Multimedia Resources

Still Under Construction and Here's Why

It has been my hope that I could find, and host, some of the televised events that the members of Foxtrot Battery have been in during their time in Iraq. I am aware of three incidents. First, the Cubs game back in May of '04 or thereabouts and the CNN Anderson Cooper snippet in June. Basically, I am going to need someone who had a copy, preferably digital of either airing. If so, please let me know. I am aware a DVD was being made of the Cubs game. Also, I have links to the Military Greetings that appeared on KWQC over the holidays in 2004. Should the content be removed, I have managed to back up the file, but don't exactly have the space to host it yet. If I need to, I'll find a way.

  • On January 26, 2005, CNN's Newsnight with Aaron Brown carried a story called "Center helps Iraqi war amputees" concerning the San Antonio facility where Dustin Hill is being treated. Thanks to Mike Bowman, I am able to host the snippet related to Dustin (Windows Media format; access here). I also have a link to the whole story (at 6:22 minutes) though am not sure how long it will be hosted on the CNN servers (Real format, access here).

  • For the holiday season of 2004, KWQC NBC Channel 6 in the Quad Cities put together a compilation of regional service-men and -women. Links of interest to those in Foxtrot Battery families follow:

  • More from Daryl Cagle's blog:

  • February 1, 2005


    From our soldier/cartoonist friend, Dan Brokaw, in Iraq ...

    Hey Daryl,

    Dan Brokaw here. I know you are probably about sick of election cartoons, but i thought I'd show you mine anyway since I had a unique perspective on the event.

    It was truly a special day. I saw that average Iraqis actually did care. They were willing to take that very dangerous first step. the courage it took for them to go to the polls is mind boggling all things considered. And yet they did, in droves. It was by no means a flawless day, and many lives were still lost.

    I asked our interpretor if he got a chance to vote, since he had been on mission with some of our guys. He said, "no...but my wife did", as a smile beemed from his face. He said, in his heavy Iraqi accent, "the people go in groups of 30, 50, hundred,...they say to the insurgents. They say we are not afraid of you."

    As a soldier, it has meant a great deal. I often pray for this war to be worth it. Worth the lost lives; worth the life-changing injuries; worth the shattered families back home as well as in Iraq. This is a start, small as it may be, still, it is a start. It's often hard to find things to feel good about here and this was a nice change.

    Take care, Dan (E-mail Dan at

  • Follow-up on the story about Dan Brokaw, on Cagle's Web Log:

  • January 1, 2005

    Sorry for the two week gap in the blog --I've been away on vacation! Remember Sargeant Dan Brokaw, the cartoonist/National Guardsman in Iraq who we featured in the blog back on December 14th? Dan sent me this nice note ...

    Hey Daryl,

    Thank you so much for the opportunity! What a unique and fun experience this has been.

    I got an unbelievable response from my cartoons in your blog. I received hundreds of emails from all across the globe. 99% of them were very positive; there were a few sour grapes, but that is to be expected. I had no idea this would be received so well. One guy even asked for an autographed photo --pretty wild. Most ask where they can find more of my work or what paper I work for. I might try to set up a website, time permitting. Also, I'm thinking of trying to make a book that intertwines stories with the cartoons when I get back home.

    I guess one of my cartoons was on prime time news on Christmas eve. We had a reporter from CBS visit us at an Iraqi police station. He video taped me and a cartoon I did about Rumsfeld. It aired alongside the Rumsfeld visit story. I probably have a price on my head now --ha!

    My buddies think I'm a celebrity and give me a lot of crap because of it. My "creative team" has expanded greatly since my debut on your blog. Today one of my guys yelled an idea for a cartoon at me while we were pulling security on a roadside bomb that could have potentially killed us. Now that's an idea that was important to him. ... only in Iraq!

    Well, Daryl, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your work and that I hope one day to get to your level. Thanks again for the opportunity.

    Take care, Dan

    E-mail Dan in Iraq at

  • From Jim Cagle's Web Log:

    December 14, 2004


    Today we have a collection of cartoons from Dan Brokaw, a cartoonist sargeant from the Illinois National Guard who is busy fighting daily battles against insurgents in Iraq. Dan writes to us about his daily routine and his cartoons. E-mail Dan in Iraq at

    My name is Dan Brokaw. It was October of 2003. I should have been finishing my final two classes needed to complete my BFA in Design at Northern Illinois University. I should have been entertaining job offers and going to interviews. I should have been starting the new life that my wife, my daughter, and I had sacrificed so much to realize. Instead, I was on my way to Iraq.

