A U.S. soldier walks next to an Iraqi child in Mosul, Iraq, in 2008. (Petros Giannakouris/AP)
On March 19, 2003, the U.S. began military operations in Iraq.
For nearly nine years, America’s profile in the region shifted between invader, liberator, occupier, nation-builder, caretaker and more.
When the U.S. officially ended the war on Dec. 15, 2011, and withdrew the last of its combat troops, the nation had seen 4,409 Americans killed in Iraq and 31,926 more wounded in action. (The number of Iraqi deaths are estimated at 122,000 through today.) At times during the 2007 surge, the number of U.S. boots on the ground grew to nearly 150,000.
Behind those numbers, of course, lie personal stories of service members and their families. As we approach the exact date of the anniversary, Yahoo News is inviting you to share your stories and photos.
We're seeking photos that capture what it was like to serve in Iraq or what returning home was like. We're especially interested in images that show the effects of war. For instance: photos of service members with injuries or photos of fathers holding their children who were born while they were away. If you're interested in sharing your photos related to your time in Iraq, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure they're either your photos or that you have permission to share them. Be sure to include your first and last name, when the photo was taken and a description of the photo.
We’re also publishing first-person stories written not only by Americans who served in Iraq in the past 10 years, but also family members of troops, to hear how they’ve changed, too. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please go to Yahoo! Contributor Network for more details. If you have questions, please email us at email@example.com.
Stories that we accept will be published under your byline on Yahoo News. The deadline for submissions is March 18.
We appreciate your participation and look forward to receiving your photos and first-person accounts.