Michael's Dispatches

There is a Right, and a Wrong

69 Comments

rich20050502_mosul-car-bomb-and-next-day-in-neighborhood-327Mark Bieger with Farah

04 April 2011

In war, the closer you get to blood, the closer you get to truth.  One day in Iraq there was a car bomb. It was like any other day at that time.  Several American Soldiers were wounded.

yon-iraq-photo

In addition to hitting American Soldiers, this bomb hit children.  Their parents, instead of hiding away with their children, collected them and rushed frantically screaming and wailing to the American Soldiers.  There were flames and smoke and the crackling of fire and the smell of fuel and flesh.  More children were brought to the Soldiers.  One little girl named Farah was badly wounded.  Several Soldiers huddled around Farah treating her, and then Major Mark Bieger wrapped Farah in a blanket to get her to a hospital.

20050502_mosul-car-bomb-and-next-day-in-neighborhood-357For Farah it was over before it began

The Soldiers loaded Farah into a fighting vehicle and rushed her away but she died.  This was one day of many like it.  On the scale of the war, it was small: only three people killed if you include the attacker.

The Iraq war is over for the people who were never in it, but it will never be over for those who were.  Of these experiences, little will remain other than the marble stones, the wounds, and the stories, most of which will go untold and will disappear nearly as quickly as they were lived.  Our people are coming home.

Little Girl

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bruce Koehler · 7 years ago
    Little Farah... you will not be forgotten. Heinous dogs may have killed you, but you are innocent with Allah. He shall surely bring to bought those who lie and deceive in His name for their own pride power and glory which are all falsehoods.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Adam · 7 years ago
    I remember that day... It sucked.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Adam · 7 years ago
    You really think the stories will be forgotten ?... That's depressing. I think about them everyday... Wish I COULD forget them... Many of them I think are ruining my life.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Adam"]I remember that day... It sucked.[/quote]

    Adam,

    Yes, it did.

    Michae
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Adam"]You really think the stories will be forgotten ?... That's depressing. I think about them everyday... Wish I COULD forget them... Many of them I think are ruining my life.[/quote]

    Adam,

    You know how much was going on at the time. It was an open-air insane asylum of daily violence.

    It will be okay Brother. If you are having issues please seek help. It's normal, as you well know. There are ameliorates.

    Michael
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Adam · 7 years ago
    I've been going to therapy for while now... As a matter of fact, after 17 years of service I'm getting the medical boot out the door. You and I have spoke before.. CSM Prosser talk to you about me. I was in Baqubah for Arrowhead ripper too. My army days are coming to and end andvi dont know what I'm going to do. I have to say... That year in Mosul was the best and worst time of my life... I miss the simplicity of living or dying.... Anywhoo.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Adam · 7 years ago
    I didn't comeback from that deployment the same.... I'm fucked in tthe head.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    Adam -- would you kindly contact me offline?

    http://www.facebook.com/MichaelYonFanPage
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Adam · 7 years ago
    Wouldn't let me IM you but I posted in your wall.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tammy Hodges · 7 years ago
    I always feel such sadness when I see these photos, but also such pride in our soldiers. Bless you Adam.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill Smith · 7 years ago
    @Adam

    I have no right to think that I have any idea what you went through, or are going through, because I wasn't there. I did, though, read about a soldier in group therapy who heard something he said helped him a lot. Another guy told him -- or maybe it was the counselor -- that he was having the reactions of a normal person who was injured by a totally abnormal situation.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Claudia Ochsner · 7 years ago
    "The Iraq war is over for the people who were never in it, but it will never be over for those who were."- There's more. No one who were in a war can ever forget, what it means to survive in war. Not as a soldier and not as a civilian. We learn to live close to death. But we lose a piece of our soul in a war. Wounds can heal, but scars remain. "Weather sensitivity" scars. Such small dispatches bring back the pain. Shadows of memory. God bless the troops in Iraq. May they all come home safely and very soon.It's time to heal the wounds. And God bless the good people of Iraq, they will be there their whole life long. I do hope they too will have a chance to heal the wounds.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    scarface · 7 years ago
    God....Please heal those heroes who have posted here!
    This man will never forget the sacrifices you have made for whatever the reason!
    My son did tours 2 OIF; 1 AFPAK as a Marine attack helo pilot.
    I can only imagine the images that have burned into your psyches.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dick Sherman · 7 years ago
    Thanks again, Michael, for the simplicity of this message and thanks to Adam and all the Adam's and Eve's who serve there. I will add Farah's and Adam's name to those I pray for when I pray for our troops. And you also, Michael, for God's protection and for your wisdom as you open our eyes to what is happening.
    Lord have mercy,
    Dick
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John P in Texas · 7 years ago
    I am also a Veteran, but I have been out for 20 years. I served in Desert Storm, which was not even 1% of what you guys went through. I know it is little comfort, but please be assured that I thank you for your service. There are many that think the way I do, and can never fully thank you enough.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Hannah · 7 years ago
    The photo of MAJ Bieger huddled over Farah, is the one that introduced me to Michael Yon. I now have a framed, signed copy. It's the photo that, for me, sums up OIF, and when I have a 'bad Army day', this photo reminds me why I do what I do, and I can keep going, whether in garrison or forward.