    I am a Sergeant in the Illinois Army National Guard currently serving in Iraq. My Unit is Foxtrot 202nd Air Defense Artillery. We are attached to the 1st Cavalry Division in the Baghdad area of operations.

    My unit arrived in Iraq in March after a short stay in Kuwait. The heat literally took your breath away. The smell was wretched and perfectly described by my buddy, as, "things that are burning that should never be allowed to burn." The landscape was strewn with trash and debris from decades of war and neglect. I knew we were far from home. Just how far, I had no idea.

    In April we took over our new area of operations and started patrolling. A week after taking control we were baptized by fire in what came to be known as "the battle of holy week." We were ambushed multiple times and were in many large firefights. My platoon alone expended over 30,000 rounds of ammunition over the course of 3 days of fighting. Combat is a dirty, awful thing that is not glamorous and left me with a pit of questions and emotions. My emotions and questions needed an outlet. I started to draw.

    I started to draw anything that came into my head. I drew sheep, I drew Iraqis, I drew my daughter. I drew quietly and, for the most part, privately. Most of my drawings were simple, sketch level drawings, as time and material limitations dictated. I thought I was drawing for the hell of it. I see that it was more like self-therapy. Then, my drawings began to take on more life and more meaning.

    I was reading on the internet one day about an insurgent who said something along the lines of "I will keep fighting until the Americans leave." I vividly remember thinking "hey moron, if you'd quit fighting, maybe they'll let me leave." I started drawing about how ironic I found that statement to be and hence, my cartoon series "Outside the Wire" was born. Outside the Wire is what we call being outside of the relative safety of base camp.

    It was published with little fanfare in our budding unit newsletter. I figured my cartoons would go largely unnoticed. Then guys started to come up to me and say things like "that was great buddy," or "isn't that the truth man." Then, they almost always added, "ya know what you should do one on?" It was somewhat flattering but more importantly, the cartoons were getting noticed. I loved the fact that my buddies felt a sense of ownership. It is, after all, based on all of our experiences. If anyone deserves a voice, it's these guys.

    We have had anything that can be shot, detonated, launched, or thrown, sent our way. We are affected directly by political decisions and are always in the middle of public debate. The Army itself is a wealth of comedic material.

    Many of these cartoons can seem a bit inside or jaded. I apologize for that, but I think I've earned the right to portray things the way I do. Most of the cartoons were just intended to make my buddies chuckle and I never thought the "real" world would ever see them. Regardless, I hope this is an interesting glimpse into my world outside the wire.

    Daniel Brokaw

  • In addition, the following information concerning the 39th Enhanced Brigade. Discovery Times has been covering the primarily Arkansas-based Guard unit and has released a few episodes of Off to War.
  • WBEZ's This American Life radio program 1/7/05 is entitled "In Country." The first half hour of the program covers the 39th. You can listen to the Real Media file here. Program description follows:

What life is like for American soldiers in Iraq. 
Prologue. Ira Glass talks to Tom Irwin, a stand-up comic who recently performed for American troops all around Iraq for over a month. It seems his best joke, about Iraqi sheep farmers, only makes sense if you're a soldier on deployment. Irwin's one-man show about his trip is called "25 Days in Iraq." (2 minutes)
Act One. When Weekend Warriors Work on Weekdays. When an Arkansas National Guard Unit is sent off to Iraq, they assume they're going to help rebuild the country, since they're trained as an engineering unit. But once they arrive, they find themselves in a combat zone, unprepared and ill-equipped. Their trucks, for instance, are from the 1950s and '60s. The unit's story is told in a new documentary television series, Off to War, which is on the Discovery Times cable channel.  Ira interviews the filmmakers, Brent and Craig Renaud, and talks to a few of the guardsmen still stationed north of Baghdad. We also hear clips from the documentary. The series is produced by DCTV in New York. (38 minutes)
Song: "Tender Comrade," Billy Bragg
Act Two. Marine Life. Rob Miller is a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps commanding a weapons platoon in "Charlie Company" of the First Battalion, Eighth Marines. He led his men recently in the battle of Fallujah, and in a recent satellite phone call, he told This American Life Contributing Editor Jack Hitt (who also happens to be his uncle), what we never seem to hear elsewhere: details of what it's like to fight house to house in urban warfare. One of the weirdest moments in the recent battle of Fallujah? Hearing the psy-ops unit blast funky '70s music across the city as Rob's battalion began its push. All he could think of, he says, was the movie Full Metal Jacket. (15 minutes)
Song: "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor," Drowning Pool