By Ron Marasco
Army major Heather Guck served not only at the beginning of the Iraq War, but near the end as well.
She's a 16-year veteran from Camp Dodge who served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 and then again in 2009 and 2010.
"It was challenging," said Guck. "It was hot, it was stressful, but it was also an awesome opportunity to serve this nation."
But ten years later, did we fight this war in vain?
"I'd like to hope not," said Guck. "I think it's too soon honestly to really be able to gauge that."
So how did the war change Heather?
"It changed me in so many ways," said Guck. "I think the number one thing that I've learned most in the military is what it looks like to persevere."
One of Heather's assignments was to identify and accompany remains of fallen comrades back to the United States.
"It was a hard time I'll be honest," said Guck. "Yeah, freedom is never free. It's not, and seeing that, attending funerals, picking up those remains and bringing them to their families at the funeral home, you see how real it is."
A reality she says that helps her keep perspective.
"I'm thankful that I'm alive today, which causes me to want to live my life even more every day to the fullest," said Guck. "And I'm thankful for the little things as well as the big things."
Guck says she's also thankful for the support of the American people. She says Americans don't always support the war, but do an excellent job backing the soldiers.