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The second battle of Fallujah: 15 years later

The dust and grime were finally starting to settle as the sun set in Iraq.

Marine Cpl. Stephen Berge was in an ­abandoned factory in Fallujah when he felt the tides turning.

He didn’t know at the time that this second ­battle of Fallujah he currently was in, also known as Operation Phantom Fury, would become known as the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War.

But he did have a feeling in his gut he would be going home soon.

It was Thanksgiving Day. And Berge was sitting down to his first hot meal since the Marines had invaded the city on Nov. 7, 2004.

A tire on a broken-down tram loader had required someone to stay behind that day, and the heavy equipment operator was it.
 

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