"My vehicle has absolutely no armor": An Antiwar Soldier's Pictures From Occupied Iraq
- Photo Gallery by Patrick Resta, Specialist/E4
These photographs were taken last year in Iraq by Patrick Resta, Specialist/E4. The captions are written by Resta. You can also read the Left Hook interview with Patrick Resta . Resta can be reached at email@example.com.
This picture was taken shortly before we left
Kuwait to cross into Iraq on the way to our camp in
northeastern Iraq. This vehicle was used as a troop
transport during the trip. As you can plainly see the
"armor" consists of nothing more than half inch thick
sheets of plywood.
Many soldiers used regular bullet proof vests like
these for the duration of their time in Iraq. These
vests are designed to stop bullets fired from pistols
only. They are not capable of stopping an AK 47 round
or even any serious shrapnel.
Soldiers would be riding in the back of this
vehicle as well. The only thing between them and a
roadside bomb is the plywood that you see.
This was the seat that I rode in from Kuwait to my
camp in Iraq. I took out a loan to buy the body armor
that you see pictured. I knew I would find myself in a
situation like this so I prepared the best that I
could. I decided to sit on part of it and place my
feet on the other part of it. I felt that the bottom
of the vehicle was the most vulnerable. My vehicle has
absolutely no armor, not even plywood.
This is a picture of a soldier being brought out to
a helicopter to be evacuated to a field hospital. I
included this picture to show people what happens when
soldiers are placed in these ridiculously precarious
This picture shows a portion of the munitions that
we found just during one day. Some of these shells
were still intact, some had had the explosives
removed, and others had already been fired. Explosives
have been placed on some of the munitions to dispose
Magnificent explosions were fairly common during my
time in Iraq. I was never able to ascertain what had
caused this explosion. I was quite a good distance
away when I took this picture.
This picture were taken while I was out with an
engineer team. Our mission was to secure and dispose
of as much ordinance as we could. Piles of explosives
like this litter the countryside and are often what
insurgents use as roadside bombs. As you can imagine,
plywood armor affords little protection against
munitions like these.