Home from the Iraq Odyssey part 3 of 3

Transition is the thread that binds the last portion of Phil Nerges’s Iraq odyssey to his book, Iraq Journal–Sketches from the Contracting Life. He had made it out alive to recreate his life back home. Nerges saw no literature about the contractors and their families to aid in his own transition after his final return stateside. Within 3 years he had compiled a book to reflect their stories.

In the fall of 2011, Helena Kaufman interviewed Phil Nerges about his mission to share the life of contractors working alongside the military in Iraq. The first posts were published just before we heard President Obama’s announcement of the end of war in Iraq.

The book is based on emails home, in fast and frightening times. Nerges used his love of language and photographer’s eye to capture sights, sounds and memories made while he sorted his life and then began the transition home.

“More than military men and women are coming back,” says Nerges. Transition is the upcoming experience for tens of thousands of military personnel returning from America’s longest wars. [Read more…]


Working at ground level with the military in Iraq

Phil Nerges, contractor with the U.S. Army, imaginatively captured the alien landscape of Iraq and kept notes of its impact. Since his return he has published Iraq Journal – Sketches from the Contracting Life. Now in its second and expanded edition with 8 additional chapters and numerous blog posts, the effects and memories of his original experience evolve along with him.

Today, we revisit those first experiences working alongside America’s troops, on the ground and in Iraq.  This series of 3 articles appears with profiles of military members interviewed by Helena Kaufman on her site and first appeared on Lanterloon.com in November 2011. [Read more…]