Next week I will take a break from my psychology focused content and will focus some time and attention on information for inclusion into my book Beautiful Trainwreck: Off the Rails. Not all of the information presented here will make it into the book and not all information in the book will be available here.
Camp Bucca is a category on my Blog I have created for purposes of explaining my experiences at Camp Bucca, Iraq during Ramadan of 2007. It was during this time I experienced one of several events that have taken place in my life where I came close enough to death to look up and see the cold steel of the sickle he was holding as he awaited my end. In this section and over several entries I will discuss a series of events that took place during my team’s 2007 assignment to one of the world’s largest theater internment facilities (prisoner camp) holding some of the deadliest terrorist masterminds. This trip deeply affected the lives of several of my team members as the impacts of our time there lasted for a while. This trip affected my own life more than I could ever imagine.
Camp Bucca, Iraq is where I experienced what I call “the beginning of my end.” It was an event that affected me for years and I could barely understand it until I realized just how deeply the daily attacks and bombardment over such a short period of time in my life would make me jumpy and short-fused for years to come.
Sometimes when I walk into the middle of my field across from my house I close my eyes to soak in the peace and quiet. I’ll be honest with you fellow Trainwrecks and tell you it makes me tear up a little because I go from realizing I’m here and I’m not there anymore to being there for a moment and back to being here. I felt so much pressure and fear and excitement and anger it is difficult to try to put a single thought into words. War fucking sucks. War is the most exciting and terrifying experience I can think of. I will attempt to explain what happened as the region rapidly destabilized and the Red Cross hurriedly evacuated. My intention of this series is to explain (as I can) not only what happened but why.
I will attempt to explain my experiences as the situation collapsed and the Takfiri began an 8 day assault that left us with dead and wounded. I will likely get a few details incorrect and that is expected as my perspective is based on the journal I kept, information provided by fellow servicemen who were there as well as the understanding I should not compromise operations security (Opsec). With that said, I want to focus not only on what happened but the process that took place as the world around me literally decided to go completely to shit and there wasn’t a thing I or anyone else could do about it but watch the kites of children disappear and the eyes of allies avert. I watched our behavior as military professionals evolve. I witnessed people hold each-other and a moment later fight one aother. It was after the second or third aerial bomb slammed into our compound I realized not only were the Takfiri pissed off at us but the situation had de-evolved beyond the regular volatile state it loosely hinged just above.
I used to think people could give a shit less if anyone ever talked about any of this. Perhaps I was wrong.
You’re Welcome. Internet.