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Hi, I'm Dave. During my two deployments (one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan), my camera took almost 10,000 pictures. I've posted some below from Afghanistan that include some of the people I served with, some of the locals we interacted with, some pictures from the air, and more. Every one of them tells a story. Check them out and Ask Me Anything. #MilitaryAMA

David George
Jun 14, 2017

Pictures from all over Afghanistan 2013-14.

This is just a small sample of the pictures I have from my last deployment.  https://storyofmylife.blog.  Enjoy.  Ask Me Anything.

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Thank you all that stopped by and for the wide range of questions.  Hope to see you all next week for my next AMA. 

Jun 15, 12:01AM EDT0

Great pictures! what surprised you the most during your time in Afghanistan? Thank you for your service :)

Jun 14, 10:22PM EDT1

I was surprised by the beauty of the land.  From the air, the snow-capped mountains were breath taking.  Looking down from high above, you would never know that Afghanistan has been at war for the better part of 3 decades. 

Jun 14, 10:28PM EDT0

Here's an example.Here's an example.

Jun 14, 10:38PM EDT0

Great pictures! Did you take them thinking you would want to share your experiences with others, or did you take from the perspective of wanting to keep them as a personal

memoeu for yourself? 

Jun 14, 9:34PM EDT1

I took them because I enjoy taking pictures.  Most of what I took were 'happy' pics, of soldiers enjoying themselves.  I shared them on my Facebook regularly for the families back home.  It was good for the familes to see that we were doing well.  Great question, thanks.

Jun 14, 9:41PM EDT1

Did you volunteer for your deployments, and why or why not?

Jun 14, 1:03PM EDT1

I volunteered for both.  For the first one, I was put with a unit that needed me.  For the second one, I was contacted by some people that I had previously served with and asked to volunteer for that one. 

Jun 14, 9:06PM EDT0

What movies portray the most accurate picture of the Iraq war?

Jun 14, 1:29AM EDT1

I don't know.  I don't watch as many war movies as one might think.  Nothing comes to mind for Iraq.  I can tell you for certain that Hurt Locker was as stupid and wrong as any movie I've ever seen.  Sorry I couldn't give you a better answer.

Jun 14, 9:00PM EDT0

How do you take a picture that tells a story?

Jun 13, 8:56PM EDT1

You can use your imagination while viewing the picture or you can get the story from the photographer.  I use my pictures to help me remember the stories.  And I enjoying sharing those stories.

Jun 14, 8:59PM EDT0

How many soldiers do you know who have suffered PTSD?

Jun 13, 7:52PM EDT1

A lot of us.  I don't know that it that can be quantified.  Some who suffer from PTSD don't get the help they need.  I imagine that all of us that served at war suffer to some extent.  I know some that suffer to extreme and some that deal with it well. 

Jun 14, 8:49PM EDT0

Who do you consider the best war photographers?

Jun 13, 11:37AM EDT1

I have no idea.  I don't keep up with that.  I'm not a professional photographer, I just like to take pictures.  The best military photographer I ever met was Timothy Lawn.  He had a way getting the best pictures at the best time. 

Jun 14, 8:14PM EDT0

How did you balance taking photos with fighting a war?

Jun 13, 7:20AM EDT1

I always had my camera in my pocket.  My pictures never interfered with any missions.  Most of my pictures were taken during "good times".  By that I mean, soldiers hanging out, soldiers getting ready for a mission, base celebrations. 

Jun 14, 8:11PM EDT0

Would you consider making the military a life-long career?

Jun 13, 2:25AM EDT1

Probably not.  I had a 14 year break in service from my first enlistment, I'm a reservist, and I will be having a medical evaluation board to see if I can even stay in the reserves at this point.  If they let me stay in, I'll stay as long as I'm able to, but in reality, I will probably have to get out.

Jun 14, 8:05PM EDT0

What are your plans as far as publishing your photos?

Jun 12, 8:45PM EDT1

I don't have any plans for publishing them outside of what I've done on Facebook and here.  I look through them from time to time, but I don't know that any of them would be worthy of publishing. 

Jun 14, 9:44PM EDT0

If money was no object, what camera would you buy?

Jun 12, 4:23PM EDT1

I don't have a fancy camera.  I'm pretty happy with the cheap one I have.  I'm not a professional photographer, so I don't really need anything more than I have. 

Jun 14, 8:02PM EDT0

What is the worst reaction you've gotten when in uniform?

Jun 12, 4:17PM EDT1

Well, I wasn't in uniform, but when a drunk lady found out my buddy and I were in the military, she tried to spit on my friend.  It was not pleasant, but there's always one asshole every once in a while.

Jun 14, 8:01PM EDT0

Has your military experience made you more of a hawk or dove?

Jun 12, 3:21PM EDT1

That's an interesting question.  Definately more of a hawk.  I see things like I was trained to.  I notice things that are out of place.  I get anxious in crowds and traffic.  But I'm getting better. 

