This Island Iraq is a snapshot in time. While the time spent in Iraq from the broader American perspective is often puzzling or misunderstood, for the Marines that spent time on the ground pounding sand, going door to door, making friends, making enemies and watching each other's backs - it was an embodiment of a brotherhood. Often times when one looks back at who they were at this time of their life - there are those moments of shame, embarrassment, as well as what we like to remember, the moments of honor and sacrifice. This site is a snapshot in time, warts and all. It needs to be remembered that every individual marine in this unit was in a certain place, context and culture within yet another context and culture. In other words, don't be surprised or judgmental to find that one that was once in the marines was once rough around the edges. Don't be shocked to know that we were all once ready to inflict violence at the blink of an eye. Don't ever forget that despite some of the antics that take place behind the scenes, each one of these men signed their name on the dotted line. This site is dedicated to those that served on deployments to Iraq with 1st Battalion 7th Marine Regiment, Animal Company. Particularly- those that served with 1st platoon, of which I was a part of, and thus, documented those I was around most of the time.
Photos and videos on this site
Nearly all of the material on this site are photos and videos taken by myself on these two deployments - but not all. During the time of sharing crappy "haji-coppies" while overseas, photos and videos were swapped, duplicated, etc. Some of the photos I found while building this site, I have no idea who took. To that effect, if you see your photo on this site- let me know so I can credit it as such. I can only point to about 8 or 10 photos that were taken by a Combat Camera man once during my first deployment, the rest are mine, or another Marines (though very few) from a different squad within my platoon. Contact me if there are any questions.
An important footnote
Because of the nature of OPSEC (operational security) there are certain videos and photos that will never be posted to this site. Most of the bases that can be observed in any detail are either gone completely, or have changed beyond recognition or value for any with ill-intent. Most Marines that were on these deployments are off of active duty- but not all. Withholding some material is to protect the Marines that served, but also others that are still serving. With that being said - this entire project is partially incomplete- but there in essence.