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"You're home, you should be happy here, but it's not home, home is 7,000 miles away." (Audio interview, 1:20:26)

   Todd B. Walton
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War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army
Unit: 1057th Truck Company; 1618th Transportation Company; Army National Guard
Service Location: Iraq; Kuwait
Rank: Sergeant
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Prior to deploying to Iraq with the Nebraska National Guard, Sergeant Todd "Walt" Walton had four years as an Army medic under his belt. Though accustomed to life in the service, Walton's time in Iraq still posed certain hardships, such as leaving his young children and dealing with the oppressive heat and ever-present sandstorms. The challenges didn't end with his return to the States: After so many months in a combat zone, "normal" life came as a shock. Pieces of trash on the street appeared to him as potential homemade explosive devices; the grocery store and kitchen cupboards presented an overwhelming array of choices. His interview offers a glimpse of the disorientation that many soldiers experience at the end of deployment.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (88 min.)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Calling his wife to say he was coming home; hearing his wife sound happier than she had in a long, long time; difficulty transitioning to being home. (04:05) The shock of coming home; his kids growing up so much in his absence; finding himself scanning rooftops and freeway overpasses for snipers. (08:28) Observing the changes in Iraq from the time he arrived to the time he left; rise of capitalism after the end of Saddam's reign; coming home and not taking the everyday pleasures of life for granted. (11:23)

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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