Marines walk past the aftermath of a mortar explosion in Fallujah, Iraq, during one of Ty Upson’s two deployments to the country.

Ty Upson/courtesy

Marines walk past the aftermath of a mortar explosion in Fallujah, Iraq, during one of Ty Upson’s two deployments to the country.

AUDIO SLIDESHOW: Memories of war recounted by Ty Upson

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— Ty Upson pauses at each photo in the album.

The mosques, sunsets and sandstorms each evoke a powerful memory of his two deployments to Iraq.

“I guess your mind kind of purges the bad stuff and you remember the good, not all the bad stuff,” he said. “I like looking through it. I do a lot, actually.”

Through his lens, Upson captured breathtaking landscapes, ominous sandstorms and the aftermath of improvised explosive device attacks in the war zone.

Back at home in the Yampa Valley, Upson said that despite the risks, his experiences during combat were rewarding, and he hopes to share his eyewitness account of history with students in Steamboat Springs.

“I just couldn’t imagine my life without the service, and getting to go to combat is even a bigger bonus,” Upson said about his service as he continued to flip through the album chronicling his deployments to Iraq in 2003 and 2006.

Upson joined the Marines when he was 34. He had taken steps to join after college at the University of Colorado Boulder but decided to pursue his career in ski racing prior to the military service.

Today, he’s returned to his life as a Telemark ski coach for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

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Memories of war

Hahn's Peak resident and U.S. Marine Ty Upson recounts his two deployments to Iraq.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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