TREKING IN THE DESERT
                                        JOEL FLIES FLAG ON SADDAM
                                        JOEL INSIDE HIS AMTRACK


Joel Murray served in the USMC for four years and was deployed during two major operations: "Operation Enduring Freedom" and "Operation Iraqi Freedom".  During Operation Enduring Freedom, he was stationed in Pakistan and guarded Alkida and Taliban prisoners. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he took part in the initial invasion of Iraq and was engaged in the "Battle of An Nasiriyah". Before the invasion, Joel bought a flag in Kuwait and carried it with him on his amtrack. After the battle of An Nasiriyah (with the help of two of his fellow marines), Joel  attached the flag to the rifle on one of the statues; using zip ties which I sent him in a care package. (He also used these zip ties to detain POWs.) After the flag was lowered, the statue was destroyed and Joel and his fellow marines brought back pieces of the statue as suveneirs of the war. Joel made it safely through the war, but he had several close calls.   It was only by the grace of God that he survived and did not become a casualty of the war.  On one occasion, an RPG was stopped short of his amtrack by a telephone pole which had fallen just minutes before the RPG was released by the enemy. The telephone pole (shaped very much like the cross on which our Lord died) became a shield and it prevented the RPG from reaching its target.  On other occasions RPGs either missed or did not explode. We give thanks to God and to all the people who prayed for the safety of Joel and his fellow marines. 

         Far Left: Joel, decked in his dress blues.

         Immediate Left: Joel, atop his amtrack.

         Top Left: Joel holds a piece of Saddam Statue.

         Top Right: Joel, with his finger on the trigger.