Wednesday, December 24, 2008

christmas pics

i make it rain! gangstas rollin with the benjamins!

this is my christmas tree :)

SGT Bustos really loves christmas

christmas pics

merry christmas...

well its that time of the year again and its hard to believe that weve been gone for almost a year. im gone from home once again this year. Weve been really busy lately...lots of patrols for lots of time haha. we havent really had much time to think about the holidays which is probally a good thing. The guys in the platoon have high spirits especially when our packages come in. its kinda like christmas every 4 days. Things are still pretty much normal arounds here except for the temprature and the rain. it hasnt rained too much bt when it does everything floods. and in a city with no real sewage system everything runs into the streets and when it floods, well were walking through it. enjoy that visual!

Today as we were patroling, we pushed into a house and discovered a kid with what looked like Psoriasis. It was on every inch of his body, which is a severe case,the father said that he had lost 2 sons to the same symptoms. its heart breaking. With my suplys i couldnt do anything for him so instead we refered him to our bigger aid station in hopes that they can discover his ailment and hopefully recieve an effective treatment.

So ive been writing on this thing for nearly a year now. and i fear that all im doing is repeating the same borring things over and over. So id like to hear form you. what do you want to know about? this country, our lifestyles, the people. ill do my best to answer any questions you might have.

also heres some pics taken. notice the "BARF" laundry detergent. Ive decorated my tree but ill post those soon. Have a merry christmas and enjoy your holidays

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving

Everyone. well another holiday has come and gone while im away. Days like this make me miss my family. As im sure everyone else is sharing my feelings on this day of thanks. I just got back from R and R leave aboout 2 weeks ago. I liked home alot better haha, but it feels good to be back in the swing of things. Patrols are better and overall things are better as well.

The other day on patrol we opened the soccer fields in our area. They were locked down because the city wasnt taking care of them. we went and cut all the locks on the gates. Immeadiatly kids from everywhere started cheering and pouring into the field. They was so damn excited about those fields. We told them "this is yours, now go have fun". It was all smiles and thank yous. It was a pretty cool expierence being able to do that. Soccer is everything to them. Ive seen the kids play soccer with a rock and no shoes on in the dirt streets.

Still day to day life. patrols got on and on. Its part of life out here. But it feels good to be back with my guys.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

R and R

I appoligize to the latency of my postes recently. I left iraq on the 18th of october and started the long road home. It took me about 6 days to finally get home. Way too long. But reguardless im home and spending time with my family and friends. partying and hanging out. its strange being home and seeing all the differences in the places that i grew up and in the people that i left behind. Some good and some very stark differences in people. But i suppose that good that i see these things. it helps me remain grounded and continue the things that ive been doing. My true friends will always be there for me. But as for now im somewhat missing my brothers out there in iraq. Their working their asses off and im drinking haha. Ill be back soon enough. Just trying to enjoy my time left. I go back there in 7 days and spend another 7 months over there.

Friday, October 10, 2008

what a night

We took heavy contact last night. IED's (imporvised explosive devices) RPG's and small arms. My team leader was on a roof and was hit in the chest, Penatrating chest wound. and a shrappnel injury. He was coughing up blood but moving air through his lungs ok. He was flighted out immeadiatly for surgery and is in stable condition right now. we visited him this morning. He is in good spirits.

Get well soon SGT Constintine

Sunday, October 5, 2008

PFC Christopher "Bart" Bartkiewicz

On Sept 30th I lost one of my best friends here due to sniper fire. I was the medic that treated his injurys. Bart was a great man and a loving father and husband. He was one of our brothers and will be missed. I just wish you could have know him. Rest in peace brother.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

well hello again

well folks its finally cooling off. Night patrols are actually brisk. We've been having power problems latley and mosquitos are crazy around here. I was standing outside for about 20 minutes and was bit about 15 times or so...not so attractive when you have a giant lump on your forehead, not that i have anyone to look good for or anything over here haha.
Id like you to meet Neama, Shes the little girl that feel out of a second story balcony. She was excited to see us on the ground and fell while pointing at us. My team and I were less then 10 feet when she fell. She landed on her head and went into a seizure. She didnt breath for about 30 second or so. I controled bleeding and with the help of a few of my guy's held her neck as we scooped her up and hauled ass to our trucks. We evacuated her to our aid station she was flown out to Balad where she could get a full CAT scan and MRI. This picture was taken about 5 days later. The funny thing is she knew exactly who I was when she saw me again. She is going to make a full recovery. If you look closely she has a black right eye and behind her ears she has bruising, this is indicative of head trauma.
As for me just the same stuff happening around here, more and more patrols. Take care everyone. Coming home in November

