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This is how I wanted to see my self...   This is what I thought we would do in Iraq  That's what I always thought we were about...  Barefoot, little kids... I remember that one there... he couldn't have been five years old Just a damn little kid, you know?  Little, black, cracked, bare... Dust covered feet.  Tiny little kid... Tough as hell. His brother too.  The sand must've been 150 degrees, fuckin' hotter than that! Everything was so damn hot; the heat would come up through my boots like standing on a stove.  The kid had baby toes that were like coarse callused black elephant leather. That kid had the craziest rough ass skin. I gave the kid an M.R.E. and some other food. A bunch of crap I was sick of eating...  Kids would stand on the roads every damn day asking for that crap.  There was nothing else... bleak dead dust days, powdered sand-lands of nothing for miles and miles.  There was nothing but an unattainable horizon and a damn long ass road.  But the fucking little ass kids would come out of nowhere...  Nothing around! Not a damn thing! But these damn kids would just appear.  I thought we were going over to help these damn kids that would come out of nothing and go back into it. Feed the hungry, help the oppressed, give relief from day in day out pain.  That is what I wanted to think I was there for.  Barefoot, all day long  All they wanted was food from us...  Like damn kids on the 4th of July... we were a spectacle, a parade of crazy floats passing out food.  But then we hit one you know... That was it!  It all changed  We were told not to stop... Don't stop not in the towns. Keep the truck moving and don't stop. Forget the kids!  Now, now I can't forget the kids. Damn kid.  I'm not even there. Hundred thousand miles away and its still in my fucking head.  Ah fuck 'em they were just a part of the damn landscape anyway.

This is how I wanted to see my self... 

This is what I thought we would do in Iraq 

That's what I always thought we were about... 

Barefoot, little kids... I remember that one there... he couldn't have been five years old

Just a damn little kid, you know? 

Little, black, cracked, bare... Dust covered feet. 

Tiny little kid... Tough as hell.

His brother too. 

The sand must've been 150 degrees, fuckin' hotter than that! Everything was so damn hot; the heat would come up through my boots like standing on a stove. 

The kid had baby toes that were like coarse callused black elephant leather. That kid had the craziest rough ass skin.

I gave the kid an M.R.E. and some other food. A bunch of crap I was sick of eating... 

Kids would stand on the roads every damn day asking for that crap. 

There was nothing else... bleak dead dust days, powdered sand-lands of nothing for miles and miles. 

There was nothing but an unattainable horizon and a damn long ass road. 

But the fucking little ass kids would come out of nowhere... 

Nothing around! Not a damn thing! But these damn kids would just appear. 

I thought we were going over to help these damn kids that would come out of nothing and go back into it. Feed the hungry, help the oppressed, give relief from day in day out pain. 

That is what I wanted to think I was there for. 

Barefoot, all day long 

All they wanted was food from us... 

Like damn kids on the 4th of July... we were a spectacle, a parade of crazy floats passing out food. 

But then we hit one you know... That was it! 

It all changed 

We were told not to stop... Don't stop not in the towns. Keep the truck moving and don't stop. Forget the kids! 

Now, now I can't forget the kids. Damn kid. 

I'm not even there. Hundred thousand miles away and its still in my fucking head. 

Ah fuck 'em they were just a part of the damn landscape anyway.

Tourist Photographs

Tourist Photographs is a series of 4' x 4' self-portrait  oil paintings which attempt to critic the postures assumed by American soldiers in Iraq.