Alpha Company, a National Guard unit based in Northeast Philadelphia, drew its roster from across the region. Six members were killed during the nearly 11 months that Alpha spent in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. The 131 survivors are police officers and college students, construction workers and drug store clerks. More than two years after coming home, many are still struggling to get their lives back in order and to sort out the meaning of their sacrifice. Nearly half have been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet many say they‘d go back to Iraq if asked. They‘d do it for their buddies.
Here are their personal accounts.
The flat roofs across the street were checkered with black shadows. In the dim yellow light of a city sky at night, Sgt. Lorenzo Martinez thought he saw a man move.
After nearly a year in Iraq, the men of Alpha Company try to fit back home. But the war has changed them and their families, and the return for many is difficult.
Lorenzo Martinez imagined he had seen a sniper across from his rowhouse and barricaded himself in his bedroom, his family in fear. Alpha soldiers like him came home from war with dark scenes burned in their minds. Part 3 of 4