    I was in Anbar Province -- Ramadi and Taqaddum -- from SEP03-SEP04, and northern Iraq from JUL08-OCT09. I have so little time 'forward,' but I do my job for the folks who are there all the time.

    @Adam: God bless you. I hope, and literally pray, you're able to find peace. Please hang in there, and please get help. And if you're talking to someone who doesn't help, find someone who does. You guys had one heckuva mission, and you did it well. I'm cheering for you!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jerry Dyben · 7 years ago
    You cannot put a sane man into a insane sustained war situation and expect him not to come out with some of that insanity still attached to him. I am weeping for this man Adam since the only man I know who personally went through more insanity than this is, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

    Psychiatry cannot help . . . but Jesus can! It take one who have been through the depth of insanity and understands it in spades on how to heal this kind of problem.

    Jer
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bet · 7 years ago
    The US Civil War was horrendously costly. It left much of this country in ruins and more than a half million dead.
    "Don't ask those in the midst of the revolution if it was 'worth it.' Ask their grandchildren." ~BC
    To those of you who serve: Thank you, and please know that your fight will be long remembered by those who eventually reap the rewards of your efforts.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joe Norman · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Adam"]You really think the stories will be forgotten ?... That's depressing. I think about them everyday... Wish I COULD forget them... Many of them I think are ruining my life.[/quote]

    Adam....not a day goes by that I don't think about "that day". I read Michael's account, and saw the picture of MAJ. Bieger and Farah.....it has never left my mind.
    And neither have you!
    Every single day, I think of YOU....and all of your brother/sister Warriors who stepped into that maelstrom and stepped out changed forever... How in the world do I even begin to say "THANK YOU" ??!!!

    I love you brother. I pray that you will somehow find rest from your demons. As long as me and mine are alive, you have a true friend, and we are only too happy to do whatever we can do to help you. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

    GOD bless you Adam, and never, ever doubt this: Me and mine WILL NEVER FORGET!!!

    Be well,
    Joe Norman
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Linda Lafond · 7 years ago
    There is an effective treatment for PTSD called neurofeedback. I was freed from depression with it, and my therapist, Dr. Lanier Fly, is a military chaplain who has a heart for returning combat vets, and developed a free neuro program specifically to help them. He is mentioned in this article that talks about it:
    http://www.inhealthnw.com/story.php?id=210
    Here is Dr. Fly's website: http://www.flyconsulting.com/about.html
    He is a kind, knowledgeable and compassionate man who has helped a lot of people.
    Also, according to the article, there is a long list providers who offer neuro for free to vets:
    Homecoming4veterans is a national
    outreach organization offering free neurofeedback services to veterans. Information on participating providers is available at their website, homecoming4veterans.org. (Dr. Fly is on that list of free providers.)

