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From the small town of Pauls Valley in Oklahoma, Miles Hill always dreamed of joining the US Marine Corps. Growing up, family life was coloured by US military history, with his grandparents serving in World War Two and Korea.
Then when al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the US on September 11, 2001, it set in motion a chain of events that brought Hill and his Marine Corps colleagues to Iraq in 2003.
An idealistic 19-year-old, Hill had little understanding of geo-politics, but it was his absolute conviction that the world would be a better place without Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi dictator had been a destabilising influence in the region since the 1990 Gulf War.
With Hussein standing accused of stockpiling weapons of mass destruction as well as forging links with al-Qaeda terrorists, Hill and his fellow Marines were tasked with leading the ground invasion to depose him.
On the morning of the invasion, military leaders warned of the bloodiest battle in US Marine Corp history. But the end of that day, Miles Hill would find himself at the centre of one of this century’s most iconic moments – and the beginnings of a new perspective.
Listen to episode 14 of StoryCast ’21 here in full.
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