I had several near death experiences or very, you know, close calls, if you may, in Iraq. You know, there was an incident where I was nearly kidnapped.
I have lucky boots for military embeds, a lucky scarf for road trips, a lucky handbag, and lucky days of the week. I tap into my gut for 'right' or 'wrong' feelings about such simple things as whether I should go grocery shopping.
Almost immediately, I remember right when Tikrit even fell, a few days after Baghdad fell, there was talks of insurgency, there was talks of jihad and of resisting the American occupiers, and slowly this turned into an organized movement.
The first time I went to Iraq was October 2002, when Saddam was still in power, and then, subsequently, in January of 2003, about three-and-a-half months before the U.S. invasion. So, I got to see the before and after of Iraq, basically, before and after the war.