Iraq: Ten Years Later

There it is.

In 2013, I wrote about my deployment experience to Iraq in 2003-2004. Here it is.

p = picture
l = letter
w = writing
v = video

(p,w) Shooting Iraq: The Iraq War 10 Years Later

(p) Flight to Kuwait (February 14, 2003)
(w) Valentine’s Day Deployment (February 14, 2003)
(p) Udairi Range (February 19-22, 2003)
(p) Boat to Failaka Island (February, 2003)
(p) Ferry to Failaka Island (February, 2003)
(p) Cold Shower on Failaka Island (February, 2003)
(p) House to house on Failaka Island (Feb. 2003)
(p) Two paratroopers on a rooftop (Feb. 2003)
(p) Boxing in Kuwait (March, 2003)
(p) Smoking Black and Milds (March, 2003)
(p) Sweaty, happy paratrooper after training (March, 2003)
(p) Writing an email on a laptop (March, 2003)
(p) Platoon picture atop a connex (March, 2003)
(p) Smiling is not allowed (March, 2003)
(p) Incoming Scuds! Quick, everyone to the shower (March, 2003)
(w) Saddam’s Dinner Scuds (March 20, 2003) NYTimes At War Blog
(w) The Terror of the Scud Missile (March 20, 2003)
(l) “The war is about to kickoff. Have a good day.” (March 20, 2003)
(l) “Scuds are getting boring.” (March 23, 2003)
(w) “C’mon coach, put me in.” (March 25, 2003)
(w) To the chagrin of the 82nd, the 173rd jumps into Iraq (March 26, 2003)
(w) The sky is socked in with ‘shock and awe.’ NO JUMP TONIGHT! (March 27, 2003)
(p) Go time (March 28, 2003)
(p) One final police call, in MOPP gear, before we invade (March 28, 2003)

The Battle of As Samawah
(w) WAR: “The showers are located to your left, my right.” (March 28, 2003)
(p) Ground Assault Convoy to As Samawah (March 29, 2003)
(p) Stand-to in As Samawah (morning, March 30, 2003)
(w) “I’m not re-enlisting!” Ambush in As Samawah (March 30, 2003)
(w) “It’s just water!” (As Samawah, March 31, 2003)
(w) “They wrote a f@#!ing book about this!” (As Samawah, April 1, 2003)
(w) Escape from As Samawah (April 2, 2003)
(w) Victory: As Samawah train station (April 3, 2003)

(w) The Battle of As Samawah (longform)

(p) The flies of Rumaythah (~April 6, 2003)

(p) Going to school in Karbala (April, 2003)
(l) Letter from Karbala (April 11, 2003)
(w) Special Forces Chicken Delivery (~April 12, 2003)
(p) Capture the Flag (April, 2003)
(p) Breaking and entering (~April 17, 2003)
(w) Celebrating Ashura and Easter in Karbala (April 20, 2003)

(l) Empire Records (April 26, 2003)
(p,l)The misery in Habbaniyah, or; get me out of here (late April, 2003)
(p) Celebrating “mission accomplished” by the lakeside (May 1, 2003)

