The landscape

July 2004- A lone United States Marine Ch-46 skirts the desert landscape of Al Anbar (Photo by Author)

In 2004, the Bush administration redeployed 1st Marine Division to Iraq’s Al Anbar province. The mission was to bring stability to that region as part of the Coalition’s efforts to establish a stable, compliant democratic state. Much of that effort was to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure of a country long in neglect. The Marines are not normally in the business of rebuilding a country, so they elected to reach out to its reserve Officers that had skills in engineering, finance and banking and other key skill sets needed for reconstruction. I was one of those officers. While serving…


The year of death. I said that to myself many times last year. It is how I will remember it. My daughter died. Alone and in her apartment where she took her life. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, but it was inevitable

Life with my daughter was beautiful in the beginning. Born prematurely, she beat the odds and became a lovely young lady and person that every father hopes for. She was full of life, joy always in the lead. That changed when she reached her 20th year. The mental illness struck, and she began the slow slide…


Dispatches from Iraq

In 2004, the Bush administration redeployed 1st Marine Division to Iraq’s Al Anbar province. The mission was to bring stability to that region as part of the Coalition’s efforts to establish a stable, compliant democratic state. Much of that effort was to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure of a country long in neglect. The Marines are not normally in the business of rebuilding a country, so they elected to reach out to its reserve Officers that had skills in engineering, finance and banking and other key skill sets needed for reconstruction. I was one of those officers. While serving with the…


Dispatches from Iraq

In 2004, the Bush administration redeployed 1st Marine Division to Iraq’s Al Anbar province. The mission was to bring stability to that region as part of the Coalition’s efforts to establish a stable, compliant democratic state. Much of that effort was to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure of a country long in neglect. The Marines are not normally in the business of rebuilding a country, so they elected to reach out to its reserve Officers that had skills in engineering, finance and banking and other key skill sets needed for reconstruction. I was one of those officers. While serving with the…


Jack led the way in. His favorite. A bar where he could order a drink standing. It was dark. A local band playing decent blues. Better than what they usually had Jack noted. Cat liked the bar too. Always inspecting the selection of whisky, but he never drank.

“Meeting here, Human?” Said Cat.

“Just a drink this time Cat” Jack set his bag next to a stool. “Old time sake”

Cat climbed on the bar, sat and curled his tail around his paws. He looked very much the tabby now. The earlier glitter was gone. Had many coats he had…


A Cats Breath

The Krakow Christmas market was a sweet spicy concoction of smells, lights and sounds. Jack wandered through the booths looking at this touching that. Around him bundled figures slid past. The fog of their breath misting the sharp cold air.

A booth caught his eye. Or rather the women in it. Small, bundled down, but the eyes seemed glow with a sharp light.

Asian? He wasn’t sure.

A slight bow as he stepped inside. Yes, Asian he thought.

He could feel the warmth of a small heater in the corner. Amber. It was everywhere. Bracelets, brooches, earrings…

Jesse R. Barker

A former Marine who was smart enough to pass the P.E. exam. Always looking up always looking forward with wonderment.

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