Coming under apparently non-stop resistance operations and feeling homesickness after being away from home for months, U.S. soldiers in Iraq want now to go home and on their feet and not shrouded in coffins, telling themselves "enough is enough."
"I think I had enough. It's time for us to go home," said Private First Class Joe Cruz, 18, from the Second Brigade of the Army's Third Infantry Division in Fallujah, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Cruz, a native of Guam, has been away from his family for nearly one year and said “not knowing when he would go home” depressed him.
"When I get depressed, I just write a letter. I write a lot. Writing a letter relieves my stress," said the soldier. In letters, he tells his mother he is doing fine, but he is not telling the truth.
Terrified and panicked by Iraqi resistance operations, Cruz wakes up "in the middle of the night just to look around. I am always half-asleep."
Graffiti on one of the walls along the main road of Fallujah city reads: "God bless the resistance fighters of the City of Mosques."
Despite President George W. Bush declaring military operations effectively over on May 1, U.S. troops have been under constant Iraqi resistance attacks.
The Iraqi resistance issued its first statement, which was circulated in Baghdad's mosques and streets.
“Iraqis should stay away from occupation soldiers, tanks and armored vehicles, to allow our fighting cells to carry out their martyr operations without leaving civilian casualties,” read the statement, vowing to keep its operations up and running.
“We will not feel guilty if any of those accompanying - or collaborating with - the Americans were killed,” it added.
The biggest problem that faces the soldiers is sleep as the Iraqi resistance gained up momentum over the past few weeks, as if it deprives them of sleep.
Sergeant Robert Meadows, one of six doctors at the brigade's compound, said he treats one soldier a day on average for illnesses related to combat fatigue.
"The biggest problem is sleep. Some people just sleep for hours and hours but still don't have any energy to get up," said the 39-year-old doctor from Brooklyn, New York City.
Meadows has seen soldiers suffering from symptoms of combat stress including depression, agitation and short temper and said a majority of them are men in their early 20s.
"The most common symptom is depression. Not knowing when we're going home is the worst part," he said. He has prescribed anti-depressants but said the best treatment is just talking to soldiers.
"I just talk to them and tell them to get some sleep," Meadows said, adding that soldiers can rest for three days under the treatment.
Private First Class Miguel Balderas, 22, said he sleeps inside the compound most of his off-duty time.
"I'm tired. I sleep most of the time," said Balderas from Santa Maria, California.
Private First Class James Mierop, 20, from Joliet, Illinois, described the mood as grim.
"I think a lot of people here are at the breaking point," he said.
"I think everybody's had enough. Everybody is just ready to go home. I'm definitely ready to go home," Mierop said.
Morale, soldiers said, is low since the end of the U.S.-led Iraq invasion.
"It went down rapidly shortly after they said 'we got more missions for you guys to do'," said Specialist Adam Nuelken, 23, from Columbia, South Carolina.
"Morale is never gonna be sky-rocket high, like when we rolled into Baghdad. I think only the victory of that scale could ever boost morale that high," Nuelken said.
"I don't think you can ever get near that level unless you won another war," he said.
And Cruz agrees morale plummeted after the war.
"We need morale so that we can do our job. But everyone is down and depressed. It's hard for us to do our job. We need to be boosted up."
First Lieutenant Herb Leggette, 23, from Andrew, South Carolina explained: "The most difficult part is simply figuring out that not everybody wants to kill you," he said.
When asked what he would like to say to Bush, Leggette said he wanted Bush to know everyone here was "exhausted."
"I would tell him that we are a little bit weary, a little bit exhausted," he said.
For Balderas, the message is simple.
"Get us out of here and get new troops here," he said.
During the war, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who resigned from the government in opposition to Iraq invasion, lashed out at the British government, demanding that British troops be pulled out from Iraq.
"I have already had my fill of this bloody and unnecessary war. I want our troops home and I want them home before more of them are killed," Cook said.