Interview with Luis G. Arguelles, OIF veteran. CCSU Veterans History Project

Interview conducted by Eileen Hurst. Luis Arguelles enlisted in the US Army in 2003. He went to basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and was then transferred to Fort Irwin, Ca., a training base for soldiers who were going to be deployed to Iraq. In the January of 2005, Arguelles was deployed to Iraq where his units’ first assignment was in Northern Iraq (Taji). One of their jobs in Taji was to support the effort to look for weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s). However, his main job was as a gunner for the truck that held the units 1st Sergeant. He also held this job when his unit was transferred to Abu Ghraib prison after six months. The shifts for this duty were 12 hours long, and much of the units’ time was spent in the truck. Arguelles describes the conditions that were part of their daily life, including the temperatures, the food, and the supplies. When the soldiers were able to sleep and relax, their barracks were in the prison cells at Abu Ghraib. During his time in Baghdad, he also witnessed three IED (improvised explosive device) explosions, in one of which he was injured. When he returned to the US in January of 2006, he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury as well as a severe back injury due to this incident. The remainder of Arguelles’ active duty was spent at Fort Irwin, where he was discharged from in the summer of 2006. After his discharge, he traveled to Florida, and then moved back to Connecticut to find a job. At the time of the interview

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