The Iraq War gave birth to a new generation of American heroes who battled a long and bloody insurgency and pulled that nation back from the brink of civil war.
They are the newest “greatest generation” — their stories told in basic training, their names emblazoned on ships, buildings, memorials, highways and bridges.
The Iraq War was the U.S. military’s first heavy, prolonged combat action since Vietnam. And troops today should know their actions are honored and recognized, said retired Marine Lt. Col. Thomas Richards, who was awarded the Navy Cross as an enlisted Marine in Vietnam.
“It’s important for people to know that if they do something, people will care enough to recognize them,” said Richards, a past national commander of the Legion of Valor, which honors recipients of the Medal of Honor and the three service crosses.