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Warren Glas Story

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This is veteran Warren Glas' story written by Molly Linn, student reporter for the War: Through Their Eyes, Vol. 3, Warriors & Students multimedia project.

Major: Broadfield Social Science, minor in history, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Military Rank: Staff Sergeant, E-6, Alpha Company 1st Battalion 4th Marines 1st Marine Division
Tours: January 2003 - September 2003, Al Hillah, Iraq; May 2004 - February 2005, Diwaniyah, Najaf and Karbala, Iraq; February 2006 - September 2006, West Pacific Tour

Hill on Fire

by Molly Linn
Student Reporter

Warren Glas was rousted awake and told to go outside. It was his turn for sky watch. He climbed to the top of the amtrack, one of many armored vehicles that were just beginning their journey of over 400 miles from Kuwait to Baghdad. It was the middle of the night and he didn’t know where he was. Maybe they had finally crossed the Kuwait-Iraq border, maybe not. As a private first class, he didn’t ask too many questions. He looked through the dark, across the sea of sand and saw in the distance a glowing light, raised high above the flat desert landscape. Staring, he realized what it was: Safwan Hill, the only hill in the southern Iraqi desert. The ethereal light was probably some military equipment that had caught on fire, but from 30 miles away, the sight had a strong effect on the 18-year-old from small-town Wisconsin. He broke his gaze to look behind him to see if anyone else was looking at the burning hill. What he saw were the small slivers of light coming from the single-file line of amtracks disappearing into the horizon. “This is intense,” he thought. “This is an immense production here.” He looked forward and saw the same thing: a fleet of vehicles trudging slowly toward Baghdad on their first night of invading a country. That was March of 2003.

A decade has passed since that fateful night. Now Glas is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh studying broadfield social science and history with aspirations of becoming a history teacher.

To read the entire story, please download this PDF.


In this audio podcast, Warren Glas explains why he joined the Marines and one of the first times the war felt real to him.


 In this audio podcast, Warren Glas describes his relationship with his father while overseas.


In this audio podcast, Warren Glas talks about his first encounter with the Iraqi people.


Podcasts produced by student reporter Molly Linn.

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