Thursday marks six years of fighting in Iraq. March 19, a pivotal day in American history, that is felt close to home.
The sound of the first explosions in Iraq was televised. They marked the beginning of a mission so many will remember.
Barry Oswell can never forget, surrounded by photographs of a fallen loved one.
“Every day I come into my office and I look at this wall and I realize what a great man he was," Oswell said.
His son, Chief Warrant Officer Scott Oswell is one of the thousands in uniform who will never come home. On the 6th anniversary of the start of the battle, it is the human cost Barry remembers most.
"After six years it's gotten better, but every time a young man or woman gets killed another family goes through what we did," Oswell said.
In six years, American and coalition forces captured former leader Saddam Hussein. They have secured more than one democratic election in Iraq, and have handed over major duties to their new Iraqi counterparts.
"It's a long war," said Major General Mark Graham Thursday.
Fort Carson commanders took the day to commit to taking care of the post’s wounded warriors, recognizing the mission will continue.
"We will keep our focus on the mission until we're told to change mission that's the way we do it in the military."
CW3 Scott Oswell lived that philosophy until the end.
His name is now etched on a monument near the home of his father Barry, who hopes he'll never have to add another.
Nearly 4,000 Ft. Carson soldiers are now home from a 15 month deployment to Iraq.
In six years 249 have died while in service.