Looking at Innocence Through a Soldier's Lens (Original)

in photography •  2 years ago

 A soldier doesn't pick the war that he or she fights, but politicians do. A child doesn't pick the war he or she is born into either. This story is not about politics. It is not about the rightness or wrongness of war.  However, it is about the innocent! The innocent ones as I saw them through the lens of my camera.

 As an infantry soldier in a combat team, I deployed to the country of Iraq during the years of 2008-2009. I didn't have a lot of free time to take pictures. However, every once in a while I would have an opportunity to snap a quick photo.  Some of these rare opportunities would include the children in my patrol area. 


 The 1st Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, 112 Infantry, assist Iraqi Army soldiers from the 6th Division, 24th Brigade, 2nd Battalion in  West Abu Gharaib, Baghdad, Iraq 2009. 


Watching us do a foot patrol. 


What have they done?!


Walking with mother. 


What would your emotions be if you had to deal with war as a child? 


Love the hair on this one!


Playing Basketball! Be thankful for your nice gym and basketball court where ever you are from!


Wanting to play!


Scrambling for candy we dropped to them!


Climbing an ancient monument with no shoes!


Having a good time with friends.


Hiding behind cooking oil cans!


Asking for chocolate, a pen and/or a football....please "Mista" (Mister)


A Home-made kite made from trash bags! Creative!


I was able to read news reports about what my Division was doing. What the "MSM" was reporting wasn't exactly what was taking place in the country. Much of the reporting seemed to be done with a political agenda. Whatever happened to fair and honest news reporting? 


Happy Faces! 

Taking a break with my friends.



Establishing trust with the children in a local village.


Not a nice neighborhood to have to play in! Notice the two soldiers sitting in the shack.


Watching over the children playing.


 Hoping for a bright future!


 The day had arrived for my unit to leave Iraq and return home. I vividly remember standing in line on the hot airport runway waiting to board a plane to take me out of the combat zone. I felt many emotions at that point. I felt pride in my proficiency as a team leader and soldier. My body shook with excitement at the prospect of making it home alive and not in a flag draped coffin. 

My heart was filled with joy and yet I felt emptiness deep down in my gut. I seemed as if I were leaving my own children in harm’s way. I had been these children’s protector for over a year! I had not realized the depth of the emotional bond that had been created. Tears filled my eyes as I boarded the airplane that took me back to the safety of my home country. 

Sources: Photos are original

 If you enjoyed this story, follow me and I will follow you back. Don't forget to resteem! 

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Wow: that's a heckuva story: it shows a side glossed over by the MSM. Glad to hear that you and the children hit it off.

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Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed!

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Let's see how many others do... Resteemed.

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Wow. Thank you! The whales must be grumpy! About 100 votes already but only worth .37 cents so far. lol

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It got better. :)

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it sure did..lol Thanks

I agree with ' A soldier doesn't pick the war that he or she fights, but politicians do.'

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Thanks for your comments :-)

I love this post! I am voting and following you

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Thank you for your kindness!

Thank you for your service to your country @thedeplorable1.

Wishing you all the best. Cheers.

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Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate them!

Nice post.

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Thank you kindly!

Great post and following you now!

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A soldier doesn't pick the war that he or she fights, but politicians do.

How so?

(Edit; added )

It could be said; A politicians doesn't pick the war that you or anybody fights in, but "we the people" or "the mayority" or "the country" (America) does.

You see everybody is shifting responsibility for what they do. And the system provides the mechanism, for people to say; I did this because I was a victim of so and so, I had no choice. But I think ultimately it's about taking responsibility for our own choices. I would be the one people could hold responsible for fighting in another country.

I am not attacking you. I don't see you as a bad person or so. I just had to ask you this, so maybe you could think about it.

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Thanks for your comments. I am assuming that you have never been in the military. A soldier needs to have faith that their country is electing good leaders that use the military for it's intended and just purpose.. I take OWNERSHIP of every action that I took and I sleep with a heavy heart at times. But that goes with the job and being a professional.
I would ask this question. If former President Obama, ordered and authorized a drone strike against a individual or groups of jhadist. Does that make President Obama a murder? NO because he was acting on behalf of the people that elected him in a demacracy. Is Obama going to have answer to his God for his actions? Yes! This is why many people vote and pray for our leaders to make the good decisions . You have an 18 year old right out of high school making life and death decisions based upon orders given to he or she from a legitimate government. Its OK if you or anyone else sees me or another soldier as a bad person. I know in my heart that my intension and actions were moral and legal. I would do it all again for the love of my fellow soldiers and country. On a political level , I don't believe in nation building and I wouldn't have issued the order to or voted to go into Iraq. But our leaders, elected by the people, gave me an order to do a job and I did it to the best of my ability. Thank you for your careful wording of your comment. This is a sensitive subject for all and needs to be discussed. I wish you well! Go vote! Our nations warriors count on you!

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Thank you for your reply.

I have not been in the military and I will never be in the military. It's is my believe that almost all wars are politician and bankers (multinationals) war, and those people will never stop playing divide and conquer and profiting from it all. The wars will only stop if people stop obeying them and stop paying them.

I see that you take full ownership of your actions and I'm very glad about that. Maybe you have also drawn a line, where you say if they order me to do this or that I'm not gonna do that. (or stay quiet, or not do anything to stop crimes)
It's just that there are not that many policeman or army men I know who ever really thought about that, that's also the reason why I wrote you the reply, and as careful as I could. I'm so glad you recognized that, thank you.

In the Obama question you ask, I would answer the same as you. But there are always innocent people that are killed in drone strikes too.

I'm not a believer in the believe called Statism. I believe that it does not matter how careful people vote or pray, what is actually the same, the people in power will always be corrupted because else they wouldn't be there. Politicians are always bought, because they have something to sell namely us, our money and our energy and our lives.

Therefore I can not vote. I would not dare to give someone else permission to do things I as a human being in everyday live, may not do. I believe I cannot do that I can not give someone else a "right" I do not have myself to begin with.
I hope you can respect that I can not do that.
I wish you well too. And I really liked your post.

As reaction to your latest reply:
Use the words I wrote as you wish, they are not mine.
Peace.

(English is not my native language)

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also, with your blessing, I would like to use your words when I submit my next story. I would like to explore this topic further. Thanks