Iraq

Since I didn’t publish regular prayer newsletters from Iraq like I did on my deployment to Afghanistan, I don’t have as much of a record, but am including what I posted on Facebook including “statuses” and photo albums. These posts will show my activity on deployment, some of the things I saw and reveal many of my thoughts (though in looking over my posts from the time, I didn’t even mention many of the events that impacted me most). Some of the posts may seem out of context or incomplete since not all posts remained on my timeline or would have been responses to posts on other people’s pages, but I think this still offers a good insight into one chaplain’s experience at war.

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Me with Heidi minutes before reporting for deployment. — with Heidi.
Me with Heidi minutes before reporting for deployment. — with Heidi.
Me with Julia minutes before reporting for deployment. — with Julia.
Me with Julia minutes before reporting for deployment. — with Julia.
Me with Holly minutes before reporting for deployment. — with Holly Parr Densford.
Me with Holly minutes before reporting for deployment. — with Holly Parr Densford.
In the hanger waiting to load the buses.
In the hanger waiting to load the buses.
The mass sleeping quarters near Ramstein Air Base.
The mass sleeping quarters near Ramstein Air Base.
Speaking to my Soldiers on the plane just before we flew out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Speaking to my Soldiers on the plane just before we flew out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
The sleeping accomodations in Kuwait while we waited for a flight to Balad, Iraq.
The sleeping accomodations in Kuwait while we waited for a flight to Balad, Iraq.
On the C-130 flying to Balad, Iraq.
On the C-130 flying to Balad, Iraq.
On the C-130 flying to Balad, Iraq.
On the C-130 flying to Balad, Iraq.

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Highway beside the airport on the way to Basrah
Highway beside the airport on the way to Basrah.
Basrah International Airport
Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport
Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport
Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport
Security Balloon over airport.
Basrah Airport Apaches
Our Apache attack helicopters ready to go!
Iraqi helicopter
An Iraqi helicopter.
Basrah British armored vehicles
British Armored Vehicles.
Basrah Tent City
City of tents where we sleep.

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Sparrowhawk FARP
View of the FARP after landing with the Blackhawk.
Sparrowhawk FARP
Worship service at the FARP
Sparrowhawk FARP worship
Worship service at the FARP
Sparrowhawk FARP worship
Worship service at the FARP
Sparrowhawk FARP
View of “Sparrowhawk,” the nearby Iraqi Base
Sparrowhawk FARP
View of the FARP
Sparrowhawk FARP
Sunset over the Porta-lets!

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Balad Iraq
My office door (note the decal on the black part)
Balad Iraq
My office-for counseling!
Balad Iraq
Inside my office–always dusty!
Balad Iraq
My office-stuff, with my assistant’s desk on the right.
Balad Iraq
My room, also always dusty–you can’t seal the sand out!
Balad Iraq
My room-homemade furniture.
Balad Iraq
A mild sand storm. The color is correct-it’s like being on Mars.
Balad Iraq
A mild sand storm. The color is correct-it’s like being on Mars.

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Balad Iraq

Balad Iraq
Mine is the last CHU (containerized housing unit) on the right . . .
Balad Iraq
My room is 2nd floor, left door–a room with a balcony!
Balad Iraq
My room-some of the conveniences of home!
Balad Iraq
A view right “outside the wire”
Balad Iraq
A view right “outside the wire”
Balad Iraq
A local mosque now contained “inside the wire”
Balad Iraq
A local mosque now contained “inside the wire”

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At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah. I'm there getting ready to pray.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah. I’m there getting ready to pray.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah. I'm there praying.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah. I’m there praying.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.
At the great Thanksgiving dinner at COB Basrah.

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Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is the Senior Joint Forces Chaplain, Padre David Moss praying the invocation for me.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is the Senior Joint Forces Chaplain, Padre David Moss praying the invocation for me.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is CW3 Klein leading the responsive reading.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is CW3 Klein leading the responsive reading.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is my assistant, SGT Miles leading one of the songs.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is my assistant, SGT Miles leading one of the songs.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is my assistant, SGT Miles leading one of the songs.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is my assistant, SGT Miles leading one of the songs.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is CW3 Slaughter reading the Scripture.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is CW3 Slaughter reading the Scripture.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is me doing the preaching.
Thanksgiving service at COB Basrah. This is me doing the preaching.

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Me and a chaplain friend at Sparrowawk FARP, FOB Garyowen near Al `Amarah, Maysan, Iraq.
Me and a chaplain friend at Sparrowawk FARP, FOB Garyowen near Al `Amarah, Maysan, Iraq.
SGT Miles playing for our Thanksgiving service at the FARP.
SGT Miles playing for our Thanksgiving service at the FARP.
Me speaking at our Thanksgiving service at the FARP.
Me speaking at our Thanksgiving service at the FARP.

