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Color of War

 

It’s strange, the life of a helicopter pilot. They take off from comfortable bases after crew rest, yet soon are in the remotest, most inhospitable parts of the war, where truly, if they have any problems, they will be on their own for a decisive length of time. Yesterday Papua New Guinea, today Iraq, tomorrow Afghanistan or Africa. And so when they move toward contact with the enemy—as they now were doing—all transactions are final.

Sometimes we would fly long stretches, at speeds up to 180 mph, and see nothing but wind-swept deserts.   Across these vast expanses, foreign terrorists can enter Iraq, bringing weapons and explosives.

 

In other parts of Iraq large herds of camels, sometimes numbering in the thousands, are not uncommon.  But I have seen no camels here.  Bedouin families often move their herds without regard to national borders.  This photo was taken near the Syrian frontier.  At other times, I have seen wandering families move in trucks and bring their own water tanks, erecting tents in the vastness, living under no law save that of the desert wild.

 

A sense of place.  Freezing nights, dusty days.

 

The total RV experience: Water trailer on the left, satellite dish to the right of the tent.

 

Shepherds can recharge their cell phones with motorcycles.

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