Skip Navigation LinksHome > Browse ServiceHeroes
Login  

"History is one of the most important topics that can be studied
because as it repeats, history will help foretell the future." Milo
  B25 Mitchell  
My War History Navigation My War History ProfileWar ChatBrowse Service HeroesService Hero PhotosService Hero VideosResearch Service HeroesContact MyWarHistory

Help

Browse Service Heroes

Click here to sign up so you can start posting your service heroes before their stories are lost

Zachariah Wooten Army

Print My Service Hero
View MyWarBuff Page
Add WarBuff Friend
Share with Friends
Zachariah Seth Wooten ('Wutang') - 33224 Views
honored by Self, for posterity.


Recommend Zachariah's Story to Digg it | del.icio.us | Reddit

Assigned: 81st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 181st Support Battalion, Headquarters & Headquarters Company
Highest Rank: Specialist
Entered Service: 10/29/1991
Exited Service: 11/5/2006
Foreign Service Length: 7 Years, 6 Months
Continental Service Length: 7 Years, 6 Months
Location of Service: Germany, Colorado, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Washington State, Iraq
Gender: male
Basic Training: Fort Leonardwood, Missouri
Service Related Injury: Traumatic Brain Injury, Tinnitus, Hearing Loss, and Nerve Damage
Military Position: Avenger Crewmember
Place of Separation: Fort Lewis, Washington State
From City: Renton
From State: Washington
Current City: Vancouver
Current State: Washington
Date of Birth: 09/1972
My War Stories
  
  10/1991 Enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 23, 1991 into the Delayed Entry Program. Went off to Basic Combat Training in October and completed basic training at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri, in December.
  1/1992 Received advanced individual training (AIT) as a Man Portable Air Defense Crewmember (16S) at Fort Bliss, Texas between January 1992-March 1992.
  3/1992 Assigned to my first permanent duty station, serving with the 4th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery in the 3rd Infantry Division in Kitzingen, Germany.
  6/1992 As a young PV2 I was 'volunteered' to be cross-trained as a Bradley-Stinger Fighting Vehicle Crewmember (14R) in Vilsek, Germany.
  5/1993 As a PFC, competed in our battalion's 'Top Gun' competition to earn the chance to fire a live Stinger missile. My team placed third in the entire battalion. I took part in the Stinger LFX (Live Fire Exercise) at Putlos, Germany and scored a direct hit. I received my first AAM as well as the Army Expert Marksmanship Badge with 'Missile' Qualification Bar.
  3/1994 Reenlisted and PCS'd (Permanent Change of Station) to Fort Carson, Colorado where I was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery in the 4th Infantry Division.
  2/1995 While serving at Ft. Carson, my unit was activated to take part in humanitarian operations in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during Operation SEA SIGNAL from Feb. 1995 - Sept. 1995. I was assigned to Joint Task Force (JTF) 160. We did site security at a camp of 1,500 Cuban refugees.
  10/1995 ETS'd (Exited The Service) after returning from Cuba in Sept. 1995. I then reenlisted and joined the Washington Army National Guard and served with the 81st Infantry Brigade (M) from October 1995-October 1996.
  11/1/1996 Reenlisted back on Active Duty on November 1, 1996, and was assigned to the 5th Battalion (Patriot), 7th Air Defense Artillery in Hanau, Germany.
  2/1997 In February 1997, my unit was mobilized in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH until Sept. 1997. My Battery was responsible for manning a Patriot site next to King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We arrived not long after the terrorist car bombing occurred at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in Nov. 1996.
  6/1999 Reenlisted and did a PCS move in June 1999, where I was reassigned to Fort Lewis, Washington with the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Assigned to perform duties as an Air Defense Early Warning Operator (14J) and later as a Small Arms Maintenance Supervisor (45B) from June 1999 - July 2001, when I ETS'd from Active Duty.
  7/2001 Reenlisted into the Washington Army National Guard and was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company 181st Support Battalion in the 81st Armored Brigade (later reflagged as the 81st Brigade Combat Team).