    Please pass this info on to any vet who may need it. God bless -- hope this helps...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott Dudley · 7 years ago
    Any way you could make the typeface in the comments section darker? Some of us Vietnam era vets can't see as well as we used to. Even making the typeface larger doesn't help much!m526s
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ben · 7 years ago
    Adam - Jerry is 100% correct. A Marine,('60 -'64, I am sorry that ?I did not know my Lord before I enlisted. I assure you he heals your pain, and will use your experience to His glory, and you can than help others that suffer your current feelings.
    Lord bless you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Elaine · 7 years ago
    This is for Adam and anyone who may be experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress.
    War is hell but many times it's a necessesity to help conquer evil & protect the innocent, but there is always a price. And it's the memories that may haunt you in your soul.
    As a Soldiers' Angels volunteer, let me please suggest a place that can help.
    It's the PTSD Program at the Menlo Park Veterans Hospital in Calif.
    I have witnessed hundreds of our Vets receive the crucial help that they need & deserve.
    You Veterans have paid a high price and you do deserve all of the support that is available. I have witnessed these Vets who have seen the worst of war, smile & laugh and most of them have come to grip with their memories of war & have found so much peace.
    I strongly recommend this program for those who bravely served & fought and then came back home to realize that they are a different man.
    My heart & prayers go out to you.
    God bless you all
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gregg · 7 years ago
    As a Vietnam vet I still have the occasional dreams of that horror. I’ve been through the mill with doctors and counseling by some wonderful people. I used to work with the local villagers in the highlands and saw firsthand how the enemy had no regard for human life.

    They only care about their own power madness.

    When the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq started I cried for what our troops would be going through and thought of the old saying, “Freedom isn’t Free”. Our troops pay the ultimate price for what we have today while our politicians piss away our freedoms just so “they” can stay in power.

    Our troops work hard to bring freedom and democracy to far off lands and are call butchers, but Muslim extremist kill thousands upon thousands more Muslim people yet they are still call heroes.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rickey Ruiz · 7 years ago
    The Iraq war will never be over for us who were there there. In reality, when there is war, there is no un-wounded soilder, regardless when the war has ended. The photo of the "Little Girl" is worth beyond a thousand words and is my picasso. Glad you were there to snap it. Do you sell it?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gregg · 7 years ago
    The Muslim world says that we need to become more tolerant of Muslim people while they refuse to become more tolerant of us and repeatedly kill more Christians and burn more Holy Bibles. Why aren’t Muslims protesting the burning of the Holy Bible? It is just as important a holy book as the Koran.

    Many Christians have been publicly speaking out against the burning of the Koran, but I haven’t heard even one Muslim speak out in protest against the burning of the Holy Bible.

    I think it is time that we let the Muslim world police their fellow Muslims around the world. We’ve paid enough in money and blood to bring them freedom and money; too much money to line the pockets of their corrupt and power hungry Muslim leaders.

    Muslims wonder why there is so much Muslim bashing going on in the world. Muslims will never gain respect in the eyes of the world until they themselves show respect for others.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sissy Willis · 7 years ago
    The image of the soldier holding a dying child resonates.

    Lachrymosa http://bit.ly/2RmW72
  • This commment is unpublished.
    in_awe · 7 years ago
    @Scott Dudley
    I am using a laptop with Vista Home and a mouse with two buttons and a center "wheel". To re-size type all you need to do is press and hold the CTRL key while rotating the wheel. You can set the type to be whatever size you want - it stays re-sized until you change it again or turn off your PC.

    A mouse like mine can be found for just a few dollars on-line or any computer store.

    Hope this helps.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dori · 7 years ago
    To Adam and any and all people, whether military or not...whose lives have been so affected by this violence and the continuing violence, I pray to God for your healing. I so appreciate our military because without them, I would not have the same kind of security in my life here in the U.S.A. Thank you from my heart. I don't forget your sacrifice and never will. I don't forget the photos of disaster AND joy that I've seen. (Thanks Michael for your part). There is still and always hope:

