Combat Medic Releases Memoir, MY IRAQI FREEDOM
September 11, 2001 changed the world and changed the United States. Most of all, it changed the men and women who were sent to Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein and his brutal regime and to bring freedom to the Iraqi people under his rule. Author Brett John Bingham, a long-serving US serviceman, participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) as a combat medic. "My Iraqi Freedom" is based on his day to day journal of a year-long stint on the frontlines at the height of the war.
Bingham and his unit, the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), was deployed in Iraq during the American invasion in 2003, predominantly in the Baghdad area of operations. They fought in infamous Sadr City, the slum that was home to the marginalized Shi'ite Muslims of Iraq. Bingham recollects the combat environment, which "can be horrific, boring, and fulfilling"-and Sadr City was host to some of the hottest military contests between Iraqis and American forces in OIF. War forms its unique temporary relationships, hierarchies and systems-thus Bingham's unit (his wartime "family"), other American units and local Iraqis become embattled characters involved in the bitter drama of war.
Inspired by the American soldiers and people of Sadr City experienced during the war. Soldiers learned a foreign language and culture, mainly to be able to interact on a basic level with the majority of the Iraqi people they were protecting - these Iraqis and their eventual freedom has a price, and Bingham chronicles the sadness, weariness, anger, and the occasional bright spots of his fellow soldiers, some of whom would not return home to celebrate an American victory. His reflections are sobering - it is how readers learn what it all meant ten years later for Bingham and his family. Brett Bingham sums it up like this:
"It is my hope that I can finally reach some form of catharsis and that I can finally reconcile my past so I may continue to grow and move forward and share with others what I have held so close for this past decade. I want it understood that I love the army and I love my country even more..."