The airbase in Balad is enormous and drab. It is a landscape of T-walls and motor resistant protected buildings. Grey is the predominate color highlighted only by Iraq’s spectacular sunrises and sunsets. I asked Sargent Hoke, the Public Affairs office that was assigned to escort Phin and I during out stay there, if there was something quirky on the base. The Bone Yard, an aircraft graveyard is what she came up with. Off we went in a jumbo SUV to find the site. Hoke led the way into an area marked, “Do not enter”. The Bone Yard has dozens of broken Russian made Iraqi Migs and a few destroyed tanks and armored vehicles covered in graffiti.
Graffiti can only be found in this isolated spot on the base. There is plenty of it to make some good photos and infuse the war with some color.
What was once the pride and joy of Saddam’s military might is now nothing more than a backdrop for soldiers (and journalists) to take a souvenir portrait.