The Last Lap

#1…Time To Go Again (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA…) It’s that time again.   Time to go on the journey that wraps it all up and closes  out the last chapter of the long story that seemingly never  ends.  This time though, it will.  It’s summer.  Hottest time  of the year in the northern hemisphere.  While most  people at home are planning on how to get to Yellowstone  or the Grand Canyon or just grandma’s somewhere along  the way, I have chosen to go see what most others would  never choose to even look at. Iraq.  Where all hell has  broken loose.  Seems I have to go see for myself one more  time.  I owe it to all those that died in the “sandbox”.  And besides, as far as I know, no one else is over there telling us what is or isn’t  happening.  Seems to have my name written all over it.  Just one more time.  I spent a fair bit of the last decade in Iraq.  I started off as a contractor working on flight lines in 2004 and ended up as an embedded  journalist travelling the country on my own dime in 2007.  It would take too long to explain how I made that happen but suffice it to say that  this time, the “big boys” in charge aren’t offering me any way to get to and from point A to point B.  I am forced to go it alone on my own  dime as usual and feel the pulse of the situation from the very lowest of ground levels ever.  Not since my early days being a war  correspondent nearly 30-years-ago travelling around El Salvador, have I had to do such a thing.  The doors to making it easy for an  independent journalist to observe what the situation is going on in Iraq at this time are all but shut.  That in itself tells me something.  What  that something is, is yet to found out.  It is apparently no secret that things in Iraq have not gone well for the past year, probably even longer.  Those of us who were in places such  as Mosul, Ramadi, the western border region; never thought a rapid fall as to the likes of what we’ve seen take place recently, would have  ever transpired.  Especially Mosul.  I spent a lot of time in Mosul up in Nineveh province in 2007, as well as all over Anbar province in  places like Ramadi and Fallujah.   Some of the folks I travelled with at the time gave their lives for “the cause”.  Many others I know were  injured, some severely. I remember loading up lots of wounded onto medevacs and unloading  body-bags off of helicopters that contained  remains of Americans killed in action.  Now, years later, the ground that blood was spilt so heavily for, is lost.   CONTINUE..   
JimSpiri ”THE LAST LAP”
Is now on the journey called, "The Last Lap" - IRAQ, 2015
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© Jim Spiri 2015
Jim Spiri is now on the journey called, "The Last Lap". He  is on his own among the local people in Iraq reporting in  the same fashion as those before him in previous wars,  such as Ernie Pyle and Joe Galloway. The photos are of  Jim Spiri in 1988 in El Salvador and 27 years later as he  left for Iraq from Albuquerque. Follow the true and ground  level journey in Iraq during the most volatile time in the  country's history by visiting Jim Spiri . com often. Jim is  the only American journalist doing such at thing at this  time. No others are willing to tell the story that needs to be  told 
Jim Spiri in El Salvador in 1988
Jim Spiri leaving Albuquerque for Iraq in 2015