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.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Another storm we obviously can't handle

So, another major hurricaine has hit the US. I heard on the BBC world report, that New Orleans is under 9 meters of water. There are still 2,000 plus Florida residents homeless from Hurricaine Charlie. They have been housed in government subsidized temporary trailers, but are to be evicted in Febuary. I say there is no excuse for this. I see billions of dollars being spent here, when we aren't even taking care of our own? I say let Iraq destroy itself before we ignore the needs of our own. This country hasn't been ok in 5,000 years, what makes us think it will be alright now? What is wrong with us?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Fish Pitched Up by an Angry Sea

In the early morning hours, while the sky is still as dark as lamp-black, we set up a traffic control point. Olive skinned soldiers proudly execute their duties without flaw. However, as those who live lives of strife know, those whom till the fallow fields, breaking their backs to raise the corn, beaten into submission by the boiling sun in a rainless summer; doing a good job does not ensure success. A car approached the young man at break neck speed, easily exceeding 80 mph. Brakes locked, tires squalling. The acrid smell of burning hydraulic fluid and melting rubber filled the breezeless air. Spinning, grotesque loss of order. The patriot who risks his life in hopes of restoring honor to his fatherland is airborne, head over heels, his body performing an ungainly somersault. He sees the familiar neighborhood houses inverted and dancing crazily around his bewildered eyes. People not present doubt, but he is alive! Conscious even! No maiming, disfiguring injury is to be suffered this day. Allah has moved from the balcony to the pit.

Friday, August 26, 2005

A couple of choice pics

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Alms for the needy?

I have officially run out of books to read. The WISH LIST has been updated for those of you whose pocketbooks are bottomless.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Great Bullet Removal

I got to perform a little surgery the other day...I was in a terrible mood, and had taken to finding a refuge in my mind, and staying there. I don't know if it was the fact I got a chance to use some of my skills, or simply the satisfaction that I had the opportunity to take a scalpel to an authority figure...I won't dwell on the psychobabble, but nevertheless, I felt like a new man later! I decided to put a few pics of the thing up.

Some minor surgery

Suture King

Cardona is not only a good infantryman, but a wonderful scrub nurse!

Nursie Shawn

I enjoy the blood of the innocent as well as the tears of the weak!


The finished product. (Mattress sutures are always a little ugly.)

Dude! Sweet!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A picture

I've been feeling pretty down lately, it's pretty cyclic I think, you go up and down. Apathy really hampers my writing, so I'll just put up a picture so you know I'm still around.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Gas! Gas! Gas!

One more thing to carry around. We found chemical weapons in Karrada last week. They took mortar rounds and filled them with some type of liquid. Actually, this isn't a bad thing, because detonated poison really doesn't spread much at all. Nevertheless, we have to carry around our gas masks.

Monday, August 15, 2005


J.R. and the boys we relieved here in Baghdad have finally gotten their CD printed. I order you to buy a copy today. It is a collection of excellent songs they wrote and recorded while serving with the ING here on Haifa St. If you want an inside look at what it's like to really serve in Iraq, buy now. You can hear a sample of the music by clicking these links. If you have a website, please link to mine, or link directly to iraq-songs so these guys can get some much deserved attention.
I am a Patriot
The Day You Were Born

I love this pic. I really do. Posted by Picasa

See, not all fun and games, I'm serious sometimes too. Posted by Picasa

59 Grenades

The joke of the day yesterday was, "How do we know he had 59 grenades if he blew himself up?" My room mate, Cardona, was minding his own business when yet another dedicated Islamic extremist decided to make a human roman candle of himself and see how many he could take to Allah with him. Luckily, there were no Americans injured, but he hurt 2 IP and 7 civilians. No one was killed. Pretty horrible excuse for a suicide bomber wouldn't you say? So the report on the radio was, terrorist self detonated 59 grenades in an attempt to attack coalition forces, hence, the joke. I still don't know who came up with the number.

God Bless Kodak

If you want to get warranty work done on a Kodak camera, you must have a problem that lies within the manufacturing or workmanship domain, and you must have a UPC label to send in with your unit. On a whim, I sent my Kodak camera back to the manufacturer to see if they would fix it. This thing has been clipped to my body armor in Baghdad for 9 months. It has problems far, far beyond what would be deemed warranty work. I've done everything except run over the thing. It has more 100 mile an hour tape holding it together than it does actual camera. Well, they fixed it, and sent a letter saying that it was full of dirt, the lens was scratched, the circuit boards were toast, and they had to replace the entire body (at no cost to me!). I have no idea why they fixed it instead of just sending me a new camera. But they did. Actually, I don't know why they didn't send me a camera back with a letter saying HAHAHA! Boy, you did a number on that one. Now go buy a new one, 'cause that one's toast!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Movin' On Up

