Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Four years ago today in Monterey California a girl was born who would change my life forever. That girl is my daughter.

When I saw her for the first time I couldn't help it, I cried. She was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.

Linnea, I promise to always be there for you through love, guidance, and care. You are my dear one, my daughter. To watch you and your brother Jacob grow has been so very wonderful.

There is no way for you to fully understand right now why I have been gone so many times and for so long, but when you get older I will tell you all about it.

I love you my beautiful daughter Linnea, Happy Birthday

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Year to Remember

Well, this is it. This is what the war has come to. I have heard that at other bases (Baghdad to be specific) they were doing this as well, but I guess I hoped for the best and was sadly disappointed. The unit I am attached to has decided to make a yearbook for this deployment.

I spoke with the soldier who had been put in charge of getting a picture of everyone for the yearbook and the soldier said that they (the person who assigned that soldier the task, just think of someone who may have too much time on their hands and who is in charge of soldiers) wanted to have a color yearbook, but that nobody wanted to pay $10 for it (nobody really wants a free one either to be honest) so they are doing a black and white one.

I thought my ears had heard wrong as I stared in amazement to the words coming out of that soldier's mouth. So this is it? This is how we are spending your tax dollars? I suppose there is something I just don't understand here... Like maybe this will help us in the 'War on Terror' somehow. Who really knows.

Days here seem to read right out of Joseph Heller's book Catch-22. I wish I could laugh at it all but I just don't have it in me.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Second Oldest Christian Church in the World

Originally uploaded by nevadog.

I was told that this is the second oldest Christian Church in the world. It is located on Saddam's palace complex here in Tikrit, Iraq.


Originally uploaded by nevadog.

This picture was taken by my wife while I was home on leave.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Take it for what it's worth

Eternal Damnation you swear on me.
Your eyes show the hate you harbor.

Here is my neck, I say to you,
Your hands are cold as they begin to squeeze.

It is a diamond you hold, you know?
As imperfect as it is it is still a soul.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Birdie Birdie in the Sky....

Birdie in the sky
Hey! Wait! That's not a birdie
Good thing they missed me

A haiku about mortars

We got hit with mortars 2 days ago and I almost lost a few buddies. The mortars hit on the walking path from the chow hall to my house and my friends were on their way when one asked the others to wait up for him he ran back into the house to get something then they started walking again. Well, when the mortars hit they would have been in the kill zone if they hadn't waited, instead they just felt the blast of air and the thunderous boom from the impact of 3 or 4 mortars...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Special Forces

A couple of days ago I was talking to 2 U.S. Special Forces Soldiers and I was very surprised to find that they thought that we were loosing over here in Iraq and that it would take, "10, 20, 30 years until we are done here."

One of the SF soldiers told me that he is so sick of coming over here that he will do anything when he gets home just so he doesn't have to come back over here.

Even our most elite troops are seeing the grim reality that we have here in Iraq. Why can't you see it too America?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Black Hawk Ride

Black Hawk Ride
Originally uploaded by nevadog.

A Black Hawk ride between Foward Operation Bases (FOBs)

Lessons Learned

What a place Iraq is. You go to bed to the sound of .50 caliber machine gun fire and wake up to 120 degree F (or hotter) temperatures. You get bombed and shot at and you carry a gun and body armor. You get to shoot and kill people too.

In Iraq I found out many things. I learned what pieces of glistening bone look like when they are still fresh. I found out what the inside of a brain looks like, and how much blood leaks out of dead human beings. There are other things too that I have learned over here, like what Depleted Uranium rounds look like and what a person smells like when they have burned to death. I learned a lot about death here, like all the different ways bullets can rip through a person and turn them into so much meat.

One lesson that I still remember like it was yesterday was what a dead child looks like when they have been shot in the head.

I learned that you can cry until tears won't come anymore and I learned what poverty really is. I also found out here in Iraq that I know how to make people die, and I learned what true desperation is.