(l,v) Welcome to Baghdad (May 3, 2003)
(w) The Violet Hijab (May 3, 2003)
(p) Spades (~May 8, 2003)
(p,w) Warrior-Tourists: Patrol on “market street” (May, 2003)
(l) flyPod (May 14, 2003)
(p,l) “Morale is getting real low now…” (May 26, 2003)
(l) The day I shaved my head (May 27, 2003)
(w) Cordon and Search – Part I (May 28, 2003)
(w) Cordon and Search – Part II (May 28, 2003)
(p,w) DO NOT TOUCH THE REMOTE! (May 30, 2003)
(p,l) Boredom, and the desire for a Gameboy Advance SP (May 31, 2003)
(p) The Gym (June, 2003)
(l,w) In search of the inimitable satellite phone (June 3, 2003)
(w) The Beginning of my Endless Summer (June 4, 2003)
(w) Salah, I’m not mad at you for stealing my money… (~June 5, 2003)
(w) The futility of war (June, 2003)
(w) The Iraqi Bodybuilder (June, 2003)
(w) Backstreet’s back, alright (June, 2003)
(l) Iraqi Pikachu Ice Cream (June 14, 2003)
(l) Hit me baby, one more time (June 14, 2003)
(l) Saddam, a great man (June 15, 2003)
(l) Night Patrol with Big Boss (June 16, 2003)
(l) USO Show (June 17, 2003)
(l, p) Corey Feldman at the petrol station (June 18, 2003)
(l, p) Nerd-Chic (June 18, 2003)
(l, p) Oakey sunglasses, cement weights, and veiled eyes (June 19, 2003)
(l) RPG Attack (June 20, 2003)
(l) Redacted (June 22, 2003)
(p) On top of a bank (June 24, 2003)
(l) Oddball Stories (June 26, 2003)
(l,p) I’m still here (July 1, 2003)
(l) Dysentery Promotion (July 3, 2003)
(l) Fourth of July in Baghdad (July 4, 2003)
(l,p) Meat and Oil (July 6, 2003)
(l) COIN, from the strategic corporal POV (July 7, 2003)
(p) Magical Soldier at Sunset (~July, 2003)
(p) Not my Vietnam (~July, 2003)
(v) War Music of 2003 (2003)
(l) Dying Flies (July 13, 2003)
(p,w) A Day at Saddam’s Palace (July 15, 2003)
(p,w) The Day Saddam’s Palace Turned into a US Soldiers’ Leisure Resort (July 15, 2003) VICE UK
(l) Cook Patrols (July 18, 2003)
(l) Me and the CENTCOM Commander (July 20, 2003)
(l) Left my iPod at Iraqi police station (July 21, 2003)
(w) “It’s some kind of Baghdad-wide, all-out coordinated assault, over.” (July 22, 2003)
(p) Handshake in the back of a truck, before a mission (July 22, 2003)
(l,p) Settling in and getting thin (July 26, 2003)
(p) The Mission Room (July 28, 2003)
(w) Bunny Ranch offers free coupons for Iraq vets (June, 2003)
(p) Guard Duty (July 31, 2003)
(l) Remember when Uday and Qusay died (August 1, 2003)
(p,w) Meeting the Cavalry in Baghdad (August 5, 2003)
(l) 1-1 Cavalry (August 6, 2003)
(p) The Highway Missions (August 8, 2003)
(l) “How do you really think about what I’m doing?” (August 9, 2003)
(l) Air Conditioners (August 12, 2003)
(w) Heat (August 13, 2003)
(l) Cooling off (August 14, 2003)
(w) The Great North East Blackout of 2003 and the Fury of the Veteran (August 15, 2003)
(l) It’s never as good as the first time (August 20, 2003)
(p) War Shower (August 21, 2003)
(l) “Oh lord I want to go” (August 22, 2003)
(l) “I wish I could talk to you on AIM” (August 25, 2003)
(p) How we did it before the porta-johns arrived (August 26, 2003)
(l) Paging Private Pyle (August 28, 2003)
(l) Harry Potter Jelly Beans (August 28, 2003)
(l) “It’s so hot now and you have to get in full uniform to take a piss.” (August 31, 2003)
(p) The last day of the highway mission (September 1, 2003)
(p) This is dumb (September 3, 2003)
(l) Qatar for R&R (September 3, 2003)
(l) “We’re doing a raid tonight.” (September 4, 2003)
(w) Try opening the gate before scaling the wall (September 4, 2003)
(l) The Romance of War (September 6, 2003)
(p) Kid running away from our humvee (September 9, 2003)
(l) War fatigue and an urgent supply request (September 11, 2003)
(l) Brand new PL (September 13, 2003)
(w,p) R&R in Qatar (September 15-19, 2003)
(p,w) Gross Chinstrap (September 24, 2003)
(l) Fighting a guerrilla war isn’t very fun (September 25, 2003)
(l) I look like a ghost? (September 27, 2003)
(w) Well dressed, late night visitors (Autumn, 2003)
(p) This is how we rolled (October 1, 2003)
(p) Driving through a river of sewage (October 2, 2003)
(p) We were soldiers once, and young… (October 3, 2003)
(p) It wasn’t all desert and concrete (October 4, 2003)
(l) It’s the little things I miss… (October 5, 2003)
(p) The Fayetteville Observer (October 6, 2003)
(p,w) Riot at al-Bayaa Mosque (October 7, 2003)
(p,w) The Day My War Ended (October 7, 2003) NY Times At War Blog
(l) Four puddings and two tunas a day (October 8, 2003)
(l) Burnt out (October 10, 2003)
(w) A company formation about ‘Snapping the Carrot’ (October 11, 2003)
(l) We’ll be moving soon – but keep sending mail (October 15, 2003)
(l) WINTER IS COMING: Or, starting to wonder what I’ll be like when I get home (October 16, 2003)
(l) Missing NYC from Baghdad (October 16, 2003)
(l) Life at BIAP (October 20, 2003)
(w,p) Killing time at Hotel California (October 21, 2003) VICE
(l) Playing video games through a mortar attack (October 23, 2003)
(w) Rule #1: Never, EVER, volunteer for anything (October 25, 2003)
(p) The Car Bombing Down the Street (October 27, 2003)
(l) My last written letter home (October 28, 2003)
(p) Happy Halloween from Baghdad (October 31, 2003)
(p) Emotion and Absence of Mind (November 1, 2003)
(p) Moving Day – without the pizza and beer (November 3, 2003)
(l) First email from FOB Falcon (November 3, 2003)
(l) Complacency Kills (November 6, 2003)
(p) “Try taking the pictures with the NODs.” (November 7, 2003)
(p) Binging on ’24’ and ‘Angle’ in Iraq (November 12, 2003)
(l) Mortars and Counter-Mortars (November 13, 2003)
(l) Low Expectations (November 15, 2003)
(l) Oddball Care Packages (November 16, 2003)
(l) Searching the Baghdad School for Girls (November 17, 2003)
(p) Stress Shoot (November 18, 2003)
(p,w) Memories from field training at war (November 17-22, 2003)
(l) Back from the “field” (November 22, 2003)
(l) Someone has Kill Bill (November 23, 2003)
(l) Fingers, Feces, Flies, Fluids, Food (November 24, 2003)
(l) “Hopefully they won’t have us working. They probably will though.” (November 27, 2003)
(p,l) “Today is Thanksgiving. Wish I could be there.” (November 28, 2003)
(l) Black Friday with President Bush (November 28, 2003)
(l) “Oh my god… oh my god.” (November 29, 2003)
(l) Killing Fields, No More (November 30, 2003)
(l) REDACTED: A list of things I want to do while on leave (November 30, 2003)
(l) Das Blazing Fast Internet (December 1, 2003)
(p,w) See, the conqu’ring hero comes (December 2, 2003)
(p) Welcome Home Party (December 6, 2003)
(p) Happy to be home / I’m never drinking again (December 9, 2003)
(w) Elation and Shame: Capturing Saddam (December 13, 2003)
(l) Last Chance (December 16, 2003)
(l) I can’t bring that through customs (December 17, 2003)
(l) Self-Delusions (December 18, 2003)
(l) I really like the new Britney Spears CD (December 19, 2003)
(l) It’s hard saying bye a second time (December 19, 2003)
(w) “Heineken, First Sergeant.” (December 20, 2003)
(l) Home away form Home: Back in Baghdad (December 21, 2003)
(l) Unfaithful (December 23, 2003)
(p) Dust Niqab (December 24, 2003)
(l) The Guns of Christmas (December 25, 2003)
(l) We did our raids tonight (December 26, 2003)
(l) Missions and deaths and stuff like that (December 28, 2003)
(l) Don’t ever write ‘Bad News’ as the subject of an email (December 28, 2003)
(p) Friends (December 29, 2003)
(l) Yes, now about those belly-dancers… (December 30, 2003)
(l) KBR Jobs (December 31, 2003)
(l) This isn’t our country (December 31, 2003)
(p,l) To be honest, they weren’t all that good looking nor were they good at dancing (January 1, 2004)
(l) Thanks Mom & Dad (January 5, 2004)
(l) The place sounds like it’s exploding! (January 6, 2004)
(p) CIB Ceremony (January 7, 2004)
(p) The Absurdity of War (January 8, 2004)
(l) Annoying Excitement (January 9, 2004)
(p) Not my Vietnam (January 10, 2004)
(p) Last Big Mish (January 14, 2004)
(l) Packing up (January 15, 2004)
(p) QRF (January 16, 2004)
(p) The Platoon (January 17, 2004)
(p) Last haircut in Iraq – $2 to get my head shaved (January 18, 2004)
(l) The “No-Shit” last letter home (January 20, 2004)
(p) Hurry up and wait (January 21, 2004)
(p) The End: Reunion at Pope AFB (January 23, 2004)

