Iraq War Veterans Attend Reception to Honor Them

Department of Defense Photo Essay

  • Army Capt. Yolanda O. Lee, who served in Takrit, Iraq, in 2005, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. Lee, assigned to the D.C. Army National Guard, later joined other Iraq War veterans at a dinner at the White House in their honor. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald T. Riling, who had multiple deployments from 2003 through 2006 to Ramadi, Iraq, and Baghdad, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Air Force Capt. J.H. Smith, who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for precision fire from an AC-130U gunship in Iraq, killing insurgents who were within 10 yards of the Navy SEASs the gunship's crew was supporting, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Maj. John Tate, who served in Iraq during two tours between 2004 and 2007, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kevin Purtee, who received a Distinguished Flying Cross for evacuating a wounded soldier during the Battle of Donkey Island in Iraq, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystan City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Navy Petty Officer Terrylee Thompson, who served for six months on Camp Victory, Iraq, in 2006 and 2007, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Marine Corps Col. Todd Scott Desgrosseilliers, who served in Iraq twice as a battalion executive officer and later as a battalion commander, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Marine Corps Master Sgt. Brian M. Blonder, who served multiple tours in Iraq, talks with Marine Corps Col. Todd Scott Desgrosseilliers before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Air Force Maj. Erik J. Jacobson, who had multiple deployments to Balad, Iraq, and Baghdad, responds to a reporter's question before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Maj. Eldridge Singleton, who served in Iraq during four tours from 2003 to 2009, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Sgt. Heather N. Wunderlich, who served two deployments in Iraq as a flight medic with the Nebraska National Guard, talks to a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Sgt. Heather N. Wunderlich and her husband, Army Sgt. Jeremie Wunderlich, who served together in Iraq, talk before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Staff Sgt. Miguel Cruz, whose unit earned a commendation medal after making improvements at the Abu Ghraib, Iraq, detention facility, talks with a reporter before a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Service members who deployed to Iraq and their guests ride an elevator to a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2011. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, welcomes about 80 Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn veterans at a reception in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. The veterans later attended a dinner at the White House in their honor hosted by President Barack Obama. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Service members who deployed to Iraq and guests enjoy remarks during a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Sgt. Heather N. Wunderlich and her husband, Army Sgt. Jeremie Wunderlich, who served together in Iraq, relax at a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Steven Schulz, an Iraq War veteran who relies on Sonny, his seeing-eye dog, talks with friends at a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. Schulz, who did two tours in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, lost an eye while serving in Iraq. About 80 Iraw War veterans attended the reception before heading to the White House to attend a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama in their honor. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, left, visits with Marine Cpl. Aaron Mankin at a reception for Iraq veterans at the Doubletree Hotel, Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. Nearly 80 Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn veterans gathered at the reception before heading to the White House for a dinner in their honor hosted by President Barack Obama. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Aaron P. Mankin, an Iraq War veteran, tells the story of his facial reconstruction  while attending a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. Mankin survived a bomb blast May 11, 2005, and said he has had more than 60 surgeries as the first patient of a reconstruction program at the University of California at Los Angeles. About 80 such veterans gathered at the reception before going to the White House  attend a dinner in their honor. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Sgts. Clara Surita and Lauren Mahealani Manuel share a table during a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Service members who deployed to Iraq get a view of the Washington Monument on a rainy day during a reception for Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kevin Purtee, who received a Distinguished Flying Cross for evacuating a wounded soldier during the Battle of Donkey Island in Iraq, talks to his wife, Michele Tumino, as she straightens his tie at a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystan City, Va., Feb. 29, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek
  • Service members who deployed to Iraq talk to reporters about their experiences during a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 28, 2012. DOD photo by Linda Hosek