Jun 14, 7:59PM EDT0

What was the worst thing you witnessed during your deployment?

Jun 12, 3:03PM EDT1

In Iraq, I saw the aftermath of three children burned after their dad, who was trying to steal fuel, accidently blew up the tank he was stealing from.  The children were brought to our hospital on our base.  I think they were probably 3, 5, and 8 (or there abouts).  They could barely speak, mostly just moaned in pain.  The dad was killed in the explosion.  It was horrific to see the children like that.  It's bad enough to see a Soldier suffer.  But seeing those children was probably the worst thing I ever saw at war.  This was very hard to answer, it's a memory I try not to think about much.  Thank you for the tough quesiton. 

Jun 14, 7:56PM EDT0

Do you aspire to a career in photo journalism?

Jun 12, 12:51PM EDT1

I do not.  I am in no way a professional photographer.  I have taken some great pictures, but they are for my own personal enjoyment.  My aspirations are to finish my novel and make a living as a writer. 

Jun 14, 7:48PM EDT0

How have you been treated by the public since returning from battle?

Jun 12, 11:51AM EDT1

Very well.  I think most people have a healthy respect for the military no matter thier personal views and political beliefs.  I live in a military area, so the community treats us very well.

Jun 14, 7:47PM EDT0

How would you describe soldier morale in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Jun 12, 11:41AM EDT1

Morale was sometimes contingent on what was going on around us.  Leadership played a big role in morale, as well as how each individual viewed their surroundings.  I think for the most part, most of us did pretty good.  But we all had our moments when morale was down.

Jun 14, 9:46PM EDT0

What do you think about women on the front lines of war?

Jun 12, 11:14AM EDT1

The old-fashioned side of me doesn't like it.  NOT because I don't think they can do the job, I know they can, I've seen them do it.  But I will always be a guy that holds the door for a lady.  And because of that mindset, personally I'd rather women not be on the frontlines.  However, when I put on the uniform, I only see a fellow Soldier, not a male or female.  This was s wonderful question.  Thank you for asking it.  You might be interested in what I wrote about women in the military here:

https://storyofmylife.blog/2016/03/05/with-force-and-with-grace/

Jun 14, 1:24PM EDT0

Would you consider military service with Trump as commander in chief?

Jun 12, 11:08AM EDT1

I am currently in the army reserves, so, yes.  My service isn't contengent on who (or what party) is in the White House.  I do the same job regardless.  I welcome Trump's Presidency.  I believe it will be good for the military.

Jun 14, 1:16PM EDT0

What are your favorite movies about a soldier's experience?

Jun 12, 7:07AM EDT1

Taking Chance (with Kevin Bacon) is a unique movie about a Service Member's experience from a view not often seen by the public.  As far as my experiences, I don't know what movie would capture that.  Being deployed and serving in a war isn't always a glamorous and exciting as Hollywood portrays it.

Jun 14, 1:13PM EDT0

How did you choose your branch of military service?

Jun 12, 6:32AM EDT1

My grandfather was Navy, then Air Force.  My father was Air Force.  I chose the Army to be different I guess.  I found the Army to be more exciting, tougher, and a better fit for me than the Navy and Air Force that they served in.  Now, my oldest son has chosen the Army.  Four generations in a row to serve the U.S. Military.  I'm proud of that.

Jun 14, 1:05PM EDT0

What camera did you use during your deployment?

Jun 12, 5:56AM EDT1

Considering the environment I was in, and that I am not a professional photographer, I took my cheap camera with me.  When it broke, I replaced it with another cheap camera.  To me, there is no reason to spend a thousand dollars on a camera that will be exposed to the elements I was exposed to while deployed. 

Jun 14, 1:00PM EDT0

Do you believe in the draft or in an all-volunteer military?

Jun 12, 5:47AM EDT1

I prefer the all-volunteer way, but I understand the draft in place for a reason and I agree with that.  For me, I would rather serve with 10 Soldiers that WANT to be there than 100 who are there only because they have to be.  I disagree with mandatory service, except in the case where a draft is absolutely necessary.

Jun 14, 12:46PM EDT0

How is technology, like drones, changing how war is waged?

Jun 12, 4:46AM EDT1

I think it gives us a great advantage.  But the bottom line is that no matter the technology, we must have the military personnel willing to fight the war.  Despite the technology, we still put ourselves in harms way on the battlefield. 

Jun 14, 12:44PM EDT0

Do you admire any particular photo journalists?

Jun 12, 3:32AM EDT1

I don't.  I'm not a professional.  I have a cheap camera and a cell phone.  Somehow I get some great shots with those two things once in a while.  I just like taking pictures. 

Jun 14, 12:41PM EDT0

What are your tips for taking action photos?

Jun 12, 2:05AM EDT1

Be where the action is.  LOL.  I don't have any real tips for photography.  I'm not a professional.  I just like taking pictures.  Often times I was just in the right place at the right time.  One tip, be ready.  I missed out on some great pictures because I wasn't ready.

