Vet to document soldiers’ graffiti left in Iraq

By Emily Corio – West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Posted : Thursday May 26, 2011 14:32:38 EDT

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A military veteran from Clarksburg is documenting the war in Iraq through graffiti that soldiers created on military bases. Former Army Combat Medic, Jaeson Parsons, says it’s a way to expose the raw emotions soldiers experience during war.
Parsons knows the mental anguish that comes with spending months away from family in a dangerous place where friends are hurt and killed. He joined the Army in 2005 and began serving in Ramadi, Iraq, later that year.
“It used to be that Fallujah was the bad place to be. Well, when the Marines did the assault on Fallujah, most of the insurgents that weren’t killed moved to Ramadi,” Parsons said.
“I started running missions with a partner medic; I think it was my fourth or fifth day there. We were doing route clearance, looking for bombs … so we would stay out all night, eight to 12 hours a night, clearing these routes. It was like being stuck in rush hour traffic except you’d get blown up every now and again.”
Parsons’ experience in Iraq left him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was medically discharged from the Army in 2009. And his troubles followed him home. He hit a low point that Christmas while visiting his mother in Chicago.

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