A sacred tenet of the Army is to never leave a fallen comrade behind. But with just a few weeks left in Iraq, soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division will likely head back to New York state without Spc. Alex Jimenez and Pvt. Byron Fouty.
The two were captured in a brutal attack May 12 in a village south of Baghdad. Just last week, the missing soldiers' weapons were found, buried in a cache seven miles away.
For their platoon members, there is an aching hollowness — and a lingering bitterness toward the local residents they believe could have prevented their friends' deaths — as they face the prospect of leaving without finding their comrades.