Time of Remembrance

Mitchell M. Anwar

Age:

22

Hometown:

Olympia, WA

Date of Death:

Incident Location:

Military Branch:

United States Army

Rank:

SGT

Unit:

4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division

Unit Base:

Fort Lewis, WA

As U.S. forces were preparing to cross the Iraqi desert to invade an area controlled by a powerful dictator in March 2003, Mitchell Anwar was busy constructing a special gift for his dad in Mr. Morris’ seventh-grade wood shop class in Olympia, Wash.

“I remember when I was 13, and I made a gun rack for my dad at school … when I came home to give it to him, I saw on the television President Bush telling Saddam we were going to invade Iraq,” Anwar said. “I thought it was cool, the U.S. was going to this country to help these people (defeat) such a bad person.”

Anwar said he knew then that he wanted to serve his country, and one day he would end up in the same places he saw on his television.

Many younger service members in today’s military are a part of what is being called by many Soldiers as the Iraq generation — a relative term describing young service members who were in their adolescence when U.S. forces invaded Iraq, and now serve in the military and have deployed to Iraq themselves. The latest members of the Iraq generation just completed a two-day convoy from Baghdad to Kuwait, as the journey of the last combat brigade leaving Iraq comes to an end.

“It was interesting growing up during this time of war in the Middle East,” Anwar said. “When I was 13 years old, every time the news was on, the headlines read ‘Iraq,’ ‘War’ or something like that.”

Now, Spc. Anwar is a 20-year-old infantryman with Company A, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and is currently finishing a year deployment in Iraq.