  11/2003 In November 2003, the 81st BCT was mobilized at Fort Lewis, WA in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. Trained at Fort Lewis until early February 2004.
  2/2004 In February 2004 the 81st BCT had their departure ceremony at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA. Approximately 4,000 soldiers were present for the ceremony. It was the largest mobilization of the Washington Army National Guard since World War II.
  3/2004 Did final train up at Fort Irwin, California at the National Training Center. At the end of February 2004 the 81st Brigade, with elements of the California National Guard and the Minnesota National Guard in support, became the first unit in the Army to deploy from NTC to a combat zone.
  3/2004 Arrived in Kuwait on March 12, 2004 a day after the terrorist bombing on a train in Madrid, Spain. We stayed at a military base called Camp New York where facilities were provided for incoming units. The 39th BCT (Arkansas National Guard) as well as the majority of the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas were also there at the same time that we are. We were here for approximately 2 weeks or so, waiting for our equipment to arrive by ship. Once it arrived we unloaded, packed and prepped everything for our convoy northward to Iraq.
  3/2004 With very few uparmored vehicles, most Army units construct makeshift shields for armor, formed from salvaged metal. I drove an unarmored 5-ton truck with expando van attached (which extends outward and is used as a tactical operations center or TOC) pulling a large generator. On the three-day convoy my truck blew a rear tire. Pulled over and hitched a ride with a trailing element of the convoy. Turned around after twenty minutes or so when we found out a recovery vehicle was enroute to help change the tire out. When we arrived, some Iraqi civilians were trying to tow our 5 ton truck away with a small standard toyato pickup with a rope of all things! When they saw a bunch of US soldiers show up with weapons drawn they 'beat feet' and made a break for it. Funniest thing I had seen since entering Iraq. After 3 days of nearly nonstop driving we arrive to Logistics Support Area (LSA) Anaconda (aka Bald Air Base) on April 3rd. It is located 50 miles north of Baghdad on Highway 1. Anaconda is a former Iraqi military installation that was taken over by coalition forces in 2003. It covers about 13 square miles and includes an airfield and several bunker complexes built by Saddam Hussein's military. The U.S. military has taken over the airfield, but most of the bunkers - some of which rise out of the ground like small versions of the Egyptian pyramids - have been abandoned. It rained a little when we first arrived in April, but the temperatures soon exceeded 115 degrees during the day in early summer. The temperature is expected to top 125 degrees as the height of summer approaches. To say our living conditions are somewhat austere is an understatement. The heat is bad, the bugs are bad, and the dust is just plain awful. We live in tents with little to no air conditioning and have to use port-johns for our restrooms. Not an easy thing to do in 100 plus degree heat!
  3/1/2004 Interim Constitution-A new, temporary constitution for Iraq is signed.
  4/2004 On April 12, 2004 I walk the two miles in the stifling heat to Anaconda's lone call center, to call my wife on her birthday, which coincidentally is today. After I complete my phone call I step outside for a smoke. There are two small bus stops located on both sides of the narrow road in front of the Base Post Exchange (PX). There is a small van used as a shuttle bus that shuttles soldiers anywhere they want to go on the expansive base. Not wanting to walk back in the heat, I agree to meet my friend at the bus stop and ride back together. When I finish my cigarette I stand up to walk to the bus stop, when suddenly, I see a bright flash and then hear a loud, thunderous BOOM! An enemy rocket explodes less than ten feet away. One moment, I'm sitting on a concrete barrier, the next thing I know I find myself on my back looking skyward. I'm not sure how long I am knocked unconscious. I don't realize it, but at the time I had sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from the rocket blast.
  6/2004 On June 2, 2004 I was doing site security at the East Entry Control Poin (EECP). . Just before the attack I was manning a .50 Caliber machine gun mounted on a M113 APC gunner’s turret providing security overwatch. While performing my duties I heard a Point of Origin (POO) of a rocket launch northeast of my position from an unknown distance. I immediately took a defensive posture by hunkering down in the gunner’s turret and began to scan the surrounding area for any further signs of activity from the insurgents. At the time of the attack a U.S. Army NCO, SGT Barbara Lightle (HHC 181st Support Battalion), and an Iraqi Army officer were walking behind the M113 APC along the bridge that spanned over the canal to the main gate of the EECP. They were standing on the north side of the bridge when the rocket impacted just below them into the concrete surface of the man-made canal. I continued to steadfastly perform my defensive duties without hesitation as the round impacted within 10 meters of my position. Three years later I would be awarded the Combat Action Badge for this incident for actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy and continuing to steadfastly perform my duties in accordance with prescribed rules of engagement.