You won't find these lessons in the school house. Most people won't even learn these things through life experiences. I wonder if they count for anything? I wish that I learned these lessons so that my son and daughter would never have to, but my father hoped for that same thing back in Vietnam and my grandfather had similar wishes while serving in World War II.

These lessons and more I learned in Iraq. A fellow soldier told me the other day, "show me a terrorist nowadays that we didn't help create here in Iraq." Perhaps you think we are making lives better here? Maybe you haven't seen the same things I have.

Welcome to the Iraq School of Hard Knocks where you can learn a lesson in futility. All these lessons I have learned... I just haven't learned how to stop the nightmares.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bombed out palace

Bombed out palace
Originally uploaded by nevadog.

One of Saddam's Bombed out Palaces'

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Depleted Uranium

Thanks to a friend of this site named Max I have been told about a report made by an expert in DU (depleted uranium), Leuren Moret. Moret is described as:

an international radiation specialist, with a B.S. degree in geology from University of California at Davis, a M.A. degree in Near Eastern studies from University of California at Berkeley and has done post-graduate work in the geosciences at UC-Davis. She is environmental commissioner for the City of Berkeley, Calif.

The report goes on to tell of the many nasty characterizations of DU and of how:

DU weaponry violates all international treaties and agreements, Hague and Geneva war conventions, the 1925 Geneva gas protocol, U.S. laws and U.S. military law.

I wish I could say that I knew nothing of DU but alas that would be a lie. I rode up during the invasion with both infantry units and artillery units and it is no secret that DU was used during the invasion. To some it may prove our awesome might as a world power but to others it is an endless nightmare. DU is described as:

the Trojan Horse of nuclear war - it keeps giving and keeps killing. There is no way to clean it up, and no way to turn it off because it continues to decay into other radioactive isotopes in over 20 steps.

Just another present we have given the world I guess... It has been stated as well that:

Since 1991, the U.S. has released the radioactive atomicity equivalent of at least 400,000 Nagasaki bombs into the global atmosphere. That is 10 times the amount released during atmospheric testing which was the equivalent of 40,000 Hiroshima bombs. The U.S. has permanently contaminated the global atmosphere with radioactive pollution having a half-life of 2.5 billion years.

To those of you back home these are just numbers and amounts but to many this is the grim reality. Just as Moret tells of how:

In southern Iraq, scientists are reporting five times higher levels of gamma radiation in the air, which increases the radioactive body burden daily of inhabitants. In fact, Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan are uninhabitable.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

U.S. State Department Declares a Worldwide Caution for Americans

Deadalus told me about this.

The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. Americans are reminded that demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning.

What is the our country coming to when we have to tell our citizens that the whole world is so dangerous that a travel warning was needed. The warning goes on to state:

Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics to include assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings. Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. The latter may include facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, business offices, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels and public areas.

I am sure that some would say that this couldn't be the fault of America, they might even go as far as saying that it must be the world's fault. I am glad right now that my family is inside the U.S. and not abroad

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Manifest Destiny

With our "War on Terror" we have our Manifest Destiny. It must be our God given right to bring war to all those who oppose democracy and liberty, Right? If you don't have democracy we will bring it to you by force, and by God you will like it! That must be how the world sees us, not as liberators but as crusaders with our shining swords and white horses. We who are prepared to kill in order to bring not Christianity this time but Democracy.

The terrorists should be quaking in their boots right? WRONG! One CIA report leaked to the Washington Post describes Iraq as the "New Terror Breeding Ground". There are Many who think that we will force the Axis of Evil to bend to our will. The fact that we can force other countries to bend to our will therefore makes us right to do so. Hell, we are ridding them of their tyrannical oppressors, but what many are beginning to see is that we in turn now look like, and to many, ARE the oppressors. Where is the honor in the act of oppression?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Tara and Zach

Tara and Zach
Originally uploaded by nevadog.

I love this pic. It was taken while I was home on my 2 weeks leave from Iraq.