Epilogue: Iraq Ten Years Later

30 thoughts on “Iraq: Ten Years Later

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  3. bloggingpioneer

    I am so excited that I found your site! I am an OIF veteran who was at BIAP from June 2003 to July 2004 and I JUST started a blog. I have been wanting to do a 10 year retrospect on my deployment — how the time flies — and I am really looking forward to reading your stories! Some super weird stuff happened to me while I was at BIAP, so I am really excited to find another veteran with stories posted from a similar point and place in time. Thanks for putting it out there, and thanks for your service!


    1. Don Post author

      Great to hear you’ll be writing about your experience. I’ve been surprised I haven’t seen more people doing it. I warn you, it’s exhausting and tough. I can’t wait for it to end (February 2004).


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  5. dliw canis

    My son Erik was on your right flank as 0311 with K/3/5 1st MarDiv. He is now 68 Whiskey Combat Medic with the 3rd ID. Didn’t realize you have been active duty for a decade and more. Thank you for your service Brother. I shall be promoting your blog from time to time. Are you on Twitter or Facebook?


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  10. daless09

    Your blog is very interesting to me as a military historian. I wanted to thank you for your service and thank you for writing it the way you have done it. Any plans on getting any part of it published at some point?!


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  22. julie harms

    As a painter I am drawn to images more than words. What a peculiar picture. It’s very surreal. Two soldiers in gear having what looks like a manicure (or not ?), (having ones hands cleaned during a war is very symbolical don’t you think ?), sitting on middle Eastern fashion chairs, with a very classical painting of a young girl looking out over the sea to another shore in the middle… There is so much meaning in there. Between that one and the header, you definitely know how to choose your pictures. Anyway, this is a very interesting blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don Post author

      Thank you very much. I always loved this picture because of the absurdity of it all – for the reasons you just pointed out. I think you might be the first other person to see it the same (and comment). Thank you.



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