Some comments from Iraq war veterans lamenting this week's rapid advance by insurgents into Mosul, Tikrit and other key Iraqi cities.

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"It's disheartening just based on the fact we're watching all these different things on the news in these cities we fought so hard for, and they're starting to slide back into the hands of the guys we considered the enemy." — Former Army Spc. Tom Griswold from Albany, New York.

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"To think that they wouldn't go into some sort of civil war, or some kind of fight like this — whether it's three years after we left or 10 years after we left — I think is probably short-sighted on our part as a country. Democratic countries just don't magically happen. People fight for it." — Former Marine Capt. James Brobyn from Wilmington, Delaware.

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"It's a bitter feeling to see how many American lives were lost — also Iraqi lives. Quite frankly, it's a terrible feeling to see what this entails for the future of Iraq, the Middle East region and U.S. foreign policy as a whole. This is a pretty disastrous turn of events." — Former Marine Capt. Mario Mangiameli from New York.

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"It makes me angry because it's basically two, three years of my life I'm never going to get back and it's almost worked toward nothing." — Former Army Spc. Emmitt Barris from Darien, Illinois.

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"I don't think we need to be the world's police, but we needed to finish that job we started. We lost too many men and women to let Iraq turn into another Vietnam." — Army Sgt. 1st Class Omar Hernandez, current active duty who had four tours in Iraq.