  6/2004 Iraqi Government-Control of Iraq handed over to an Iraqi government. Elections planned.
  6/2004 The United Nations endorses the reestablishment of Iraqi sovereignty and the interim constitution takes effect, with Iyad Allawi, a Shiite, as prime minister and Sheik Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar, a Sunni, as president. Saddam Hussein and 11 other former high-ranking Iraqi officials are formally turned over to the new government and are arraigned.
  11/8/2004 On Nov. 8, an estimated 10,000-15,000 American troops launch Operation Phantom Fury to secure the city of Fallujah. US Military officials announce that, by Nov. 15, 38 US troops, six Iraqi soldiers and an estimated 1,200 insurgents had been killed. On Nov. 16, US military officials announce that American troops had secured Fallujah.
  1/30/2005 Iraq's first competitive election in a half-century takes place, marking an historic breakthrough for the democratic principle in Iraq. 60 percent of eligible voters turn out, with the following ethnic breakdown: strong voter turnout among the Shiites and Kurds, who together comprise over 80 percent of the population, with a poorer turnout among the Sunni Arabs.
  3/17/2005 In March 2005, the 81st BCT returned from their successful combat tour of duty in Iraq. I was awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal (later, authorized two bronze campaign stars), Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 'M' device (for mobilization), and the Overseas Service Ribbon (for my third overseas tour).
  9/2005 Along with 500 fellow Iraq vets from the Washington Army National Guard, I volunteered for humanitarian relief efforts in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in September 2005. I was assigned humanitarian duties in the 7th Ward, 9th Ward, and St. Bernard Parish. I was then awarded the Louisiana Emergency Service Medal from the Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard and the Governor of Louisiana.
  11/2006 Due to physical and psychological issues I was medically retired November 5, 2006.
  4/3/2011 My former unit officially awards me the Purple Heart Medal. After nearly seven years, I am finally officially recognized for wounds received in combat on 12, April 2004.

My War Awards
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) is awarded for participation in "any military campaign of the United States for which no other service medal is authorized." I was awarded the AFEM for service in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Operation Southern Watch) from Feb. 1997 - Sept. 1997.)
  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal (The Armed Forces Reserve Medal (AFRM) recognizes service performed by the Reserve and National Guard forces of the United States of America. To be awarded the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, a service member must complete a total of ten years service as a member of a Reserve or National Guard component of the United States military. The Armed Forces Reserve Medal is also awarded to any member of the Reserve or National Guard who is involuntarily mobilized for federal active duty during any such mobilization. I was awarded the AFRM for ten years of consecutive service (denoted by a bronze hourglass device) and the 'M' device to denote my mobilization for Operation Iraqi Freedom II.)
  • Army Achievement Medal (The Army Achievement Medal (AAM) is a military medal used as a means to recognize the contributions of junior officers and enlisted personnel who are not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal. I have been awarded the AAM with one silver leaf cluster (6 awards) for being recognized for meritorious achievements.)
  • Army Commendation Medal (The Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) is a mid-level United States military award/ decoration which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy force, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star, the Valor device ("V" device) may be authorized as an attachment to the decoration. I was awarded the ARCOM with 3 bronze oak leaf clusters (4 awards) for meritorious service or acts.)
  • Army Good Conduct Medal (The Good Conduct Medal (GCM) is awarded to any active-duty enlisted member of the United States military who completes three consecutive years of "honorable and faithful service". Such service implies that a standard enlistment was completed without any non-judicial punishments, disciplinary infractions, or court martial offenses. Believe it or not, this is sometimes the most difficult award to earn as it is not always easy to keep your nose clean! I was awarded the GCM with rope device and two knots to denote 2 awards.)
