeant helping train reservists in Joliet, Illinois.  He is spending quality time with his wife and two young sons. Gwaltney says he doesn't regret a day of his service, and still believes our troops made a difference in Iraq.

While Marines don't typically travel with news crews, Gwaltney says it made a big difference to loved ones back home. Gwaltney says: "Not just our vehicle but i know you being with our company, I know a lot of Marines and a lot of the families including wives had that link directly to L.A.R." Gwaltney added: "Every day, every night, they said all they did was watch Fox News to see you pop up on there because they knew if you came up on the TV, they were going to get an update on their spouse, whether you were interviewing them or not. "

 

 

 

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