The first dead body I saw in the road during my second tour in Iraq was in an intersection in Baghdad near the Green Zone in broad daylight, right in a well trafficked residential neighborhood. We were called out to the location to support the very new, but very tattered Iraqi National Guard. As we rolled on scene, our job was to just secure the area, collect whatever information we could through the interpreter, and turn it over to the ING or the police, whoever showed up first. We were fairly new to this sector and as routine as it seemed, we were full of apprehension. People were in their homes looking over their fences to keep an eye on us. Keeping it real, I guess I would have done the same if I were in their shoes. We had just flipped the country upside down and captured Saddam. We operated in a lot of Sunni neighborhoods with folks who didn’t care for us.

As we looked around, the scene seemed so goddamned senseless. Senseless because the body we discovered in the road was a man who was carjacked, shot to death, thrown from the car, and left in the middle of this intersection for the whole neighborhood to see. This man lost his life over a car that was… or was attempted to be… stolen. The real shitty part was that the carjacker drove the car for about 75 feet down the road before he crashed it into a power pole and fled the scene, engine running and door wide open. There was blood everywhere inside the car and I couldn’t help but think, “Why? Why the hell steal a car you’re just going to crash and why did this guy have to die for it?”

Welcome to Baghdad in the days of the wild, wild west…

by Rory Andes

Email at using Rory Andes 367649

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Rory Andes 367649
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