Baghdad Band-Aid

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Location: Ewa Beach, HI, United States

I got out of the Army in October 2007, and went back to being a Paramedic. I am now working as an RN in Case Management.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Why they don't let you take your body parts home from surgery

I guess the huge culture gap rears its ugly head again. Here in Iraq, if you have surgery, they give you your excised body part to take to the cemetary and give it a proper burial. Well, lo and behold, the other day on patrol what do I find in the middle of the street? None other that one human leg, all the way up to mid thigh. So fresh, the flies hadn't even gotten to it yet. I bet some poor old woman gave her son money to take the leg to the graveyard, and instead, he kept the money, and chunked his dear old Mom's leg right out the window for the neighborhood dogs. What a country. On a more positive note, just before patrol yesterday, George lost his Gerber multi tool, making the team about five minutes late for their departure. Well, about five minutes before they reached some big traffic circle that I can't pronounce, a huge car bomb went off, killing approximately 7 Iraqi policemen, one crossing guard, and about 25 civilians. For all you people that say this is Bush's war, your wrong. Maybe at one point it was Bush's war, but now it's the Shi'ia and Sun'ni war. At least in my half of Baghdad, it seems like 20 times as more civilians are killed than Americans. Besides, if it was local Iraqis fighting, there would be machine gun fire, and frontal attacks to go along with the idiot suicide bombers, but there isn't. It is always lone attacks, one guy, blowing himself up for a retarded ideology. Religion has been the cause of more wars and deaths than everything else in the world combined. Some say money is the root of all evil, I say it is religion.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Visit from Battalion Commander

We had a visit from the BC today, although I was on a patrol at the time, I got the low down from my compadres. Apparently it was the usual commander rhetoric, "you're doing a great job...oh but we need you do do some extra stuff, blah, blah, blah." Last time he was here he promised to get us better chow. Nothing has changed, and he didn't say a damn thing about improving our food this time. I'm still sick, in a horrible mood, and whenever i try to perform physical activity, I feel like I'm about to collapse. Both Interpreters actually offered to carry my pack last night, but of course, I can't let that happen. I am so tired of being sick it is affecting me mentally.

The Hobbit Hole

The Hobbit Hole is an organization that sends free knives to soldiers deployed overseas. This is a major undertaking as knives are very expensive, and so many soldiers need them. As a matter of fact, depending on your specialty, you may need several. I have recently been in contact with these fine gentlemen, and they seem more than willing to help our team. The Hobbit Hole Visit their web site, and if you have a dollar to spare, send it their way!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

My Good Buddy Regan

I've written of my friend Regan before, and I've shown you pictures of him and for a short while, linked to his blog. His multifarious use of four letter words led me to relegate the link to the netherregion of cyberspace. The bourn of this entry is coming, I promise. I am an avid knife collector, if you can't think of a gift for me, get me a knife...I'll be happy. Regan came up to me the other night and gave me a Strider MT-10 Chuck Mawhinney Strider. I'm sure that doesn't mean anything to most of you, but basically it is one of the best combat knives a man can own, with a price tag of about 325 bucks. He's going to get it engraved when we go home. What a guy, huh? For those of you haven't the slightest of who Chuck Mawhinney is, you can read about him here. One of the greatest snipers who ever lived

My New Strider Knife Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 25, 2005

Picture Day!!!!

My wife wanted to see more pictures of me, so I went through my folder and found a few. I hope they are good enough. If you click the pic, it will open a new page with a higher resolution. I'm sure you already knew that, but i had to say there.

Cardona doesn't like the Army hair standard Posted by Picasa

ING Ironman Posted by Picasa

raiding a bad guy house Posted by Picasa

Door bashing time Posted by Picasa

ING enroute to Haifa St Posted by Picasa

ING in alleyways Posted by Picasa

Iraqi girl (slums of Baghdad) Posted by Picasa

Me on point wedding car in foreground Posted by Picasa

Talking to the neighborhood kids Posted by Picasa

On point Al-Karma district Posted by Picasa

Looking into a suspicious building Posted by Picasa

Steve and I chilling with the ING one night Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 24, 2005

My friend's famous wife

My friend George told me his wife wrote a poem and won an award for it. She was invited to Washington DC to read it, but declined out of modesty. I wanted you to get a chance to read it for yourselves.
Kimberly George's Poem

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Well Again

I slept about 36 hours, woke up feeling pretty good. Still have chest pain, and a cough, but I feel alright, except for the fatigue which I hope will go away after tonight. I am off guard, so I should get some solid sleep. I have been thinking about the times after combat arms, like when I am a PA, or a civilian. I am such an equipment freak, I don't know what to do! My favorite hobby is backpacking in the mountains. So, I think I'll focus my equipment research and purchasing on that! There's tons and tons of equipment to choose from in the backpacking world. Some of my friends are into rock climbing, and have made a wall here. I may check that out too. We got into a small firefight day before yesterday. Not much to it...couple of snipers firing at us. Kind of dozed off for a minute...but it was because I was so sick. Nothing much came of it. One of our companies killed a few people yesterday. Don't know the story, other than there's a big stink about it. Probably another case of the leadership not standing behind their men. As the olf French saying goes, "Such is Life, War is Hell, but Babies are Easy to Make!"

