Reversals in Hard-Won Iraqi City Vex Veterans

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SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Many Iraq war veterans say the fall of Fallujah to al-Qaida-linked forces has touched a nerve.

Some who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday said the news was disheartening and revived painful memories of their sacrifice during a brutal house-to-house battle there.

Others try to place it in the context of Iraq's history of internal struggle since the ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The image of two charred American bodies hanging from a bridge in 2004 as a crowd cheered seared the name Fallujah into the American psyche.

Some veterans say they refuse to accept the militants' recent seizure of Fallujah and Ramadi as a permanent reversal.

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