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The Innocent

As part of the demoralization component of psychological operations, we littered everywhere we went in Iraq. The focus was especially on food and water.

We had plenty of MRE's, ate what we wanted and tossed the rest onto the roads, clay and sand. When time permitted, we would even open up portions of the meals and pour the contents onto the ground making it inedible.

Not everyone was the enemy though. As many Kuwaitis returned to their homeland, a large amount of Iraqi citizens chose the opportunity to escape as well.

I came across more than one Iraqi soldier who asked us to take them with us. Some had asked to be killed rather than forced to surrender. They had to fight under threat of death or the death of their families.

All we could do was disarm them, gather intel and perform minor first aid and send them to EPW collection points.

I will never forget an old man and perhaps his grandson - who appeared to be about 6 - walking along side the road. I went down into the turret, grabbed 2 MRE's and a couple of bottles of water. I tossed them to the old man and watched as we passed by.

Sketch by SPC Madisyn Dallas, US Army

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