Albany -- An Albany soldier who spent the last year in Iraq got to see the success and the sacrifices in the war on Terror. First Lt. Jon Anderson gets a standing ovation from the Albany Rotary Club, where he showed men he grew up with his pictures of Iraq.
An Albany native, Anderson spent the last year in the Tikrit Region of Central Iraq. Anderson volunteered for patrols, and it wasn't long before his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.
"It's something that happens to soldiers on a daily basis over there. It's not something that we go out of the gate wanting to happen, but kinda of expecting it will happen," Anderson said.
Anderson says his faith in God helped him and the rest of the 115th Infantry Battalion, as three of his good friends were killed. First Lt. Michael Fasnacht, First Lt. Michael Cleary, and Anderson's Captain Joel Cahill, were all killed by roadside bombs.
"They were all good friends. It was something I knew going in would happen. But I thank God he gave me the peace of mind to continue on."
Despite those sacrifices, Anderson said he sees success in the Iraq elections, rebuilding military, and the time he spent with their people.
Anderson said "Instead of seeing the United States military as a super power that invaded their country, instead they'll remember Lt. Anderson and the Third Infantry Division. All the guys who spent time with them, ate and drank with them."
Lt. Anderson spent a lot of time in Sadaam Hussein's palaces, and the hole where he was captured.
The Albany soldier who is back home from war, not forgetting his friends who died to protect this nation, and bring freedom to another land.
Anderson has another year and a half to serve in the Army, then he plans to leave the military and return to live in Albany.