MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- More than 4,000 members of the US military were killed serving in Iraq between 2002 and 2012. For one Marine who served in Iraq and made it home, there's disappointment that stability in that country is crumbling.
Alexander Bartoli remembers the faces of the young Iraqi children, and now he wonders if they're safe. "The future of Iraq are these kids," he says.
RELATED: Iraq edges closer to war
All told, Bartoli's time spent in Iraq totals more than one year. His service included helping secure the city of Haditha in 2007. "We knew we had to work hard and did over 500 foot patrols."
It was daily work to keep insurgents out of the city. His second tour ended in 2009, now watching images on TV showing the stability he helped create crumbling is difficult. He believes the country and its leaders had the tools necessary to maintain stability.
Bartoli knows US troops could again make a difference in Iraq. Of the insurgents, he says, "We could push them back and retake those cities."
But he believes long-term stability there is up to the Iraqi people.