About this iReport
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    Posted December 3, 2011 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Stories from the Iraq war

    Healing Through Writing


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     tetsuo45 returned home from Iraq in 2006. He struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder daily. 'I will never be able to forget how I saw human beings treat one another with such hateful intentions. Where families were tortured and murdered for following one religious doctrine or another. Where the police robbed the very people they were hired to protect with their lives. Where murderers would be freed by relatives in the Iraqi Judicial system ... We removed one corruption and replaced Saddam with officials that were just as murderous and evil.'

    He shot these photos in Mosul, Iraq.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    I served with the 1-17th INF out of FT. Wainwright, Alaska.
    While deployed to Mosul and Baghdad from August 2005 till November 2006 my platoon was hit with two suicide car bombs in Mosul and an EFP in Baghdad that completely destroyed the Stryker in front of us in our roll order. Baghdad during that time was a complete firestorm, and 4 days from going home to Alaska orders came from the president extending our deployment indefinitely. To help make sense of my thoughts and emotions I wrote poems. Some were long, some very short, and each one meant more to me than any weapon I had to carry while protecting myself in that nightmare. Here is one that I hope can help others understand the madness of that place, a madness that I also hope has been somewhat treated. My wish is that this poem inspires others to write about the events that have shaped who they are in this world...

    Land of Pain:

    a landscape that spits acid in your face,
    destroys civilization with its sourness.
    god has no place here.
    yet the people embrace him as they are whipped.
    evil smells swim through the hairdryer heat.
    grit bounces off the eyelids of a shunned existence.
    smashed and burned.
    the souls of many exit through this place.
    a factory producing painful lives,
    one after another.

    rubble rebuilt into homes,
    fire erasing the discards of families,
    streets filled with chaos and bomb-holes,
    children playing with cans on strings,
    sewage bubbling up from the sidewalks,
    prayers echo off a monolith of mud.

    bread is baked in stone caskets,
    cellphones blare happy songs,
    sheep are slaughtered in front of schools,
    hoses water houses that crack in the heat,
    schoolgirls walk here and there,
    old men sit and drink tea,

    green steel speeds through traffic,
    gunfire pops in ears,
    cars explode,
    metal tears,
    flesh splatters,
    souls exit.

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