You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2004Mike Pickens Narrowly Escapes Bomb in Baghdad

Mike Pickens Narrowly Escapes Bomb in Baghdad

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner and Immediate Past President of the NAIC Mike Pickens had a close call in Baghdad last month. Pickens is in Iraq working...
June 15, 2004

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner and Immediate Past President of the NAIC Mike Pickens had a close call in Baghdad last month. Pickens is in Iraq working as an independent contractor for Bearing Point, a consulting firm that has a contract from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to work on economic development. Pickens is working of reconstructing the Iraqi insurance industry.

Pickens' activities are being chronicled by insurance broadcaster Bill Bailey, on his weekly radio show "It's Your Money." The show has published e-mails received from Pickens on its website. An excerpt of Mike Pickens' dispatch from Baghdad of May 11, 2004:

From: Mike Pickens, Baghdad:
"We drove thru the 14 July Bridge checkpoint about 7 minutes before the Syrian homicide bomber smashed in and killed an American soldier, and 6-plus (and counting) Iraqis who were standing in the queue on their way to work. The concussion from the blast blew out a large picture window in our residence, and a couple of smaller ones in the camp where we work. There were men and women, young and old, teens, even some kids my son's age standing in the queue with their moms when this nut crashed into the checkpoint."

"I looked right into the eyes of the soldier manning the first station at the checkpoint and smiled at him, said hello, as we always do. (We must show our CPA/DOD credentials to the US soldiers as we pass through the checkpoint…The soldiers compare the picture on our credentials with our faces.) He did the same to us. I remember his eyes looked blood red, and he obviously was worn out. He was the soldier who was blown to smithereens five minutes later…"

"P.S.:  I have been shot at once. An RPG, machine gun fire with tracers, etc. I was with a group. We all hit the deck, had pretty good cover. An interesting experience. Reminded me of the opening day of deer season in Arkansas!"

More from Mike Pickens in Baghdad at It's Your Money Radio

Filed under: