Ray and Socky get the CIB!
Ray and Socky are awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge. (photo from Ray)

Looking down at the canal the LT fell into during the firefight where he nearly drown

The family my grenades barely missed, most of whom were young girls

Darren with the circular saw
Darren builds the frame of the climbing wall.

Phase one of wall complete
The first phase of the wall is already up.

With a little teamwork– including from the ICDC!– the frame starts going up.

Darren secures the frame
Darren secures the frame.

Almost done
Almost done.

Ray climbing
Ray climbing.

At the World Trade Center, September 2001

In the back of a flatbed Humvee, enroute to the ambush site. From the left: Rich, Chris, Sean, Jeff.

The bus full of baby chickens we shot up, now being towed with Whiskey at the wheel

The massive fire I started. Oops-a-daisy.

Car bombs sure make a mess

Modern art masterpiece– Volkswagon frame, a la automobil bomba des insurgente arseholes, 2004

You ordered the engine block? Is it okay if I just put it here by the garbage?

Wounded Air Force guy. Notice the Nissan emblem on the truck’s grill. Car emblems are cool.

The medevac chopper landed in a field near the intersection. The wounded Air Force guy was flown out shortly thereafter.

The wrong truck

Still the wrong truck pulling the thieves’ truck

“What box of cash?”

While we were checking out the guys with the cash, we stopped another vehicle behind them. The vehicle was clean, but the battery died and they couldn’t start the engine again. So we asked the guys with the Olympic soccer cash to give them a jump. They did so begrudgingly.

My ghetto fabulous VW emblem car bomb necklace

The pool at the Balad Air Base

Karl and Earl [Staff Sergeant Karl O. Soto-Pinedo of San Juan, Puerto Rico – KIA 02/27/07 – Baghdad, Iraq]

Me trying to look cool at the “bar”. Notice the awesome pentagram belt buckle. All hail Satan!

I always thought rave kids would love the Army because of the ready availability of chem lights to do their chem light dances. I was right. Here a raver-kid/combat-soldier does the chem light-swinging dance thing on the dance floor at the bar.

Lawrence chatting with Chris

With Chris

The coastal skyline of Doha, Qatar

Doha has got to be the most immaculate and most boring place on earth

The Amir’s palace

Starbucks– approaching world domination by taking over one culture at a time

Returning from Qatar, the view of my area of operations in Iraq, as seen from the plane

These are photos of the family we almost wasted:

I really love the photo above. The guy’s hair on the left is awesome, and the dad covering his head like he’s a boxer on his way to the ring is priceless.

Civilians who are not dead.

I like to imagine that the guy on the left is the second oldest son, but his dad favors him more because he’s more level-headed than the oldest son with the pompadour from the first photo. He’s more adept at the family business of dirt farming and is not as promiscuous as the first son who has been caught gazing at women’s ankles at least twice. The son on the right is the mechanic of the family and is a realist. He’s the most quiet, but he’s also the only thing that keeps the family together. He is trying to make a straight face, but at the moment I took this picture, he was hating on me hard. To be totally serious, I really like these pictures because they are of people who we didn’t kill. Something about having pictures of people who you almost killed seems really weird to me, but kinda cool in way. I’m just happy they’re not dead.

Photo of a cute Iraqi kid who I almost shot but didn’t mean to.

This kid is from the country. Country kids are much better behaved than kids from town. I absolutely love this kid’s shirt. If you look closely, you’ll love it too. It has the word “Skate” printed in the pattern with silhouettes of snowboarders. This photo pretty much has everything. Behind the boy is the oldest woman being hysterical and sitting on the ground are the young women, whom we ignored, just like they always are in Iraq.

Our Humvee, almost falling into a canal.

Photos of the week of cute Iraqi kids who I want to shoot

Something I can not reiterate often enough is how monumentally misbehaved Iraqi street kids are. But some of them are just so darn cute, you can’t help but want to squeeze their little faces– until they suffocate.

“Trust Jesus”

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
Matthew 25:31-33

It’s good to see that someone involved in the aid process of donating clothing has a sense of humor. You can’t see it really well, but this kid is wearing a t-shirt with a cartoonish goat printed on it and entitled, “Trust Jesus”.

The Humvee that ran over a land mine

The Apache that went down

The first set of power lines the Apache severed

The second set of power lines the Apache severed

The damage to the Apache

The Chinook recovering the Apache.

Here’s a super short photo essay about an Iraqi man who failed out of the Iraqi National Guard for drug use, started running with a bad crowd, then was stupid enough to store some illegal weapons and improvised explosives at his home. We call him Crackhead Bob. Someone ratted him out and we did a soft raid of his house, meaning we knocked on the door rather than kicked it in. The Iraqi Police did a lot of the work on this one, much to their credit. But we’ll discuss all that later. Here’s a few quick photos of Crackhead Bob, his naughty items, and some of the beautiful artwork in his home.

One RPG, two artillery rounds. Awesome!

Crackhead Bob
“Um, they’re not mine, I was just, like, holding them for this other guy. No wait, actually, I took them from him, just tonight, and I was going to give them to you tomorrow morning. Yeah.”

violent posterviolent poster
Violent religious imagery! Awesome! What better way to show your piety than a calendar depicting a head on a fucking pike! Wait, on second thought I could be totally wrong. Maybe these are horror movie posters. Yeah, that makes a lot more sense. Duh. What was I thinking?! A head on a pike?! Come to think of it, that does kinda look like Bruce Campbell.

dead baby poster
Dead babies! Awesome! This guy is really into some hardcore horror movie shit! I hope we find his stash of Fangoria.

Islamist poster
The best one yet! A poster for an extremist sect of Islam! Awesome!

The EOD guys collect all the found ordnance…

…then about once a month it’s all loaded onto a truck…

…and taken to a remote site to be destroyed.

All hail Willy!

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