Jun 14, 12:40PM EDT0

What kind of relationships did you form with civilians while deployed?

Jun 12, 1:56AM EDT1

Afghan civilians or civilian contractors?  We had a number of civilian contractors at the base I was at.  They were just there doing a job.  With the Afghan civilians, most of my interactions were with vendors at the shops on base. 

Jun 14, 12:38PM EDT0

What do you think of the use of drones in battle?

Jun 12, 1:52AM EDT1

It works for me.  Throughout all of history, all militaries advanced technology to thier benefit on the battlefield.  The principle of drones is no different than the advent of the bow and arrow to be used in battle a thousand years ago.

Jun 14, 12:33PM EDT0

What was your rank and your particular role in the military?

Jun 12, 12:01AM EDT1

I am a non-commissioned officer (still in the reserves).  My current job is as a chpalain assistant/instructor.  My other jobs during my first enlistment included construction surveyor and wire systems installer.

Jun 14, 12:30PM EDT0

What has been your experience dealing with the VA?

Jun 11, 11:37PM EDT1

The VA is the hell we have to deal with for not dying in battle.  Overall, my experiences with the VA have been less than great.  Not all my experiences are bad, but the good ones are not often enough.

Jun 14, 12:28PM EDT0

What was your view of the Presidents that you served under?

Jun 11, 10:28PM EDT1

That's an interesting question.  Putting all politics aside, it doesn't matter to me who is President while I am serving.  I think some were more military-friendly than others, and that was noticable. 

Jun 14, 12:26PM EDT0

How do you share and archive your photos?

Jun 11, 9:56PM EDT1

I have my photos on my computer and external drives.  I share them on my facebook page, that's about it. 

Jun 14, 12:17PM EDT0

What is the most surprising thing you learned about Iraq?

Jun 11, 9:11PM EDT1

In the summer heat it was HOT.  It was unreal some days.  I knew it would be hot.  I grew up in Louisiana and have lived in Florida now for more than 2 decades, so I'm familiar with hot weather.  But I never imagined what temperatures over 130 degrees felt like. 

Jun 14, 12:16PM EDT0

Did you personally believe in the wars you fought in?

Jun 11, 8:57PM EDT1

Great question.  I believe I had a job to do.  I believe the wars were necessary.  Above all, as far as my military service, I believe that when I am called to duty, I will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Jun 14, 12:13PM EDT0

Are you still proud to wear your military uniform?

Jun 11, 8:26PM EDT1

Very proud.  Since I'm still in the army reserves, I get to wear the uniform once a month.  And I don't take that lightly, I wear it with pride every time I put it on.

Jun 14, 12:10PM EDT0

How did you end up in the military originally?

Jun 11, 7:34PM EDT1

I originally enlisted in 1989, served almost 4 years, then got out.  At that time, I went in to serve and take advantage of college money.  I returned to service in 2007 for the purpose of doing my part in the wars that were dragging on. 

Jun 14, 12:07PM EDT0

Do you have any war heroes, or why not?

Jun 11, 7:27PM EDT1

Everyone I served with is a hero.  But the true heros are the ones that never made it home. 

Jun 14, 12:04PM EDT0

Did you lose any buddies in the war, and how did you deal with that?

Jun 11, 7:26PM EDT1

I personally know Service Members that have died in the wars.  I'm not sure how to answer how I dealt with that.  I wasn't there when any of the deaths happened, I'm sure that changes how I would deal with it.  My thoughts always go to the families when we lose someone, whether I knew them or not.

This may interest you, https://storyofmylife.blog/2013/09/04/the-ceremony/

Jun 13, 8:47PM EDT0

How do you respond when asked about your military experience?

Jun 11, 6:59PM EDT1

I'm proud of my service.  I tell the stories that I can.  For anyone that will listen, I tell the story of my lowest point after deployment, in case it helps someone else get the help I tried to avoid.  My experiences were good, it was after coming home that it became hard to live with.

Jun 13, 10:01AM EDT0

Are there war stories you won't share, and why?

Jun 11, 6:34PM EDT1

Some stories can't be shared because the information or situation is classified.  But for the most part, I can and do share at least part of every experience.  But there are a couple things I won't share.

Jun 13, 9:52AM EDT0

Have you personally suffered any PTSD episodes related to deployment?

Jun 11, 6:13PM EDT1

Yes.  I got diagnosed with PTSD two years ago.  It was a rough time.  With medication, therapy, and accepting that I am different than I was before I went to war, I am getting better everyday.

Jun 13, 9:42AM EDT0

What was the biggest difference between your experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Jun 11, 6:11PM EDT1

The missions.  In Iraq, I only went on one mission outside the wire.  In Afghanistan, I went all over the country on different missions.  Even though my job was the same for both deployments, the requirements of my job were different.

Jun 13, 9:41AM EDT0