American marines in Iraq circa 2004-2005
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US veterans react to turmoil in Iraq

17 June 2014 Last updated at 01:20 BST

As Sunni extremist militants continue to make territorial gains in Iraq, many American servicemen and women who served in the country are left stunned by the unfolding events.

For some veterans, although watching Iraq fragment into sectarian chaos is discouraging, it does not come as a surprise. Since 2006, Sunni militias have grappled for power, and in recent years, they have gained territory in both Syria and Iraq.

But what many veterans are dealing with is a deeper internal struggle - how do the recent events in Iraq change the way they look at their service? In light of everything, was it worth it?

The BBC spoke to two veterans of the Iraq War, Elliot Ackerman and Dario DiBattista, about their thoughts on the recent conflict through the lens of their own experiences.