picture above left came into worldwide prominence when 1st Tank
Battalion successfully entered downtown Baghdad and yanked down
the famous statue of Saddam Hussein. This picture captured the
success of a nation and symbolized the military victory. Here
is what the caption said at the time:
Staff Sgt. Nick Popadich, of Indianapolis, Ind., with the
3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, enjoys a cigar atop his
tank as he arrives at a crossroad in downtown Baghdad.
this was the end of the story, it would be heart-warming enough
but it's just the beginning. As what often happens in war, noteriety
does not guarantee safety and the fight continuted. Unfortuately,
the Gunny was wounded in an attack. He luckily survived and
was able to come home but true to the Marine Corps spirit, he
wanted to go back with HIS Marines. Here
is the rest of the story.
I'm still not finished. When researching this story, I found
some other things that made me laugh, sigh, and yes, weep.