We have been told we will be moving back to Camp Prosperity before Sept 30. See, here at Independence, we only have 1/2 of a company, and a few support elements (I think like 5 mechanics, 3cooks, and 1 supply guy), so for the vast majority of the time, we don't catch much of the regular Army BS. Regulations like no smoking and walking, and full PT uniform for working out are for the lack of a better word ignored. If you want to run in your undies and flip flops, well, that's your business. Prosperity on the other hand is the epitome of pogue land. There are many, many people who are not trigger pullers, never leave the camp, and exist only to give other soldiers lower ranking than themselves a hard time. So, in the spirit of going back to the land of fobdom, we had a room inspection by the 1st Sgt today. HAHAHAHAHA!!! That was special. It has now been declared, "Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye, all men present shall recognize and obey the forthcoming instructions from the all mighty, all knowing, Firrrrst of Serrrrrrrgeants, that from this day until the end of days, there shall be no more smoking of cigarettes, the most evil of habits, there shall be no more food in the rooms, and boy, you better listen good, you better dust all those nooks and crannies, 'cause how are we going to beat the terrorists if you can't even keep a clean room?" I know why the Military Service has so many homosexuals now. You put a bunch of men in a small space and force them to be neat and tidy, and what are you going to end up with? And, besides, "Hey, button up that cargo pocket soldier!!!! How do you expect to be combat effective if you can't even keep your pockets buttoned?" I swear, it's not even worth going to war anymore.

Monday, August 08, 2005


A friend of mine once told me, "A platoon of Marine Corps Infantry are as good as a platoon of Airborne Rangers." I never did reply to him, but I was thinking either how retarded he was, or how tough Marines must be. We recently got Marine Corps attachments. They range in rank from E3 to E6 and are all Infantrymen. I haven't been impressed thus far. I smoked one so bad yesterday, I thought he was going to have a heart attack. Here I am, with a rucksack on, full combat load, and 300 rounds of ammo. All he had was a shotgun and 24 rounds for it. So we start our patrol, I get about 2 blocks down, and realize he didn't see us depart, so I run back to the trucks to get him. I grabbed him up, and we ran about 4.5 blocks to catch up to the patrol. I didn't pay any more attention to him the rest of the time, but when we got home, someone said, "hey man, your marine looked smoked." I went and checked him out, and he looked like he had been doing PT all day and was completely spent. that's when I knew, their uniforms look nice, but they must not be all that.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

My Friend Cliph

I have a friend named Cliph who is a paradox even Schrodinger would puzzle over. He views the world through one lens, designed for capturing life. He also views it through an entirely different lens, made for capturing death. Turning life into art, or making an art of death? Somehow in the nebulous surreal place in which we find ourselves, this may be entirely possible.

copyright Cliff Beard 2005 Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 05, 2005

Watching the Army men on a hot summer day Posted by Picasa

IA setting up perimeter on house we were taking fire from Posted by Picasa

Benson in the Looking Glass Posted by Picasa

Beautiful Architecture in Karrada Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Iraqi Army Progress

The time has come to let our chicks fly I supppose. Last week we started allowing the Platoon Leaders take the lead in the convoys to and from our missions, and they have proven their capability in that regard. We also let them plan and execute a raid with no American leadership. We were there, but only as observers. They took 11 detainees (people on the black list), many of which were highly sought after. Next week, they begin patrolling without Americans, we will go on a few here and there, but for the most part they will be on their own. A few of the things we have tried to instill:
1. Strong NCO corps. Most com block and third world countries have armys that are little more than a well armed rabble. Their officers run things, but it is beneath them to train the men, and even if there is a rank structure, there is no power to lead given to the higher ranking non officer types. With strong NCOs that have been given a mission (and the necessary responsibility and power) to train and ready their men for combat, an Army grows infinitely stronger. I think they are beginning to accept the NCO rank structure, and I definitely see it in use on the ground.
2. Intelligence. When you are out patrolling, you have to be nice to the people in your sector. Try to find out problems they are having, and if it is in your capability to correct these things, then do. This will open doors to the Army for information gathering. If the residents think you care about them and their lives, then they will be much more apt to risk giving you intel on enemy activity. It also can help to boost civic pride and responsibility. If you can do that, then people will want their neighborhoods free of thugs and others that do harmful things.
3. Taking care of the joes. If the lowest ranking soldiers know the mission, and have been properly equipped, trained, and fed, they normally will have a high esprit de corps, and won't run from a fight, shirk their responsibilities, or become corrupt.
I have worked harder than I ever have in my life training these men, and have sacrificed much. I couldn't be prouder with the result. My company of Iraqi soldiers is the most respected out of the battalion, and set the example for the others to follow. I feel like I have come to Iraq and actually been a part of making history, and hopefully doing a large part in restoring civility and freedom to a long opressed people.