Table of Contents: Dec. 29, 2003

PERSON OF THE YEAR

The American Soldier U.S. fighters swept across Iraq and conquered it in 21 days. They stand guard on streets potholed with skepticism and rancor. They caught Saddam Hussein. They are the face of America, its might and goodwill, in a region unused to democracy. Essay by Nancy Gibbs 32

PHOTO ESSAY

SNAPSHOTS OF A SOLDIER'S LIFE: Photographer James Nachtwey kept watch with U.S. soldiers as they grilled suspects, returned fire, grabbed a smoke, e-mailed home 42

ONE PLATOON'S STORY

ON ALERT: Romesh Ratnesar and Michael Weisskopf ride with the Tomb Raiders. Tragedy lurks in the shadows 58

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