"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 eosonifilic@aol.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 situations.

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 of them.

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.

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