Down With The Sickness

Wow, I have no idea what's wrong with me, but it's nasty. I went to bed last night around midnight, it is now 9 pm, and I just got out of bed. I am about to go right back too. I think some of my peers talked to the section sergeant and got him to leave me alone today. I went outside to get briefed for our upcoming activities, and they told me to go back to my room. So, I'll try to write something interesting and funny for you tomorrow...maybe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

-Fowarded emails

I don't mind getting a few every now and then. But there are some people who never send you anything at all except those mushy I'm your friend, or HAPPY DAY! etc. crap. If you are my friend, then send me an email, and talk to me...otherwise, I get the feeling I'm just another address to make your list look bigger. And that is unacceptable. Maybe I'm being a dick because I'm sick for the 4th day in a row...I feel like I could just die. Haven't been this ill in years. But...the show must go on, and I have to continue as if I were fine. So weak right now, I can barely lift my flak jacket to put it on. Anyway, off for a road trip to Taaji.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Islamic Holy War, but the Fighters Aren't So Holy

We were talking with some of the community leaders in our sector today, they told us that every now and then, the terrorists come to town, and demand prostitutes. When they get ready to leave, they steal children. So the terrorists are fighting us because we are the evil infidels, and are contaminating their pure muslim culture with our dirty western ideology, yet, they have sex with prostitues and steal children? Makes me feel better about killing them, that's for sure. In other news, I have been really sick for the past two days. Fever, chills, body ache, sinus and chest congestion with a cough. It's terrible too, because today begins our 4 days off patrol. We started a new system of 14 days on, 4 days off, but you're just off patrol, you become the detail crew for the company on your days off, so it definitely isn't a vacation.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Public Service Announcement From Alpha M.A.T.

If you attended Prarie State College, drove a Kia Sephia, and were the victim of vehicle theft, your days of suffering are over. The brave young men of Alpha Military Advisory Team have scoured the earth, and located your ride in Baghdad, Iraq. Of course, you will have to arrange to have it transported back to your home, but we will be glad to escort you to it!

Another neat statue Posted by Picasa

Neat statue Posted by Picasa

Karrada Mosque (they all look the same huh?) Posted by Picasa

Gave some kids dolls today Posted by Picasa

So I was working on this tank today... Posted by Picasa

14 July Bridge Tigris River Posted by Picasa

Prarie State College Student Number Posted by Picasa

Kia Sephia Prarie State Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Fah-Hehd, Fah-Hehd, Fah-Hehd

The Iraqi Army's first battalion mission just ended. We had 2 major targets, a hotel, and a cafe that "bad guys" are known to frequent. We ended up with 5 detainees. On the way back, 2 carbombs and a suicide bomber hit...not us, but a police station about 100 meters from us, and an area that civilians congregate near. I suppose the war has shifted to the Sunni/Shiia fight instead of the Islam/America fight. By the way, Fah-Hehd was the code word for "execute the raid". It is Arabic for cheetah.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Chow by Julius

Our recalcitrant cook, Cunningham is on leave. He is a nice guy, except when he is fulfilling his role as cook. As I said before, we eat the same food day in, day out, and the quality of the meal leaves a lot to be desired. Julius is a truck driver, and a really cool guy. He came to fill in I guess because there aren't any more cooks available. We still eat the same food, and drink the same mud, but man, the taste and quality of both have increased exponentially! I actually have 2 cups of joe with breakfast and lunch now, whereas I never had any before. How is it that a truck driver is the best cook? I don't know, but I'll bet it has something to do with the manner in which different men approache their mission.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Missing Amulet

My wife gave me a gold necklace wih a charm inscribed with a bible verse just before we deployed. I normally keep it in my shirt pocket because it cuts into my neck onm missions. I have carried it on every mission I have been on here. It has accumulated quite a bit of luck. I turned my laundry in the other day, and quickly realized that the necklace was still in a shirt pocket. When I went to retrieve it, I was too late, they had already sent the laundry out. I wasn't too concerned, as it is so lucky, I was sure I would get it back. I got my laundry back today, and no necklace to be found. The day has just started, but I wish I could just stay in my room all day, because it can't be a good one.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Interpreters, What Are They Good For?

Before I begin this edition of "What the Hell's Wrong With Iraq?" which is what my blog is seeming to turn out to be, I need to give you some background info. It pretty much has gotten to the point recently that I am able to pick my missions, and choose who I am going to ride with. I suppose killing yourself making every single patrol while it was really dangerous must pay off once it gets a little calmer in da hood. In any case, I'm not going to complain. I'm sure my services will be in great demand soon anyway. So, I normally ride with a crew whose translator is 19 years old, and thinks he is like a super trooper or something. He is always trying to get involved in decision making and tactical maneuvering which I see as dangerous, unnecessary, a reflection of his immaturity, and most importantly, ignorance of his position, or station if you please. Today, we were searching a factory, and found a few things, nothing much really. I think the list went something like: molotov cocktails, a couple of AKs and pistols, an old SKS, and a sniper rifle with binos and ear muffs on the second floor. We didn't take it to seriously because the sniper position was terrible, and the guys at the factory probably hadn't put a rifle to their shoulders in their life. So we were just going to let them go and let them keep their weapons. We did take some of their ammo, leaving them with only 120 rounds. The interpreter flipped, telling us we had to take the sniper rifle, and spreading amongst the Iraqi soldiers that there was a sniper in the building. I swear I could have shot that idiot right then and there. So we had a talk with him, reminding him that he is not a soldier, not an interrogator, but a translator, and that is all. He should have no agenda whatsoever other than making our English Arabic, and their Arabic English. I decided to start listening to him interpret, I can understand enough Arabic to get the jist of what's being said, so we will see. It is such a difficult language. I figured I would have it down in three months, but it's going on seven, and I still and horrible. A few pics to follow for your voyeuristic pleasures. Toodleoo.

"Hmm, think there could be some RPG-7's in those boxes Ali?" Posted by Picasa

"Oh, no key huh? That's okey dokey by me!" Posted by Picasa

"No Sir, they are not my molotov cocktails. Allah must have put them there!" Posted by Picasa

Zee, the translator I'm going to slap silly Posted by Picasa