  • Army National Guard Components Achievement Medal (To be awarded a Reserve Good Conduct Medal, a service member must, generally, be an active enlisted member of the Reserve or National Guard and must have performed three to four years of satisfactory duty (to include drill and annual training) with such service being free of disciplinary action. I was awarded the ARCAM with three oak leaf clusters (4 awards) for my time in service.)
  • Combat Service (The Combat Action Badge (or CAB) is a military badge awarded to any soldier after the date of September 18, 2001 for performing duties in an area where hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay is authorized, who is personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement. I was awarded the CAB for a hostile incident that occurred June 2, 2004 while serving in Balad, Iraq during OIF 2.)
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOTSM) recognizes those military service members who have performed service in the War on Terror from September 11, 2001 to a date to be determined.)
  • Humanitarian Service Medal (The Humanitarian Service Medal (HSM) is awarded to any member of the United States military (including Reserve and National Guard members) who distinguish themselves by meritorious participation in specified military acts or operations of a humanitarian nature. I was awarded the HSM with 1 bronze service star to denote my participation in two recognized humanitarian operations: Operation Sea Signal - GTMO Bay, Cuba Feb 1995 - Sept. 1995 Operation Hurricane Katrina - New Orleans, Louisiana Sept. 2005- Oct. 2005)
  • Iraq Campaign Medal (The Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM) is awarded to any member of the U.S. military who has performed duty within the borders of Iraq (or its territorial waters) for a period of thirty consecutive days or sixty non-consecutive days. The medal is retroactive to March 19, 2003 and is active until a date to be determined. The medal is also awarded posthumously to any service member who dies in the line of duty within Iraq, including from non-combat injuries such as accidents and mishaps. I was awarded the ICM with 3 bronze service stars for the following combat campaigns: Phase 2: Transition of Iraq – May 2, 2003 to June 28, 2004 Phase 3: Iraqi Governance – June 29, 2004 to December 15, 2005 Phase 4: National Resolution – December 16, 2005 to January 9, 2007)
  • National Defense Service Medal (The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) was intended to be a "blanket campaign medal" awarded to any member of the United States military who served honorably during a designated time period of which a "national emergency" had been declared. I was awarded the NDSM with 1 bronze service star (2 awards) for two of these time periods: August 2, 1990 to November 30, 1995 for service during the Gulf War and September 11, 2001 to a date to be announced for service during the War on Terrorism.)
  • Overseas Service (An Overseas Service Bar is displayed as an embroidered gold bar worn horizontally on the right sleeve of the U.S. Army Class A uniform. This award is presented for serving 6 months overseas in a combat zone. I was awarded two Overseas Service Bars for 2 consecutive six-month periods in a combat zone for Operation Iraqi Freedom II from Feb. 2004 - March 2005.)
  • Purple Heart Medal (The Purple Heart is awarded to those whom suffered wounds or for fatalities suffered in the line of meritorious service. I was awarded the PH for wounds received in combat in Balad, Iraq 12, Apr. 2004.)
  • Rifle Badge (The United States Army issues marksmanship badges come in three classes; expert, sharpshooter and marksman. Suspended from it are component bars that indicate the specific weapons the soldier is qualified for. I qualified as an expert on my M16A2 and received the Army Expert Marksmanship Badge with 'Rifle' component bar in Feb. 2004 as well as the 'Missile' component bar for achieving a direct his during a Stinger Live Exercise that took place in Putlos, Germany in June 1993.)
My War Pictures
Click on the pictures to enlarge.
