Bloody Scenes Haunt a Marine

by Rone Tempest

HANFORD, California – Lance Cpl. Roel Ryan Briones says he is tormented by two memories of Nov. 19, 2005, in Haditha, Iraq.
Briones, a wiry, soft-spoken 21-year-old interviewed Sunday at his family home in this Central Valley city, said he was not among the small group of Marines that military investigators have concluded killed the civilians, including children, women and elderly men.

However, Briones, who goes by Ryan, said he took photographs of the victims and helped carry their bodies out of their homes as part of the cleanup crew sent in late in the afternoon on the day of the killings.

“They ranged from little babies to adult males and females. I’ll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood. This left something in my head and heart,” Briones said.

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