ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Another crisis is brewing in Iraq as al Qaeda forces take over some key cities, overwhelming Iraqi Army forces.
That has inspired some Iraq war veterans in this country to question what they fought for, if Iraq is now unraveling. But not one local soldier.
"It's hot. It smells. It's unfamiliar," said Army Staff Sgt. Chris DeBord, talking about his two tours in Iraq. "You learn to live with bare necessities."
He went to sleep and awoke to the sound of gunfire. He endured weeks of 130-degree temperatures.
"You're cut off from everything else around you. What's happening around you is all that matters," said DeBord.
Although he is just 25 years old, he is already lost four friends, including two in combat.
"That can't affect how you do your mission. That can't affect who you are. And if it does, you need to be able to have someone help you deal with that," he said.
As Iraqi government forces suffer major defeats and insurgents seize key cities, our nation debates whether American troops pulled out too soon.
"It's upsetting, but at the same time, I know I made a difference over there. To see a kid smile when you give him a soccer ball or to see somebody happy because you treated their house with respect, conducting a search. That makes you feel like a good individual," said DeBord. Now a reservist, he believes our country should stick to its decision to leave Iraq. His friends, he says, did not die in vain.
"They died for their country. Proudly serving it and that's the most honorable way an American soldier could die is serving their country," he said.
When DeBord is not at work or taking classes for his criminology degree, you might catch him doing standup comedy at a local venue. And just last weekend, he published a book about his first tour of duty in Iraq, when he was just 20-years-old. For more information on that, you can go to this link.