Letters Home: A Marine’s Dispatches From Iraq, and the Words That Would Have Been His Last

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Christopher Gallagher, 26, U.S. Marine Corps corporal, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, served in Iraq three times: In 2003 during the invasion; in 2004 at Haditha Dam; and in 2005 in Fallouja. This post contains an archive of letters he wrote home and photographs he saved. Included are his “final letters” — the messages Marines write for their families in case they don’t make it home alive.

Gallagher, a Las Vegas resident, wrote three final letters — to his parents, older sister Shannon and younger brother Matt. He survived the war, so these letters were never sent. They offer insight into his state of mind before deployment.

.

.

.


Apr. 2, 2003: “I am writing this letter from a fighting hole, behind my machine gun. I am fine for now. How is everyone back home? The first couple of days the Iraqi soldiers were surrendering by the hundreds. I have heard reports of American POW’s being murdered. What have you heard? The first hundred hours of this war I was awake. It is hard finding time to sleep out here.”

.

.

.

.

A postcard bearing the image of the Apr. 11, 2003 front page of the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. The headline “Baghdad falls to U.S. forces” ran large down the right-hand side, set against a photograph — an iconic image — showing the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down.

.

.

.

.

A letter from Gallagher to his brother Matt.

.

.

.

.

Memories of Iraq.

Gallagher, right.

.

.

Gallagher, left.

.

.

Gallagher, back row, far right.

.

.


Information gathered in 2008.

2 responses to “Letters Home: A Marine’s Dispatches From Iraq, and the Words That Would Have Been His Last

  1. Hi Jane,

    Thanks for reading. I can’t give out Christopher’s information, but have passed along your email address to him so that he can respond if he wants.

    Best,
    Charlotte

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s