While I was on my third tour in Iraq, serving as the 1st Cavalry Division Command Sergeant Major (CSM) and the Multi National Division – Baghdad Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Commanding General during the Iraq surge, I was involved in some of the toughest fighting in the war. There were 110,000 coalition soldiers, which at the time was the largest formation under one division colors.
We experienced tremendous losses every day. For about six months, I attended a memorial for a fallen hero almost every night – many were men and women I considered friends. I spent a lot of time in my trailer feeling the loss, sometimes allowing my own thoughts to get the best of me.