As is tradition in my family, I served in the US Army for almost 5 years. In what is also family tradition, I was deployed to a war zone, spending 13 months in Iraq. Unlike my family, however, my time in Iraq was spent merely trying to live to the next day. My deployment in Iraq was highlighted by the famous “insurgency” President Bush loved to mention, which some days, meant literally going door-to-door to root it out. It was a truly awful experience, because you simply never knew what was behind the next door. I spent most of my free time thinking that this must have been what Vietnam was like for my Father and Uncles. But then quickly dismissing it, because their experience had been so terrible, and so costly both mentally and physically. And I always dared not compare it to my both of my grandparents experiences in WWII, because their service has always been up on a pedestal for me. Almost Schembechler like for Michigan fans; where no matter who else came, they would always be chasing a ghost of a ghost. Coming home from Iraq, I ignored PTSD symptoms for as long as I possibly could. A lot of my fellow soldiers did. I find this particularly true of soldiers from the Afghan and Iraqi wars. Because of previous American Wars, our service always seemed less than, so how could it affect us so thoroughly? It was, of course, a ridiculous notion then, and now. It wasn’t until the HBO series “The Pacific”, and a particular line from an episode that shook me to my core, that I understood that war is war. "Sid, what's it like?" -Sledge. "I slept with a woman in Melbourne. I'm not bragging. That's at one end, right? And then way down there, as far as you can go, that's what it's like. And that... that you can never imagine." -Phillips. Not only did that line help me come to terms with what had been unresolved pain and suffering, it also gave me a further appreciation for the men and women that came before, and will come after me. Thank you to all the vets out there. Your service is appreciated, no matter when and where it was.