Craig F. Walker
The Denver Post
"IAN FISHER: AMERICAN SOLDIER"
Pvt. Ian Fisher pulls a security detail Dec. 10, 2008, for a meeting between intelligence troops and local residents near the site of a recent rocket attack in Diwaniyah, Iraq. He's excited to get selected for the task, and for the chance to finally wield his Squad Automatic Weapon, three months into his deployment.
Trained for combat and primed to fight, Ian Fisher arrived in Iraq in September 2008 along with about 3,800 troops of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. He had expectations for Iraq, and new ones for his life. Given a second chance after his missteps at Fort Carson, field commanders saw his potential as a soldier. But they remained wary of issues that had surfaced before he'd shipped out, when substance abuse and lapses of judgment got him demoted... and nearly got him booted from the military. Fisher plunged into his unit's deployment with new resolve. But while he'd gone looking for a fight, he arrived at a time when the U.S. military role had been scaled back. Fisher adjusted to his role with the help of seasoned veterans. During his year-long deployment in Iraq, Fisher showed potential as a soldier, learned from his mistakes and came face to face with challenges that would change his priorities - which, in turn, would change his life.