Family, Friends Celebrate Soldier's Return

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

About 70 people gathered to welcome Corporal Brian Bonczkiewicz home Sunday. He spent three months in Iraq as a sniper.

He says some people ask him if he had fun, if he killed a lot of people.

But, Bonczkiewicz says the war is not a video game or TV. He worked to stay alive and protect the lives of other soldiers around him.

The heat, the sandstorms and flies were tough to handle. Sandstorms with 60 to 70 mile-an-hour winds would cut right through them. The storms would cause their guns to jam, which could cost them their lives.

It was hard to eat or drink because they couldn't open their mouths in the sandstorm. Temperatures climbed to 130 degrees in the shade and 145 in the sun.

Bonczkiewicz says he other soldiers got so used to wearing their gas masks, they would read magazines and play cards, even sleep, while wearing them.