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    Posted December 1, 2011 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Stories from the Iraq war

    More from TriSean

    Getting Out of Iraq, the First Time


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     TriSean, a Canadian, was trained as a biological weapons inspector and inspected numerous sites for the United Nations in 2003. He currently works for General Dynamics, developing technologies and providing medical support to the U.S. Department of Defense.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    As a United Nations weapons inspector with the United Nations Monitoring and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC), we were the last civilians to leave Baghdad on 18 March 2003, the day the "war" officially started. The photo shows the last of the UN Inspectors boarding a United Nations' chartered aircraft at the Saddam International Airport. Less than 10 hours later, US Forces captured the airport and tore down the sign and renamed it the Baghdad International Airport.

    The invasion of Iraq and the subsequent hostilities has left a mixed taste in my mouth. For starters, the principal excuse to invade Iraq to discover WMD was a non-starter from the get go. The UN found no traces of Iraq reconstituting their WMD programs, nor did the subsequent Iraq Survey Group. Whether it was a sound decision to invade Iraq to seek WMDs (or to seek a regime change) will be debated for a long time.

    Ironically, I am now working for a US Defense contractor providing support to psychologically and brain injured wounded soldiers from OIF/OEF. I have seen many soldiers in my work returning with severe physical and mental injuries, all for a conflict which I could not support. My heart goes out to all of the wounded warriors, not only in the United States, but to all from other countries that supported this effort.

    Iraq is a beautiful place, with wonderful people with a great future ahead of them. I would very much like to return as a tourist, some day.
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