Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ar Ramadi Images

Belt of Iraqi 7.62mm x 54R Machine Gun Ammo

"Jundi" Iraqi Soldier

Aid Station and Battle Position

Saddam Mosque

Sergeant of the Guard Making the Rounds

Looking Down MSR Michigan Towards Government Center

The city of Ar Ramadi was a target rich environment visually alive with people, objects and surfaces. Here are several photographs of things mentioned in the previous entry along with a few others to give some sense of the atmosphere that pervades a place such as OP Horea. Here is the face of an Iraqi jundi, brave and generous. The Marines, weary of MREs, look forward to their invitations to share home cooked meals on the first deck. A sergeant of the guard disolves in the dappled light under the mantle of camouflage netting. A belt of machine gun ammunition at the ready coiled and deadly. A view of Saddam Mosque as seen from a fighting position, and a devestated stretch of MSR Michigan lying between Government Center and OP Horea at twilight. In future postings you'll be presented with essays in the form of images to hopefully deepen an appreciation of the texture of life in this troubled city.


Beth* A. said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. For the tremendous risks, for the wonderful eye you have for these photos, but also, most importantly, for my Marine friend, who doesn't want to remember this city (he didn't take one photo the whole time he was there, even gave away a disposable camera I sent for his birthday)for I can know where he was through your pictures, and see things he might have seen, without bringing up bad memories for him. I am profoundly grateful, WO1 M D Fay, as I want very much to understand, but I don't want to cause any pain to those who've been there, by asking too much.

Carol said...

Once again, Mike, your watchful eye captures the soul of your subjects. The sad and sturdy face of the Jundi; the mosque and minaret are particularly thought-provoking. They appear to stand untouched by time or battle, so exquisite and so reverent. The mottled mosaic of the SOG - that beautiful light! (You know I like the textures). A great shot.

My admiration for you and your work just keeps growing. Continued good thoughts go out to you and your fellow Marines.


Lil Toni said...

Awesome work Mike. Thanks for sharing.

John Kochan said...

Thank you for what you do sir. I sincerely appreciate your sacrifices that guarantee my children will grow up in a safer world. Please be safe and keep your head down! All of us await your safe return...

John Kochan
Waldorf, Maryland

ScW said...

like the others... I applaud your efforts as a member of our military as well as admire both your photographs and your other art. Keep on.

As a side note (as a photography hobbiest) what is your equipment of choice for the pictures? Just wondering how your able to get such sharp images under such difficult conditions. said...

Your photos have a serenity about them while the comments present a threatening and danger image. Wonderfully balanced by great humor. We here in the US owe you uniformed heros our support, loyalty, respect, admiration and our heartfelt thanks for the dangerous job you do. God bless our troops, our President and the good people of the U.S. of A.

Gwen Haas

saj said...

Your photographs are very good and so are your sketches. Did you go to art school?

Thank you for your service to our country. God bless the United States Marines, The United States of America and our Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush!

Sharon Jones
Finksburg, Maryland

adalie said...

Thank you for showing us more of the real Iraq, Michael. Your photography, artwork, and writing are stunning. Stay safe. You are all loved by many. Semper Fi!

Barb Meier
Springfield, VA

Pogue said...

Thank you Mike for what you are doing over there, and for taking the time to share your experances. I love your photos. Be Safe tell the others Thanks.

Jill said...

Thank you for sharing and God Bless!

Noodlehead said...

Im an artist from atlanta, Love the work its awesome! Keep it Up. Im here to support you!

Matt Lagrone said...

Incredible images.

Any Donkey said...

Thank you for collecting a slice of the war to share with us at home.

Peri said...

Great pictures!!

Anonymous said...

Your talents are astounding! You have a rich future in the arts.

I hope you will consider publishing a book of your writings and photos in the future.

You bring the expereince of the solider .... the fear, danger, atmoshphere and mood ... to those of us who will NEVER know the depth of sacrifice a solider makes for his country. Thank you!

Stay safe!


Samantha West said...


As always, the view through your eyes takes my breath away and gives me pause to consider more than just the "back and white" issues.

I am struck by the almost organic beauty of your photo Belt of Iraqi 7.62mm x 54R Machine Gun Ammo, it seems a metaphor for the Marines: Peaceful in it's natural state, ever ready to protect and defend, and deadly when necessary.


KG said...

Beautiful work. Truly.

I had to take a moment to thank you for your efforts and to say that I look forward to your future pieces.

- K.G.

Frank K. said...

Hooaahh ! Take care, troop.
Come back alive.

Kevin Creighton said...

Michael, all I can say is...

Semper Fi, carry on.

reddogb031 said...

hey brother, I think that I may have been right across the river from you not too long ago. Dont know if this is so or not or if you are still there but please drop me a line and let me know if this could be possible. Happened apon your site when I was looking for pictures to show my family. I guess to try and explain to them..well know. Please let me know if this could be possible and I will further explain.

Anonymous said...

Hello. My son is in Germany, and on his way to Ramadi, Iraq shortly. I did a search under this name so I could see how the city looks. Thanks for the images, and I hope you can post more.-a concerned mom named Melanie

Anonymous said...

Just happened across you site while searching for the latest happenings in Ramadi. My son (USMC 3/8) has been there about 6 weeks. Nice work.