Image: DAVID FURST/AFP via Getty Images

For 15 months the men of 2nd Platoon, A Company, 2nd Battalion of the 12th Infantry Regiment have been in the streets of “the swamp.” This is what some call al-Dora, one of Baghdad’s most dangerous suburbs. It’s a dusty evening in 2007, and the soldiers are the only people out on the street. Once a nice place to live, by now this area on the edge of Iraq’s capital has been torn to pieces by conflict.

Image: DAVID FURST/AFP via Getty Images

The soldiers are part of “The Surge”, America’s big push to end the war in Iraq. And now insurgents sneak into what was once a lovely suburb and try to kill the men of the 2-12 Infantry. Its very location on the edge of the capital, which had once made it such a great place to raise a family, has left it vulnerable to Al-Qaeda fighters fleeing towards Baghdad from American military action elsewhere in Iraq.

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