The Iraq War

Iraq War

The Iraq War.  An unpopular war for many I know.  Also, not as beautiful as tropical beaches and photographs of food and people having fun.  I spent four and a half years working in Iraq and that experience actually opened the door for me to see some of the Middle East, in particular Iraq and a city I had only seen in movies; Baghdad. This experience was also the catalyst for my initial travels to Thailand. A lot of lives were lost for sure and it continues, sadly, today. Hopefully the people of Iraq will find peace in their land someday.  I still have friends there who I care about and hope the best for always.  I hope and pray they will someday have the Iraq and the freedoms they dream of. I hope that the fears they still hold eventually diminish and disappear.

This first Iraq War post is dedicated to them, my Iraqi friends, because without their smiles and friendship my time there would probably have been a lot more unbearable.  This post is also dedicated to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, as well as to their families. I also include those whose lives were changed in just an instant and bear the reminders of their experiences from the wounds they suffered while serving their countries.  Hopefully the world will someday experience life without war and no one will feel a fear to travel. The world has so much to offer everyone.

Flying Over Baghdad

Helicopter Ride Over Baghdad

Looking out the gunners door while flying over Baghdad, Iraq

This photo was cropped from a video I made while flying over Baghdad one day in a Blackhawk helicopter in 2008 to ‘another location’.  It’s not the crispest photo, but that is because of the vibration caused by  the helicopter and the inexpensive camera I had at the time.  Sometimes you just have to make do and hope for the best results.

Visiting the Crossed Swords in the International Zone Baghdad Iraq 2006

Visiting the Crossed Swords in the International Zone (Green Zone) Baghdad 2006

The “Crossed Swords” or “Victory Arch” monument in the International Zone (IZ), which is also known as the “Green Zone”, was a popular photo site for many.  I was lucky one day in 2006 there were some foreign coalition troops who pulled up while I was there who agreed to take the picture for me.

Car Bomb (VBIED) Explodes

VBIED Detonation Baghdad Iraq 2006

Shortly after my picture was taken a car bomb exploded

This photo was taken shortly after the soldiers took my picture.  It was the first car bomb I had seen detonate and it was far enough away from me I didn’t have to worry about it.  The thing that worried me most was the automatic weapons fire that started right after the explosion at the far end of the parade deck.

These are just a few of my own photographs I have of the Iraq War.  It was part of my life experience and I was one of the lucky ones to have survived it unharmed.


About VacationWanderer

I have 'wandered' pretty much around the world but still have a lot to see and experience. My favorite things to do in life are travel, photography, and learning new languages or foreign language phrases to use along the way. "Hello", "Thank You", and "Please" in any language will open many doors for you. :-) I love to share my travel experiences with people and hope to inspire those who are still just thinking about it.


  1. Wow, I can’t believe you’ve been there. I remember seeing those crossed swords on the news several years ago… crazy stuff… and you’re one of the few westerners to see this place in recent times too.
    Jeremy R. Last would like you to check out..Bayon Temple GifMy Profile

    • Hey Jeremy. I was grateful to see it. Worked in Baghdad about two years. This was a favorite spot for photo opportunities for military and civilians alike. :-) Feedback I get is this area is really not that safe anymore once security was turned over.

  2. G girl says:

    I just saw on the news today that 4 more American soldiers were killed today by Afghany allies…… I pray for the day all our service men and women are home safe. Thoughts and prayers to them always .

  3. Thanks for sharing these pictures. I too hope that someday we will not fear traveling anywhere in the world and that we will be able to enjoy freedom no matter where we travel!


  1. […] one day in Baghdad, I marveled at the sites I had only seen on television before coming to Iraq.  I remember thinking to myself, Here I am in Baghdad!  Well, the part Baghdad I could somewhat […]

  2. […] my vacation travels out of Iraq, I sometimes had some time to hang out in Kuwait because of layovers and got to go exploring.  I […]

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