ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL REPORT
GNS correspondent John Yaukey and photo chief Jeff Franko traveled to Iraq in March. Browse their word and photo journals.
Glimpses of life in a war-torn country by GNS national security correspondent John Yaukey and photo director Jeff Franko.
Recall key dates, browse defining photos from six weeks of combat in Iraq. (Requires Flash)
January 26, 2005
January 25, 2005
January 25, 2005
January 20, 2005
Also on the Web
Special coverage and photo galleries of American troops serving in Iraq from The Honolulu Advertiser.
Take an interactive tour of Saddam's hide-out and capture at USATODAY.com's Iraq home page.
Click here to browse more than 1,000 Iraq war news stories from the front lines and the home front.
7th Regimental team getting war action aplenty
By John Bebow | The Detroit News
CENTRAL IRAQ - The 7th Regimental Combat Team of the U.S. Marines has seen action almost every day since it crossed into Iraq.
``There's no rest for the wicked. Everyone is in good spirits though,'' said a weary Sgt. Gilbert Contreras as his artillery unit moved back from the front lines for the night on Thursday. They were about 100 miles south of Baghdad.
On Thursday morning, the Marines battled Iraqi forces at a complex of warehouses in the desert. Contreras' unit fired artillery that was filled with small bombs at foxholes where Iraqi soldiers hid.
``Whoever was in those holes wasn't in there for very long,'' he said.
The firefight was the latest in a series of exhausting, rapid battles for Contreras and his fellow Marines. On their first day in Iraq, they fired heavily on the southern city of Safwan. The next day, they shelled an Iraqi tank brigade.
``The rest is a blur,'' he said.
On some days, the artillery units have fired in different directions because Iraqi troops were scattered across the desert. Many Iraqi soldiers wear civilian clothes to disguise themselves, Contreras said.
Contreras, a Marine for 20 years, enlisted in the desert campaign. After this war, he figures he'll have seen enough of battle.
``This is my last hurrah,'' he said.