PEORIA, AZ - Renewed instability in Iraq is making some question whether sacrifices made during the war in that country were worth the price.
“I’d hate to think that he gave his life for nothing,” said Margy Bons, whose Marine son Michael Marzano was killed in Iraq in 2005.
Islamic militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, have captured large swaths of territory north of Baghdad.
Bons, of Anthem, would like to return to Iraq to memorialize her son, but fears continuing violence in the country makes that dream impossible.
“I would love to go to where my son saw the last sunset that he saw,” she said.
Anthony Lavazza, a Marine veteran who deployed to Iraq twice, said he feels like his physical sacrifices were not worth it, given the county’s current crisis.
The Peoria man is now living on disability; he said his joints were worn down by more than 10 years of service.
“Just getting beat up, sacrificing my body for this cause that apparently doesn’t exist anymore… it’s disheartening,” Lavazza said.
Thousands of Shiites from Baghdad and across southern Iraq answered an urgent call to arms Saturday, joining security forces to fight the Islamic militants who have captured large swaths of territory north of the capital and now imperil a city with a much-revered religious shrine.
The mobilization, urged by the nation's top Shiite cleric, took on a sectarian dimension that threatened to intensify Sunni-Shiite strife in a nation already ripped by religious fervor after the militants' battlefield successes.
President Barack Obama has ruled out sending American troops back to Iraq.
More than 4,400 American troops died in the war, which ended in 2011.
Lavazza said every Marine he knows would return to Iraq, to preserve the gains they fought to secure for the country.