I spent most of 2006 in metro-Baghdad, Iraq as a civilian member of a military unit. I worked for a major oversawing the daily missions of a tiny platoon. The engagement lasted 18 months as I had to leave home in August of 2005. January of 2007, I returned to the unit for Reverse-SRP (soldier readiness process). Between the those two dates, I travelled in eight countries and slept in 200 different locations.
While travelling and working, I kept a journal. As the years have passed, some of what I wrote can be put on a website and shared.
Mr Brown and Mr Jones both in uniform as US soldiers, neither born in the US lived and worked amongst us. In this funny world where I did not wear a uniform yet was a member of a miltary unit, these guys did wear uniforms. They were not local interpreters (“terps”). Not too many answers for you, but two very interesting men.
I once lived a town away from poverty. There was a hill that had to be climbed. Up the hill one climbed past simple houses and chain-linked fences. At the bottom of this hill was the closest thing we had to a spa (Boston for “corner store:” overpriced milk, white bread and mix-ins for liquor.) These were my thoughts as a youth. That poor people had small urban houses with patches of green lawns and a spa at the corner. How little I knew. [Poverty doesn’t have a patch of grass and a fence.]
Reflections on the night before flying into Iraq for the first time. Read more about The Night Before