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Inside Iraq - Santa Barbara in the Warzone

Ben Preston, a staff writer for The Santa Barbara Independent, is taking some time off from his usual duties to report from Iraq with the U.S. Army's 425th Civil Affairs Battalion, which is based in Santa Barbara. He'll be spending about a month in the war-torn country, traveling with the unit as they help Iraqis rebuild their country, and reporting about the work here on this blog.

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The Sad Aftermath of a Superbowl Party

It's sad when someone dies in combat, sadder when they lose their life to an incident that could have happened at home.

Green Zone Superbowl Party

We all like a beer or three on Superbowl Sunday, but what if it's Monday in a Muslim country and you're not allowed to have one?

The Purple Finger of Democracy

Holding inked digits jubilantly in the air, smiling Iraqis celebrated the first free election in most peoples' lives.

Hitchhiking to Baghdad

Waiting gave way to flying, and flying offered the cradle of civilization and all of its modern problems.

Kuwait Waiting

Everyone in the military knows the meaning of "hurry up and wait," but do we understand it at home?

Welcome to the Middle East

The flight from Dallas to Kuwait reveals what it's like to be a soldier on his or her way to war.

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