Thursday, September 18, 2008

wow that really escalated quickly

We were sitting at a house earlier today and we found a cool little scooter to mess around on. Im Taking the stunting scene international. popping wheelies and running around with my M4 mounted on the handle bars... I felt like Chuck Norris in Delta Force.

Shortly after we left we were waiting on our trucks to pull up and pick us up. We were about 30 to 40 meters away and they hit an IED. The blast was massive. It rocked everything inside you. we all started moving into position to get the guys out of the truck and start treating the injured when the call over the air came in, "were all up, everyone is ok". A huge sigh of relife came out of all of us. We were all ok, nothing damaged, the projectile went right over the hood of the truck. Another 2 feet closer and it would have been a hit on the passenger side. Then we were engaged by small arms fire across the street on top of a roof, a couple guys. One team moved to the roof and another to the other side of the street in order to return fire closer to them. After lots of shooting from our automatic weapons, m4's and 203's there was not a sound to be heard.

Everyone in the streets had dissapeared and there was nothing but silence. Only the sound of the ringing in your ears was heard, And the ringing goes on and on...

Monday, September 15, 2008

The daily grind goes on

lately our patrols have been increased to 4 hours, so at any given time im outside the wire at least 8 hours a day now. More of the same things going on. Couple IED's heard close by but nothings hit any of us. sporadic gunfire heard almost daily but still we find no enemy. heres a few patrol pictures that Bons took recently

Monday, September 8, 2008

what kind of man?

So today was probally one of the hardest days ive had here in this country so far. I was about to go work out and was approached by our company commander to take a look at a little girl with another fellow medic. We were told limited information about the situation and only told that her father had beaten her yesterday, and she was pretty roughed up. So we grabbed our aid bags and went next door to take a look at her. She was ushered into the room by the iraqi Army that lives next to us and we knew it was pretty serious. Her lips and hands had been badly burned by a strong chemical. we quickly broght her back to our aid station and started our eval. Her lips and hands had severe burns and she was in a lot of pain. we were told through rough translation that it happened yesterday some time. Her arms and legs were bound and she was beaten and dumped on the side of the road by her drunken father. She had bruising to her legs and hands. She fainted at one time while we were cleaning her up... trying to make it as painless as possible she just passed out from the pain. we later found out that it had happened 5 days ago and she hasnt been able to eat or drink anything since. We called for Evac and started an IV. loaded her up and she was gone within 15min. The father was found by the brother in law and turned into the Iraqi Army...i never saw the man but i was told that swift justice would be in effect... remember where we are. How can a man do something like this to a child. The reason he did it was that he gave her money to go buy him cigaretts but it was after 1100 pm which is curfew, she refused and this was the result. I dont understand this place anymore... this country is filled with such extreams. Weather, poverity and violence, but today I saw the result of true evil.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


i know i know, its been almost a month since ive posted anything. sorry. nothng much to report in our neck of the woods. weve done a few raids and such but mostly just recon patrols and finding out what the population is doing durring ramahdan. violence is expected to pick up durring this month. the religious month requires you not to eat smoke drink any fluids durring the day. your required to pray 5 times a day. so if i couldnt eat or drink all day id probally be a little aggitated to and want to fight some body...and who better than the americans! unforunatlly weve lost 2 soldiers in the last week to EFP's (Explosive Formed Penatrators) they peirce through the armor of our vehicles and explode inside. extreamly powerful and very deadly. these people are resourseful... placing these ieds in open areas but making them look just like a rock or hunk of concrete. your just always looking, your mind is racing, wondering if that chunk of concrete could actually blow up.

well here are some pics from some of our adventures in sector lately. i hope you all enjoy