Sleeping Child, Tal Afar Iraq (2007)
Sgt. Jacob N Bailey
11" x 17"
Edition of 9

The platoon I was with had been searching houses for weapons caches in the district of Tal Afar. It was a particularly hot day, with the temperature peaking in the 120's. We had been kicking in doors and searching abandoned houses for the better part of the day when we finally came across one that was inhabited. After a woman let us into the courtyard, the soldiers fanned out and searched the house from top to bottom. During the search we came upon a room that revealed a scene with a deep sense of irony. Here was a child sleeping, oblivious to our presence. The balance, structure and harmony of the room had contrasted greatly to the chaos we had experienced that day. It was cool in spite of the searing heat. This child slept on a concrete floor with only bare necessities and yet he still seemed well cared for and comfortable. There was a sense of peace in that room that I wanted to capture and take with me. We left him undisturbed. He slept right through our intrusion never knowing we were there; innocent to the war that raged around him, as if one could just take a nap and make it all go away. - Jacob Bailey

Official United States Air Force photograph.