Liam Walsh


Liam Walsh graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2006, when the U.S. involvement in the Iraq war was at its height. Walsh would serve 14 months in Baghdad as an officer with the personal security team for the battalion commander. While there, Walsh learned to deal with local officials, along with IEDs and rocket attacks. Walsh would also be deployed to Afghanistan twice, the second time as a company commander helping to train Afghan security forces. As of the interview in 2014, Walsh is a captain and studying for his master’s degree at Tufts University.





On patrol in Tarok Kalache, Arghandab District, Kandahar Province, summer 2012


1st Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment. Summer 2008. FOB Justice, Baghdad


Saying farewell to my Afghan National Army counterpart at my change of command ceremony, Combat Outpost Terra Nova, Arghandab District, October 2012

Joe Shanahan


Joe Shanahan joined the Army ROTC at the University of Vermont in 2001 thinking it was a relatively peaceful time to serve in the Army. Sept. 11 changed all that. After extensive training stateside and in Kuwait, Shanahan took part in battles in Baghdad in 2003 and Fallujah in 2005 as an officer in the 3rd Infantry Division. He encountered everything from rocket-propelled grenades to corruption within the Iraqi police and armed forces.




Joe Shanahan in front of monument to Iraq-Iran war


Iraqis looting


On top of a tank turret

William “Bill” Callahan


Bill Callahan is a “30-year” man with service in both the U.S. Air Force and the Mass. Army National Guard. His active service with the Guard includes two tours of Iraq, during which he helped provide logistics and supplies for coalition forces (2003-04), as well as helped provide security around Camp Liberty near Baghdad (2007-08). Callahan would earn two Bronze Stars for his work.



Bill Callahan, formal portrait


Col. Callahan in Iraq briefing security guards from Uganda.


Col. Callahan at Camp Victory in Iraq


Brett Conaway

National Guard 2003-2022

While at Roger Williams University, Brett Conaway joined the ROTC program. Following the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, he was called to active duty with the 211th Military Police Battalion of the 772nd Military Police Company, overseeing security at Otis Air National Guard Base and at airports on Cape Cod and the islands off the coast. He was then sent overseas for Operation Iraqui Freedom, where his battalion handled security for a base in Baghdad and conducted missions throughout the Sunni Triangle. A former palace of Uday Hussein became their headquarters. While training police in Fallujah, members of the 211th came under attack, and Conaway helped rescue wounded soldiers. After many years of active duty, Conaway talks about returning home and reuniting with his family.
Brett Conaway with a humvee.
An apartment building in Iraq.
Brett Conaway, inside one of the palaces.
Brett Conaway, at home with his sons

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