I had the privilege of serving during the initial phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom as an orthopedic surgeon in a U. S. Army Forward Surgical Team. We traveled at the front with various brigades treating, not only wounded coalition forces, but Iraqi civilians, soldiers, Republican and Special Republican Guard, as well as Fedayeen terrorists. Initially, we treated the wounded in our canvas surgical tent. As the war progressed, we made unescorted humanitarian missions to homes, villages, hospitals, and camps. We got to know the people of Iraq on a very unique and personal level. My photographs tell the story of what I saw, which is much different that what generally was portrayed in the American media.
People are people the world over. Most people just want to wake up in the morning and have a normal day with their loved ones. Part of that universal desire is freedom. It is not human nature to live oppressed in any form, whether by an abusive individual or a totalitarian regime. What I saw mostly when I was in Iraq was hope in the smiling faces of most people we met, even those who had lost loved ones.