Category Archives: War Stories & Vignettes

Can’t Make These Things Up

We had a sniper problem.  Plain and simple, what began as opportunistic or harassment fire escalated into a full-scale issue.  It all was at and around the Castle in Tal’Afar (the old Ottoman Empire fortification that ringed the central hill … Continue reading

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Assumed Risk (Border Ops Part II)

This is in continuation to the assumption of risk piece I wrote about here. It was May 2005, and we were about to rotate off of the Syrian border in Rabiah for the last time (so we thought).  We had … Continue reading

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Bringing Some History to History…

A long time ago in what seems like an entirely different life, far far away, I used some of the blood money I was making while downrange to procure something different. Something special. Something timeless, and unique. I bought an … Continue reading

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V is for Valor

I have on occasion eaten my own words, and I am fine with that fact. Every one of us gets humbled at some point in time in our lives (sometimes over and over) and these moments hopefully make us better … Continue reading

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Gone, But Never Forgotten…

Back when I first returned from OIF III, I spent a lot of time trying to forget stuff. But as time wore on, much like I counted down the days until the tour would be over, I tracked my time … Continue reading

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Assumed Risk (Border Ops Part 1)

The Iraq-Sryia border was a maze of concrete walls and barbed wire, but as soon as the town of Rabiah ends, the border pretty much becomes just one large earthen berm, with the occasional strand of barbed wire here or … Continue reading

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The Last Photo I (Almost) Ever Took

The advent of combat photography helped shape the visual history of war, as well as helped us capture a moment in time. I had a digital camera I carried with me on deployment as a tool; as a leader, it … Continue reading

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How Much is Enough?

On a dreary Thursday in February, 2005, while in the midst of a large operation to clear the entirety of the Al Sarai neighborhood in Tal’Afar, my gunner – SGT Frank B. Hernandez – was killed instantly when an IED … Continue reading

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Time Does Not Heal ALL Wounds…

…It only heals scars and dulls some of the difficult feelings. I haven’t written on the blog in a while, some out of laziness and mostly out of exhaustion from all that being a new homeowner entails.  But today is a … Continue reading

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“I Guess We’re Veterans Now…”

On Veterans Day 2004, my men and I sat around looking at each other in Mosul, a week earlier having been blown-up wounding six, having been in Iraq for about a month and a half, and said – well, I … Continue reading

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