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  • This is Specialist Tyler in Iraq. One of the most interesting people I've ever met, and photogenic as well. To sum Tyler up, all I can say is; he was the right soldier in the wrong war. Tyler was born at the wrong time, or at least, he was a soldier at the wrong time. He was a perfect WWII soldier; rough, disciplined, crude…he would fit in well in any movie or book about WWII. He was a country boy from Alabama who believed in the war, and everything GW Bush said. However, he wasn’t the kind of soldier “todays” Army wanted. He never was able to figure out what kind of soldier that was...

    Ironically, one of the best “battle buddies” I ever had ended up getting kicked out over his roughness, his crude ways, and his opinion. However, he had a heart of gold. All the lower enlisted loved him; it was the higher-ups and the brass who had a problem with him. In WWII he would have been a hero, posing in a poster telling you to buy war bonds.

    About the picture; we had been sent on a mission and were just standing outside our vehicles waiting for orders. Tyler pulled himself up onto the hood of the truck and lit a cigarette. I turned my back to him, pulled out my camera, then turned back around and snapped it without him noticing.

    You can tell we hadn't been in Iraq long, as the vehicles were clean, and the soles of his boots are new. It's strange, now that the last soldiers have left Iraq, to think back on all the things Tyler and I did. The things we built, the cable we laid...where is it all now? Will we ever be able to go back to that location where we built a small commo shed and see the same cables and wires we set up almost 10 years ago?

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