        
  Medals earned over 15 years of honorable service to this country. Top Row: Purple Heart, ARCOM w/3 oak leaf clusters, AAM w/1 silver leaf cluster, and GCM with rope device and two knots. Middle Row: ARCAM w/3 oak leaf clusters, NDSM w/1 bronze service star, AFEM, and ICM w/3 bronze service stars Bottom Row: GWOTSM, HSM w/1 bronze service star, AFRM w/Bronze Hourglass & 'M' devices, LA Emergency Service Medal Medals earned over 15 years of honorable service to this country. Top Row: Purple Heart, ARCOM w/3 oak leaf clusters, AAM w/1 silver leaf cluster, and GCM with rope device and two knots. Middle Row: ARCAM w/3 oak leaf clusters, NDSM w/1 bronze service star, AFEM, and ICM w/3 bronze service stars Bottom Row: GWOTSM, HSM w/1 bronze service star, AFRM w/Bronze Hourglass & 'M' devices, LA Emergency Service Medal Here is the official certificate I received for my award of the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat, 12 Apr 2004. Here is the official certificate I received for my award of the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat, 12 Apr 2004. Picture of my Platoon taken in Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri in Nov. 1991. I was in D (Delta) Company-1st Platoon, 5th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment. I'm in the top row, fifth from the left. Picture of my Platoon taken in Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri in Nov. 1991. I was in D (Delta) Company-1st Platoon, 5th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment. I'm in the top row, fifth from the left.
  Additional awards- Left side: Foreign Award-German Army Marksmanship Badge (Schützenschnur) in Silver Regimental Crest-3rd Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Citations: Joint Meritorious Unit Award & Coast Guard Meritorious Commendation Top Right: Combat Action Badge (CAB) Collar Discs: Air Defense Artillery Enlisted Collar Discs Qualification Badges: Drivers/Mechanics Badge with 'Driver-T' (Tracked Vehicles) Qualification Bar & Army Expert Marksmanship Badge with 'Missile' (Stinger) & 'Rifle' (M16A2) Qualification Bars Additional awards- Left side: Foreign Award-German Army Marksmanship Badge (Schützenschnur) in Silver Regimental Crest-3rd Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Citations: Joint Meritorious Unit Award & Coast Guard Meritorious Commendation Top Right: Combat Action Badge (CAB) Collar Discs: Air Defense Artillery Enlisted Collar Discs Qualification Badges: Drivers/Mechanics Badge with 'Driver-T' (Tracked Vehicles) Qualification Bar & Army Expert Marksmanship Badge with 'Missile' (Stinger) & 'Rifle' (M16A2) Qualification Bars SSI worn, Top row from left-to-right: 3rd Infantry 'Marne' Division (Location-Kitzingen, Germany), 4th Infantry 'Ivy' Division (Location-Fort Carson, Colorado), 81st Armored Brigade (Location-Seattle, WA), 94th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade (Location-Hanau, Germany; Bottom row: 69th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade (Location-Hanau, Germany), 2nd Infantry 'Indianhead' Division (Location-Fort Lewis, Washington), Redesignated 81st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) (Location-Seattle, Washington). Distinctive Unit Insignia-Top Row: 3rd ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-4th Battalion, 3rd ADA), 3rd ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-1st Battalion, 3rd ADA), HHC 81st Armored Brigade (Assigned unit-HHC 81st Armored Bde), 7th ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-5th Battalion (Patriot), 7th ADA). Bottom row: 7th ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-5th Battalion (Patriot), 7th ADA), 5th ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-C Battery, 5th Battalion, 5th ADA), & 181st Support Battalion (Assigned unit-HHC 181st Support Battalion) SSI worn, Top row from left-to-right: 3rd Infantry 'Marne' Division (Location-Kitzingen, Germany), 4th Infantry 'Ivy' Division (Location-Fort Carson, Colorado), 81st Armored Brigade (Location-Seattle, WA), 94th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade (Location-Hanau, Germany; Bottom row: 69th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade (Location-Hanau, Germany), 2nd Infantry 'Indianhead' Division (Location-Fort Lewis, Washington), Redesignated 81st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) (Location-Seattle, Washington).  Distinctive Unit Insignia-Top Row: 3rd ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-4th Battalion, 3rd ADA), 3rd ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-1st Battalion, 3rd ADA), HHC 81st Armored Brigade (Assigned unit-HHC 81st Armored Bde), 7th ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-5th Battalion (Patriot), 7th ADA).  Bottom row: 7th ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-5th Battalion (Patriot), 7th ADA), 5th ADA Regiment (Assigned unit-C Battery, 5th Battalion, 5th ADA), & 181st Support Battalion (Assigned unit-HHC 181st Support Battalion) Desert subdued patches & insignia from top-to-bottom: Officer ADA branch sew-on, Specialist collar rank, Combat Action Badge, U.S. Army nametape, and my Shoulder Sleeve Insignia-Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS)-18th Airborne 'Dragon' Corps Patch. Desert subdued patches & insignia from top-to-bottom: Officer ADA branch sew-on, Specialist collar rank, Combat Action Badge, U.S. Army nametape, and my Shoulder Sleeve Insignia-Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS)-18th Airborne 'Dragon' Corps Patch.
