I have considered a memory from Iraq for the past 13 hours. When I arrived in Baghdad early 2005, I was grossed out. The Air Force had bombed Baghdad into the modern-day equivalent of the Stone Age.
Sewage caked everything. Everywhere I looked, the biggest blow flies I’ve ever seen was on everything. When we went on patrol, every step made a crunch. There were so many flies they appeared to be black carpet.
The war in Iraq had many horrific moments. Many wild dogs littered the streets. These wild animals would drag children off and kill them. They would attack grown men. These dogs were covered in scabs and rabid. As nasty as these dogs were, they had nothing on the blowfly carpet.
Camel spiders, wild dogs, mangy sheep, and brown scorpions, I could deal with it all. However, the blowflies were too much. To this day, I have an insane hatred of flies. As the military restored power and rebuilt the damaged city, the flies disappeared.
I have been shot at, blown up and received four concussions during my first tour of the Middle East. Nothing has compared to black clouds of blowflies.
Of all the things I could have remembered, it was flies.
I have decided it’s time for new memories.