Albany-- The 48th Brigade deployed to the Middle East last May but three years ago today the War In Iraq began. Right now, there's no end in sight. One Iraq veteran who's still pushing for the war effort while hoping other soldiers come home soon.
Specialist Ricky Tawzer now lowers the United States flag here on American soil, the same flag that he represented as he fought the war overseas. "It's an interesting experience," says Tawzer. An interesting experience in Iraq that took him from family and friends for more than six months but it feels great to be home.
"Feels good to see the kids again," says Tawzer. His thoughts are still in Iraq and part of him still wants to be there. "I think about my friends on a daily basis. There's a lot of guys over there," says Tawzer. He prays for them as well, and their mission. It's a mission that's been going for three years.
"It just doesn't seem like it's been that long," says Tawzer. So long that Tawzer wonders how long it will last.
"I don't know if it'll ever end. Over there, the've been at war for a long time and I think they'll be at war for a long time to come," says Tawzer.
Still, he feels a difference is being made. The Iraqi people feel better with them being there. "They don't have worry as much as they had to worry before," says Tawzer. It's a difference that has been paid for with some lives, some of them friends. "It was very difficult for me when I found out they died because they died right after I got there," says Tawzer.
For the one's who are left there, he gives them some words of encouragement. "Keep up your morale. Come home safe. You're almost there," says Tawzer.
He's here with a red, white, and blue reminder of those friends and the fight.
Another reminder of why they're still over there comes every year at the same time for Tawzer. His birthday is on 9/11. Since the war started, more than 2,300 American troops have been killed and more than 17,000 wounded.