Ar Ramadi 2004-2006

Ar Ramadi 2004-2006

Brian Duka-Smith

2010-Present

I was deployed to Ar Ramadi, Iraq from 2004-2005, during the first national elections. I was a hospital corpsman attached to USMC battalion 3/7. Exposed to daily violence over our seven month tour shaped and scarred me in ways I am still discovering, with enough close encounters of death to know exactly what it means to have one's life flash before one's eyes. Leaving the city in the midst of chaos, I returned stateside only to return to the exact city a year later with USMC 5/14: to find the city reborn and thriving, giving me not only new respect for the Iraqi residents but for those we had lost in its defense. Today, I cope with PTSD and brain damage, but still find the little beauties, one day, even one hour at a time, that make life worth fighting for. My artwork I believe will help heal the scars.