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Hal Bernton & Thomas Hurst
Hal Bernton Thomas Hurst
Iraq dispatches

Reporter Hal Bernton and photographer Thomas James Hurst have returned from spending a month in Iraq, reporting on the U.S. military campaign as well as the lives of Iraqi civilians.

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December 23, 2003

Airborne at last

For this journey through Iraq, I fit everything into a backpack.

But its a heckuva of a pack a Lowes Expedition, which looks like an over-stuffed sausage.

It wasnt so much the clothes though I did indulge in extra socks and boxers but the flack jacket and ceramic plates took up an awful lot of room.

I tried tying my new helmet to the outside of the pack but the folks at the Northwest Airlines counter suggested that I might do better to carry it with me.

So along with my briefcase and computer bag, Im now toting my Kevlar helmet en route from Seattle to Amsterdam to Kuwait, then on to Baghdad and beyond.

Our last view of Seattle was of the Christmas rush. Long security lines snaked up and out of the tram-area for what appeared to be a city block or two long.

The first leg of the flight was a straight shot, nearly eight hours, over the pole to Amsterdam.

We were plied with plenty of food while traversing over Baffin Island, Greenland and other Arctic climes. Outside, the temperature at 32,000 feet was 60 degrees below Fahrenheit.

We left Seattle at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and arrived in Amsterdam at 7 a.m. Sunday morning. The morning sky was gray and woolly like...Seattle.

The tarmac was stacked with jumbo jets from around the world. Inside the terminal lots of shops sold cheeses, sausage and cheese pastries that even more than the duty-free perfume scented the lobby.

The international travel lounge is friendly place, offering plush reclining seats to help jet-lagged passengers sleep it off before their next flight. We cocooned ourselves here for most of the day, awaiting a 4 p.m. flight to Kuwait.

Posted by Hal Bernton at December 23, 2003 03:14 PM

 January 2004
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11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

January 2004
December 2003

A reluctant goodbye
Hope amid bloodshed
Rebuilding Iraq
A mortar sendoff
Higher pay, but inflation chews into salaries
Freedom brings protests
Inside, outside the Green Zone
With the Stryker Brigade
Mice and men
Next stop: Bravo Company


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