    II Chron. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mitch Ruth · 7 years ago
    I reluctant to even enter this discussion, but I have to say even though I cannot comprehend what several on this thread have gone through. I honor your service, respect your bravery, and I would be honored to tend any of your wounds either physical or mental. There is NO shame in them...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John House · 7 years ago
    @Adam,
    For what it's worth - you and everyone with you who suffers are loved dearly by your country. You cannot begin to imagine how grateful we are not just for your service, but also for your sacrifice. How we wish you could have your peace of mind back. Please please please fight just as hard for yourself as you did for us. Please. You deserve no less. As someone else said, if the counselor you have now isn't helping, find another who can. God loves you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Laurel · 7 years ago
    Adam, my heart goes out to you....I remember my father-in-law the one time he talked about his service in the marines during WWII in the Pacific. To the cruelty our fellow man can impose on others is almost impossible to fathom....but the only way to learn from our past is for folks like you and Michael to share your stories and remind us we don't want to repeat them. We all have burdens but, and I know, it sounds so simple, but it is....God only gives you want you can handle.....sometimes the burden seems impossible, but you will get through it.....we need you, your wisdom, your insight, and your experience.....Laurel
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jeri · 7 years ago
    Prayers for soldiers from previous arenas never stop.The effects of war last across lifetimes down here. Man was not designed to forget, but to keep laying it properly back in God's hands. As much as the above soldier (and families affected) would prefer that the above experience had never happened,he allowed himself in the horror of war to be a conduit of hope,love,gentleness, compassion. Mr. Yon's pictures put a very real face on war for those who are blessed enough to be elsewhere, and a constant reminder that freedom, peace, provision and breath itself are never to be taken for granted. War is complicated,I know I'll never understand completely its assets or liabilities,but I do understand that its cost to soldiers and their families is ongoing & tremendous. My family, for one,will never forget. Theres no such thing as an isignificant soldier or an insignificant sacrifice.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Max · 7 years ago
    Gregg - Well said. Thank you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Smokey · 7 years ago
    What i know may not be worth words... Saying it is simple - living it lasts perhaps too long. Live through it though, moment by moment by fubared moment and you'll have what counts when the counting counts - your own soul. That I know. The time of suffering, from the outside is shorter than it feels, from the inside. And remember, those who don't have to do it, have to watch. So, don't go down gentlemen and ladies. Some of us hold your valor more dearly than you know - like a child in a blanket on a war torn street - blood stained, escorted to safe passage, by the best that we know how. Farah remembers effort, not outcome. Forgiveness is in the wind. This I know. Be well, with it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Maggy · 7 years ago
    Adam. As a marine mom, my heart goes out to you and evereyone there. Some recent research connects PTSD with something called "complicated grief" -- and grieving is a way to honor those we've lost. I hope you find your way through it soon. My son is just back from Afghanistan, and one of the first things I have tried to do is establish that home is his "third reality" in less that month back: i.e.,(reality 1)military life in general, (reality 2) Afghanistan, (reality 3) home.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Laurel · 7 years ago
    Linda, you left out my favorite reality, my "fantasy" one.....and shhh, don't tell Michael, but he's part of that.....LOL.....seriously, you are a strong woman who is trying to help your son.....amazing where we find our strength when we just don't think we have it within ourselves.....we will need your strength in the coming days....we have to heal these souls.....and help them understand.....and now I struggle with the right words I want to convey, but I think you know what I mean....Men are such simple people.......but they need our strength and our support to make them the strong souls that they can be......God bless your son for his service, and God bless you for helping him getting his life focused again.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ken2 · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Joe Norman"][quote name="Adam"]GOD bless you Adam, and never, ever doubt this: Me and mine WILL NEVER FORGET!!!

    Be well,
    Joe Norman[/quote]

    Amen! It took me years to not feel pain after Nam, but the memories never go away. Try to remind yourself of the good you were able to do and how it was worth it. I had to rework my way of looking at life back then. One day at a time sir. You, along with your fellow soldiers, did the best you could, given the circumstances.

    I'm forever grateful you were there to help where you could.

    May God bless you and help guide you in your quest for answers. Some questions do not have reasonable answers. We just have to let them be and move on to the next phase of your life. I hope you will find your fair share of peace and joy.

    God bless you and all who serve.

    Sincerely,
    Ken
    RVN 69-70
    4th Inf Div.
    Pleiku
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank · 7 years ago
    Not a day goes by that I dont think about Iraq (April 03-04). And right now I'm in Afghanistan till mid Aug. Have to tell you, this tour has been easy for me...no IED's and all that S**t so far. I look at my daughters (3 and 10)and I think of Farah...I dont take things for granted.............one day I'll them this story.....Adam, I'll pray for you brother, your not alone.....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott Dudley · 7 years ago
    [quote name="in_awe"]@Scott Dudley
    I am using a laptop with Vista Home and a mouse with two buttons and a center "wheel". To re-size type all you need to do is press and hold the CTRL key while rotating the wheel. You can set the type to be whatever size you want - it stays re-sized until you change it again or turn off your PC.

