Fifteen years of war have turned Iraqi cities such as Ramadi, Fallujah, and Mosul into ruins. Iraq remains as divided as ever along sectarian lines, despite the deaths of more than 4,500 U.S. troops and untold numbers of Iraqis.
Eight years ago, Walter B. Jackson was a newly minted officer in the U.S. Army, fresh out of West Point, serving as the fire support officer for Company A, Task Force 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment in Anbar province, Iraq.
What follows is a heartfelt letter to a fallen Marine, Lance Cpl. Randy L. Newman, originally written on the 8th anniversary of his death, Aug. 20, 2014. Randy was killed Aug. 20, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division out of Twentynine Palms, California. He was 21 years old.