Wednesday, April 28, 2004

She remembered that the first night, she rescued her unit from small rats and large spiders because she wanted to show off.

Zdunowski, who is 5-foot-4 with long brown hair, pink fingernails and a large diamond ring, said she had to beat up a few military men who would not leave her alone.

At one point, Zdunowski traveled to Baghdad to receive training on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

The briefing was held in Hussein’s palace.

“It was beautiful,” Zdunowski said. “There was a chandelier the size of my house, and it was all marble.”

While she got to see her husband for a day, it wasn’t until Christmas that she spent considerable time with him.

Both their units arranged a break for them so they could share the holiday together.

“We were walking down the streets of Baghdad holding hands and bombs and gun shots were going off. But we were in our own world,” Zdunowski said.

Although she was in the heart of the war, the reality of the situation didn’t hit Zdunowski until her husband called one day and said a friend had been killed in a car bombing.

“That’s when it became real to me,” Zdunowski said. “Real human beings were dying. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, that was the 500th. That sucks.’”

After hearing the news, she had to tell a colleague that his best friend had been killed.

“He didn’t believe me,” Zdunowski said. “He is the toughest guy I know and he cried like a baby.”

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