22 July 2006

My Friend, Ali

I struggled with the decision to post this story. It's very personal and I still haven't worked through it all. I may just write this and save it so that I can get the thoughts out of my head.

Ali worked for the Facility Protection Service, a branch of the Iraqi Police that was responsible for securing fixed locations (ministries, infrastructure, hospitals, etc.). I met him while visiting the Crossed Swords monument here in the IZ.
A couple weeks before I went on R&R, Ali and I were talking and we discovered that both of our wives were pregnant and due to give birth at about the same time. We were both delighted and congratulated eachother making an agreement that when I returned we would exchange pictures of our kids. He asked if we had picked out a name and we had, but I didn't tell him because we were keeping it a secret until the birth. I would tell him my son's name when I brought him the picture.

A couple days ago, I had my picture in hand and went to meet Ali, give him the picture and tell him my son's name. When I arrived at the Crossed Swords I couldn't find him. I asked where he was, but the guy I asked didn't speak English very well so he had to act it out for me. He pointed while holding his thumb up imitating a pistol and shaking his hand saying "BANG" with each shake. After three bangs he dropped his arms to his side, closed his eyes, and let his head roll to one side.

Ali had been at home on leave for the birth of his third child when they shot him.

This is Ali. He was my friend.

14 Comments:

Anonymous A sad but very loyal reader said...

Terribly sorry to read about your friend Ali, Bandit. War is necessarily a brutal business and this is a graphic example of its brutality. We who are not in Iraq, or one of the other war zones simply cannot comprehend the life soldiers like you must live. We just do not have a clue. My prayers to people like you and Ali. I pray that the Lord will keep you safe, .

21:22  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Bandit,
That is too bad.
I hope his family can find some peace after the loss.
I will update the In T View and put a link to this post, so can people will know.
My suggestion, and I don't know know if you have the leeway or means to carry it out, but I'll suggest it any ways, is to set up a fund, where people could donate
to your friend's family. Fayrouz,
an Iraqi blogger in America did this for an Iraqi man in Iraq (he
was the driver that was killed when American journalist Jill Carroll was abducted) and raised thousands of dollars for his family.

Best to you during this sad time.
MG

22:26  
Blogger bandit.three.six said...

MG,
Thanks for the offer, but I have no way to get the money to his family.

23:09  
Anonymous Janet said...

Bandit,

I am so incredibly sorry. Sorry for you, sorry for Ali, sorry for his wife and his children and sorry for Iraq that they have lost a good man who was part of the solution. There is a special place in hell for the people who do this and I sit here weeping for Ali and wishing them all in that terrible place. May God look with special caring on his family and the families of all those who are targets of these evil people.

God keep you is His protection, Bandit, and bring you comfort in the loss of your friend.

01:01  
Anonymous lee mcdaniel said...

A country that produces an Ali, and I am certain there many more like him, is worth saving.

I am sorry.

05:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

b36,
very sorry for Mr. Ali's family. He is also a hero in this war. his family should be proud, i pray that his wife and children will not be able to care for themselves of that other family will help.

06:21  
Blogger Arcticman Speaks! said...

Bandit,
Your going to see more injustice and death before it's over. You know it. You are generous and brave to open-up to us. One of the memories your post brought back for me was the close personal relationships I had when I served. I had a terrible time just saying good-by to people. Fortunately, I never had to experience this kind of loss. In my current line of work I have, but unlike you I can go home and put the sorrow away enjoying my family. Try to remember that there is a purpose for each of us and that Ali and you were meant to meet. Take his memory and do great things with it. Live for him. Stay safe and keep your chin up. Thanks for sharing this.

09:34  
Blogger Robert F. Griffing said...

Ben,
We're really sorry to hear about your friend. Thank you for sharing this heartache. I will pray for his family, and for you.

01:32  
Anonymous Anna said...

I am so sorry...

07:41  
Blogger MonicaR said...

That's terrible. Those bastards killing a good man like that. I am sorry to hear it, and angry too. I will pray for his family and for Iraq and for all of you over there working so hard.

08:37  
Blogger Spill The Beans said...

Oh, dude, I'm so sorry for his loss. His poor family. I wish more Americans realized the price that is being paid by average Iraqis like Ali. We think it is just our troops, but average people there are dying for their country as well.

19:52  
Blogger Canuckistani said...

OMG, that's awful. It brings tears to my eyes. How brave Ali was to work in such dangerous conditions to try to make his country better. It's the first time I've read anything personal about an Iraqi working with an American. It sounds like you guys forged a great friendship. Sadly, we never hear these stories in the media. I am so sorry.

21:58  
Anonymous buckeye167 said...

People in general here in the states just don't realize what is must be like to have to eventhink about someone shooting you or someone you know at any or every turn of the corner. Most do know what a real warzone is. I am sorry at the loss of your friend. I ask if you ever found out the name of his child and hope that your child is born healthy and strong. Strength and Honor

Michael

19:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
i read the T view and i wish more people like you exist, you bring justice to this injust world, i'm from iraq and i'm a baghdadi, everytime iraqi people die i tear, i think of these people and that maybe one of them is the best friend i never met, or the wife i'll not get married to and it makes me cry, and i'm terribly sorry for the loss of your friend Ali, he is truly a martyr, may god protect you and bring you back home safely.

13:53  

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