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Warriors - by Karl Zinsmeister

What is it really like to be a soldier in Iraq?

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Filmed in 2005 in some of the most dangerous areas in and around Baghdad, WARRIORS profiles a handful of Army soldiers: five men and one woman.

They range from a squadron leader just weeks into his first combat command to a seasoned sergeant on a night raid in an insurgent hotspot.

WARRIORS opens a compelling, harrowing, and at times humorous, window on some less familiar sides of a soldier’s life: a look at who they are, what they do and why.

In this fight against an enemy hidden among the people, a soldier’s street level diplomacy is often called on more than the use of his weapon. Contrary to stereotypes, this generation of Army volunteers is better educated on average than the U.S. population at large. And, for many of the American men and women in Iraq, the strongest motivation is a need to serve and feel part of something bigger than themselves.

U.S. soldier on patrol in Sadr City, Iraq

U.S. soldier on patrol in Sadr City, Iraq

Above all, WARRIORS reminds us that these soldiers, often merely glimpsed in the news, are our neighbors, with lives they have left behind, many including children and spouses. But their daily work is not in an office. Their jobs require them to face down the daily threat of roadside bombs, sectarian violence and ambush.

During the course of this filming, the soldiers accompanied by the filmmakers were hit by an IED explosion, and then by a rocket-propelled grenade and machine-gun attack. After bringing back their casualties, this same platoon went right back out on patrol. That is part of their reality, part of what it takes to do their job.

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