Iraq War and Afghanistan

Iraqi Freedom; Iraq

On March 20, 2003, the U.S. launched the Iraq War because of concerns of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons that could pose a threat to the U.S. It is best known for the fall of the brutal reign of Saddam Hussein and his forced removal from power by U.S. forces.

Operation Enduring Freedom; Afghanistan

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., the U.S. increased military forces against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The mission was to weaken and destroy the power of Osama Bin Laden, who was a lead terrorist threat.


The American soldiers featured to the right of the page served with bravery on both the Iraq and Afghanistan fronts. In Iraq, SGT Travis Bonvillan was performing area town protection and risked his life during a car bombing. SGT Joseph Cook was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries suffered when his truck rolled over a detonation site.  SGT Michael Geary parachuted into risky areas to install satellite communications. In addition, he cleared cities of enemy combatants on the road to Bagdad. In Afghanistan, CPO Anthony Roberti served as Communications Officer of the Provincial Reconstruction Team and led his team in response to a fire-fight rocket attacks by enemy fire. Lt. Col. Rick Gier flew transport planes into Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan in hostile territory. These veterans represent the many heroes who fought for our freedom and stated they would do it all over again.

This website provides American heroes a mechanism to tell their stories in their own words as part of the Veterans History Project and the Library of Congress Folklore Division. These personal accounts tell us of the sacrifices, commitment, and successes achieved by each veteran. We can all learn from them what it means to be an American hero.