U.S. Army soldiers relax around a space heater with a bottle of sparkling fruit juice after a traditional dinner Thanksgiving dinner was delivered to their outpost in Mosul, Iraq Thursday, Nov. 25, 2004. I was covering the war in Iraq for the Associated Press at the time.
I sent this post to friends and family on a private online bulletin board while reporting from Iraq for the Associated Press in 2004. It has been edited only for spelling and one line of redundancy. I deleted first names and hometowns for reasons explained within.
Posted by jim (188.8.131.52) on November 06, 2004 at 00:48:53:
I had been at Combat Outpost, the U.S. Marine base in Ramadi for about a week with Golf Company already when I got up for a mission just before dawn a few on Oct. 31.
They had their vehicles, several Humvees and a 7-ton truck parked in a bay just outside of a room where I slept with members of the Quick Reaction Force, headquarters company, and a few Navy Corpsmen, among others.
Everyday, I would wake up and suit up for the mission with my photo gear and body armor, and look for a vehicle with a free seat. This day it was a “high back,” also called a “ten man,” which is a Humvee with two benches in the back, both facing in. I’ve also heard it called a “Hillbilly Humvee,” and you get the effect when you see it full.
At the last minute before the convoy pulled out, our whole crew was switched to another Humvee, more forward in the convoy for some unexplained reason. It wound up making no difference, except that I always feel at greater IED risk forward in the convoy although countless theories abound about which place is safest. Continue reading
I kept friends and family up to date with a closed message board while I was photographing the war in Iraq for the Associated Press in 2004. Here is my entry from October 15, 2004, one day after I took the photo above:
so i’m in anbar province, site of the most u.s. deaths outside of baghdad. al-anbar includes fallujah and ramadi, and a lot of small surrounding towns and wide open desert.
yesterday i covered a memorial for a 19 year old soldier from pa, on of four u.s. deaths in five days in ramadi, ending monday.
then today, two more guys from his battalion, who were probably at that memorial yesterday, were killed when an rpg struck their humvee and set it on fire.
a little while later, a humvee leaving the base struck a roadside bomb, seriously injuring two more soldiers.
it’s getting busy here.
Parts One and Two of Amy DiPierro’s series on economic development, poverty, and inequality in Iraqi Kurdistan. This show-length feature is prefaced by an interview in which DiPierro explains how she became interested in this story, the history of Iraqi Kurdistan, and the meaning of the word Kurdistan itself.
The two segments featured in this piece are also available on War News Radio’s PRX account.