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The C-23 Sherpa that I often fly on.
The C-23 Sherpa that I often fly on.
Inside the C-23 Sherpa (my assistant is on the left).
Inside the C-23 Sherpa (my assistant is on the left).
Me inside the C-23 Sherpa.
Me inside the C-23 Sherpa.
View of a village built up around a irrigation ditch.
View of a village built up around a irrigation ditch.
View of a village built up around a irrigation ditch.
View of a village built up around a irrigation ditch.
Me & my assistant preparing to fly on the Blackhawk.
Me & my assistant preparing to fly on the Blackhawk.
The Blackhawk "wingman" on one of my flights in the Blackhawk.
The Blackhawk “wingman” on one of my flights in the Blackhawk.
View of a village built up around a irrigation ditch (wingman in the background).
View of a village built up around a irrigation ditch (wingman in the background).

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Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport.
The control tower at Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport.
Me and one of the Iraqi air traffic controllers in the control tower at the Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport
A view of the Basrah International Airport from on top of the control tower.
Basrah International Airport
A view from the control tower at the Basrah International Airport.
Basrah International Airport
On top of the control tower at Basrah International Airport is my assistant with a British RAF chaplain.
Basrah Iraq
The tent that I call “home” when in Basrah.
Basrah Iraq
The cubicle in the tent that I call “home” when in Basrah.
Basrah Iraq
The bed in the cubicle in the tent that I call “home” when in Basrah.
British Merlin
A British Merlin helicopter.
Basrah British Merlin
Me & my assistant with the crew of a British Merlin helicopter.
Basrah British Merlin
Me with a British RAF chaplain, beside a British Merlin helicopter.

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Modern-built entry gate to the Ur site.
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Ur archeological site.
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Ur archeological site (from the air-on a Blackhawk helicopter).
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Ur archeological site (from the air-on a Blackhawk helicopter).
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Me with Royal Tombs in foreground and Ziggurat in background.
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Ancient pottery fragment. These were all over the place!
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Iraqi curator with ancient cup fragment (found along side the road).
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The Ziggurat at Ur. It was built about 2100 BC & is about 60% original.
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The Ziggurat at Ur (60% original).
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The Ziggurat at Ur.
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The Ziggurat at Ur, center staircase.
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The Ziggurat at Ur with me in foreground.
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The Ziggurat at Ur.
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The Ziggurat at Ur, with me, Chaplain Ken & the Iraqi curator (whose grandfather was part of the early 20th century dig with Whooley).
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The Ziggurat at Ur with remains of Royal Palace in foreground, temple in midground-right.
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The Ziggurat at Ur, from the top of the center staircase (looking at top & right side staircase.
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Looking out over Ur from the Ziggurat.
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View of the Ziggurat at Ur from Abraham’s house.
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Remains of the palace.
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Remains of the palace; this stone has an indentation that a post from a door rested on (an early hinge system).
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The Royal Tombs at Ur.
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The Royal Tombs at Ur.
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The Royal Tombs at Ur.
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Temple at Ur (80% original).
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Temple at Ur. Concrete mix on top added by Whooley in 1920s to prevent further deterioration of structure.
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Temple at Ur.
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Temple at Ur, arch is said to be the oldest still-standing arch in the world.
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Temple at Ur, arch is said to be the oldest still-standing arch in the world.
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Temple at Ur with Iraqi curator.
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Temple at Ur, brick with ancient cuneiform writing.
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Me at Abraham’s house at Ur. Said to be so based on: age, size and inscription of Abram.
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Abraham’s house at Ur.
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Abraham’s house at Ur.
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Abraham’s house at Ur, original floor.
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Abraham’s house at Ur. Steps to roof (had 2 upstairs rooms).
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Abraham’s house at Ur, shelving thought to be “kitchen” but likely not. Lower 2 shelves are original.
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Abraham’s house at Ur. Original drain in open courtyard.
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Me at (or on) Abraham’s house with Ziggurat in background.
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I bought this painting at the Ziggurat of Ur. It was painted by a guy from Nasiriyah.

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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new room.
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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new room.
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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new room.
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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new office.
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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new office.
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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new office.
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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new office.
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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new office.
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Living in Basrah now, here’s my new office.
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New worship service in Basrah.
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New worship service in Basrah. SGT Miles (my assisant) and CDR Dodd leading music.
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New worship service in Basrah. Me presenting “Certificate of Appreciation” to Chaplain Simon Chang on his last official Sunday in Iraq.
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New worship service in Basrah. Me presenting “Certificate of Achievement” to SPC Wilcox, Simon’s assistant on his last official Sunday in Iraq.
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New worship service in Basrah. Chaplain Simon Chang on his last official Sunday in Iraq.
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New worship service in Basrah. Me preaching.
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New worship service in Basrah. One of our readers.

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At the “Quickstrike” T-wall
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At the “Quickstrike” T-wall — with my replacement, Kevin
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Visiting Soldiers at the flightline: My BDE chaplain, Chaplain Compton; my replacement, Chaplain Winemiller; and one of my Soldiers.
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My replacement, Chaplain Winemiller with the bagpipe player who he brought along!
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Chaplain Winemiller preaching at the morning service (my last to lead).
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Evidence of USAID presence before the war (I think before the 1st Gulf War!).

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