  Picture of me and my beautiful family at our 'Welcome Home' ceremony at Fort Lewis, WA., March 2005. Picture of me and my beautiful family at our 'Welcome Home' ceremony at Fort Lewis, WA., March 2005. Picture of me and my girls with the 'Welcome Home Daddy' sign they made just for me! March 2005. Picture of me and my girls with the 'Welcome Home Daddy' sign they made just for me!  March 2005. Reunited with my youngest daughter whom I haven't seen in 8 long months. Reunited with my youngest daughter whom I haven't seen in 8 long months.
  Two of my older girls welcoming me home. Two of my older girls welcoming me home. 'Present arms!' One last time before being released to finally reunite with our families! 'Present arms!' One last time before being released to finally reunite with our families! Picture that someone happened to snap of me as I was coming out of our battalion HQ. Picture that someone happened to snap of me as I was coming out of our battalion HQ.
  East Entry Control Point crew during the Christmas of 2004. Picture was taken at the end of our shift after being out in the torrential downpour all day! Good times! East Entry Control Point crew during the Christmas of 2004.  Picture was taken at the end of our shift after being out in the torrential downpour all day!  Good times! Entry of bridge leading to the main entrance of the EECP. View from tower. Picture taken 2004. Entry of bridge leading to the main entrance of the EECP.  View from tower.  Picture taken 2004. EECP view to the south, taken from the outer perimeter guard tower. EECP view to the south, taken from the outer perimeter guard tower.
  East view from the 'Sniper's Look out' looking towards the vehicle convoy entrance of the EECP. East view from the 'Sniper's Look out' looking towards the vehicle convoy entrance of the EECP. Pic of me manning the 240B Machine Gun providing overwatch, as a military convoy enters the main gate. Pic of me manning the 240B Machine Gun providing overwatch, as a military convoy enters the main gate. Military convoy entering the EECP main gate. Military convoy entering the EECP main gate.
  Picture of an AH-64 Apache helicopter flying by the EECP above the farmland that surrounded our base. Picture of an AH-64 Apache helicopter flying by the EECP above the farmland that surrounded our base. Picture of Specialist Jeffrey Dickerson (our 'Designated Marksman' or DM) holding a modified M14 rifle and myself cheezin' for the camera. Picture of Specialist Jeffrey Dickerson (our 'Designated Marksman' or DM) holding a modified M14 rifle and myself cheezin' for the camera. Nearly the entire EECP crew stands for a group photo on a former Iraqi Army (Russian-made) T-55 Tank. Taken summer of 2004. Nearly the entire EECP crew stands for a group photo on a former Iraqi Army (Russian-made) T-55 Tank.  Taken summer of 2004.
  Closeup of Main Post Exchange (PX), notice the large concrete Jersey barriers that are directly in front of the main entrance. These were erected after a large 122mm mortar hit the front of the PX in June 2004, killing one soldier and wounded dozen or more. Closeup of Main Post Exchange (PX), notice the large concrete Jersey barriers that are directly in front of the main entrance.  These were erected after a large 122mm mortar hit the front of the PX in June 2004, killing one soldier and wounded dozen or more. A lovely Iraqi sunset over our living area. Love the accommodations! A lovely Iraqi sunset over our living area.  Love the accommodations! Photo op; me sitting on an old Russian-made, quad machine guns-AAA (Anti Aircraft Artillery) weapon system. Photo op; me sitting on an old Russian-made, quad machine guns-AAA (Anti Aircraft Artillery) weapon system.
