The Things They Carry

Photographer Yuri Kozyrev captures the tokens of faith that help Marines face battle in Iraq

In his classic story collection about the Vietnam War, Tim O'Brien wrote that what G.I.'s carried into battle was determined by necessity, specialty and rank, and "to some extent by superstition." Three decades later, the 145,000 Americans serving in Iraq rely on their own talismans to protect them from the barrage of sniper bullets, mortar fire and roadside bombs that have claimed the lives of more than 2,700 of their comrades. The Marines of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment spent much of this year deployed in Ramadi, the heart of the Sunni Triangle and one of the most dangerous...

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