    A mouse like mine can be found for just a few dollars on-line or any computer store.

    Hope this helps.[/quote]

    Thanks. I can resize type as I said. Still have very light typeface.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Randall Hannaway · 7 years ago
    Michael,

    I continue to follow your great work and although it pains me to relive such a sad story I'm grateful that you were there to share it with us. It gives us a tiny glimpse into the darkness of war. May Farah's little soul continue to rest in peace as her country continues to fight for it's basic freedoms.

    As always, God speed to you.

    Randall
  • This commment is unpublished.
    kathy · 7 years ago
    @ Scott Dudley: If you highlight the text you are reading, the contrast will be greater (of course it is light print on a dark background but it can be easier to read).
    @ All: There are many many treatment approaches to PTSD and what one person finds helpful, another may not. If after a reasonable trial, something is not working, try something else.
    @ All military PTSD folks: You have been through a completely abnormal situation and many of your reactions that served you well for survival, do not work back at home. Keep seeking help. Know that there are a ton of people out there who want to support you and assist you! Thank you one and all for your service!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    R. Bradley · 7 years ago
    At my VA outpatient mental health clinic some of us are in more than one support group. Like depression AND alcohol and substance abuse. Some of them are also in the PTSD group (and individual therapy). Nobody likes it, because they make you experience terrible thoughts and feelings all over again. However, they say IT REALLY DOES HELP them. The other day I referred a guy over there who was in bad shape and he knew it. He was reaching out. He already suffered too much for too long, so I absolutely hope he went. Everybody may not think like this, but I love my VA clinic and I will never go anywhere else.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MyonWebMaster · 7 years ago
    [From Webmaster] Hello, I have adjusted the font color of the main Comment text, and set the quotes and sub-treads a little lighter. If they need a little more tuning please let me know wmaster@michaelyon-online.com

    Thanks
  • This commment is unpublished.
    kathy · 7 years ago
    Webmaster...thanks so much...this is definitely better, although for some of my Vietnam vets it may stiill be a little light...you should see the huge, black emails I get from some of them ;-)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MyonWebMaster · 7 years ago
    Thanks for the feedback. Let me see if i can darken it a little more.

    Thanks
    WM
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ria · 7 years ago
    Very touching, seriously. I pray for all of our soldiers every day. One of my prayers is that you, each and everyone of you, realize the good that you bring and those memories of the good you have wrought replace the horror that you see. May you have peace in your lives. Thank you, all of you, for your service. May God truly bless you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Barbara J Whipple · 7 years ago
    Adam,
    I am adding you to a prayer chain I run through our church. Please get in touch with Michael and listen to him, he knows so much about this whole mess.
    We will be praying for you as we do Michael.
    You can get help, take advantage of what is available for you.
    God Bless,
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Elaine · 7 years ago
    Regarding the PTSD program at the Menlo Park VA, it's a 2-3 month live-in dormitory on-campus program. The latter part of the program is called "Trauma" where the Vet talks about the part of war that affected him the worse and it's also write it down in detail. It's very difficult but it pays off.
    This is so you will NOT isolate yourself & internalize it ...BECAUSE if you do, in time, something WILL trigger it and a meltdown is likely to occur.
    When you start to trust again, the walls will come down and tears will come, but that's OK.....you will start feeling "human" again.
    And I will add, like when your car breaks down, you take it back to the car mechanic, WELL, when We break down, our Heavenly Mechanic can heal us too. So as much as I am ALL FOR the PTSD programs, it's Jesus' amazing love and compassion that helps put the broken pieces together again. With all of the help the VA gives, please, don't leave out God's power & love of the process.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Anthony · 7 years ago
    God Bless you, Adam, you and all your warrior brothers and sisters. Take a rest, good and faithful servant. Hope you find peace. I pray for "the troops" everyday, now that includes you.
    Stewed Sights 2-1
    1811
    USMC 80-83

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Recurring and one-time gifts are available through PayPal or Authorize.net.

supp

supp

subscribe

My BitCoin QR Code

This is for use with BitCoin apps:

189

You can now help support the next dispatch with bitcoins:

Donate Bitcoins