  On duty at the EECP. From left-to-right: Staff Sergeant Rene Dolan, First Lieutenant Anne-Marie Stormo and myself. On duty at the EECP.  From left-to-right: Staff Sergeant Rene Dolan, First Lieutenant Anne-Marie Stormo and myself. Here's an aerial view of our oh so 'lovely' trailer park. All kinds of mischief went on here...use your imagination (heh, heh). Don't you love how the higher-ups thought it was so good to have our trailers so close together? Makes for a large kill radius, don't you think? Here's an aerial view of our oh so 'lovely' trailer park.  All kinds of mischief went on here...use your imagination (heh, heh).  Don't you love how the higher-ups thought it was so good to have our trailers so close together?  Makes for a large kill radius, don't you think? Specialist Dickerson and I posing on a T-55 Russian tank in front of our Battalion HQ. Specialist Dickerson and I posing on a T-55 Russian tank in front of our Battalion HQ.
  Another pic of our lovely 'hooches' that we lived in the last six months or so during our time at LSA Anaconda. They had A/C that worked (when we didn't have 'brown outs') and were relatively comfortable. The only bad thing was if a mortar or rocket landed near one, it turned a hooch into hundreds of bits of flying shrapnel. That made for a very bad day, indeed! Another pic of our lovely 'hooches' that we lived in the last six months or so during our time at LSA Anaconda.  They had A/C that worked (when we didn't have 'brown outs') and were relatively comfortable.  The only bad thing was if a mortar or rocket landed near one, it turned a hooch into hundreds of bits of flying shrapnel.  That made for a very bad day, indeed! One of our many guard towers located along the large perimeter fence of LSA Anaconda. One of our many guard towers located along the large perimeter fence of LSA Anaconda. Picture of the North Entry Control Point (NECP) aka 'North Gate.' This was the primary entry control point of the base and was the main departure and entrance for military convoys. It was also where civilian and military supply trucks were inspected. Picture of the North Entry Control Point (NECP) aka 'North Gate.'  This was the primary entry control point of the base and was the main departure and entrance for military convoys.  It was also where civilian and military supply trucks were inspected.
  An example of one of the building seen throughout Anaconda that were refurbished and used as battalion headquarters. An example of one of the building seen throughout Anaconda that were refurbished and used as battalion headquarters. Even in a combat zone, you can't escape it; fast food chains! Even in Iraq we had the comforts of home, to include some well know fast food joints. But you couldn't eat this stuff everyday if you worked indoors. For those of us who worked 10 to 12 hours a day in all our combat gear didn't have this issue. Even in a combat zone, you can't escape it; fast food chains!  Even in Iraq we had the comforts of home, to include some well know fast food joints.  But you couldn't eat this stuff everyday if you worked indoors.  For those of us who worked 10 to 12 hours a day in all our combat gear didn't have this issue. Front view of Anaconda's Main Post Exchange. Front view of Anaconda's Main Post Exchange.
  A picture of 'Mig Alley,' remnants of the Iraqi Air Force that was left-over on the base from the Desert Storm era. A picture of 'Mig Alley,' remnants of the Iraqi Air Force that was left-over on the base from the Desert Storm era. This is 'Sustainer Theater,' which was refurbished by 3rd COSCOM. It showed nightly movies and was free to servicemembers and government contract civilians. They showed first-run movies and were only behind about two weeks. Inside it was air conditioned and had a small concessions stand. It was enjoyable, except when the base was attacked by rockets or mortars. Then we had to put our full 'battle rattle' on and wait to be given the 'All Clear' signal. Good times. This is 'Sustainer Theater,' which was refurbished by 3rd COSCOM.  It showed nightly movies and was free to servicemembers and government contract civilians.  They showed first-run movies and were only behind about two weeks.  Inside it was air conditioned and had a small concessions stand.  It was enjoyable, except when the base was attacked by rockets or mortars.  Then we had to put our full 'battle rattle' on and wait to be given the 'All Clear' signal.  Good times. 'Mig Alley' closeup. 'Mig Alley' closeup.