Friday, May 27, 2005

Rest in Peace, Brothers

This is what I've been up to for the last 24 hours. A platoon in my brigade was in a firefight, and the choppers came in to support. We need their eyes more than their guns, and they are invaluable. These guys were supporting the platoon in contact and were shot down. All we knew is that they went down and the general area where we think they crashed. Military buffs would call an attack into that scenario (no idea what the enemy of friendly situation was, not in familiar terrain, very little planning, very little sleep) a very high risk operation. I call it war. You never have all the answers, and seldom have any answers. You do the best you can with what you got.

Within 30 minutes of the report that we had a flyer down, my Panzers we rolling out the gate en route to the crash site. One of my platoons (currently the battalion QRF) was rolling within 10 minutes to the crash site and was the first on the scene.) I did not know the pilots, but I knew their call sign. I worked with them the day before. (see Troops in Contact) It didn’t matter to me that they were outside of my AO. Or that it was close to midnight after a very long day. It didn’t matter to my men either, although most were all roused from their sleep to get rolling. Others were on their “off” shift from guard duty. They knew that they would return from this mission and go right back out to the perimeter, their buddies having covered down on a double shift already. They rose to the challenge, transferred necessary equipment from their M1114’s to the tanks and BFVs, and we hauled ass (There’s no traffic after 2300, and everyone, I mean Everyone, gets the fuck out of a Tank’s way when it is on a mission.)

It took most of the night to get to the crash site, and the pilots didn’t suffer when they died, which is a small thing to be thankful for in all of this. A much larger thing to be thankful for is that at about 0600 we saw some of the shit heads coming out of the palm groves with weapons. After the Apaches on station expended their entire ordinance payload (30mm HEDP and 2.75” HE rockets), we dropped a 500 pound JDAM on the remains, just to be sure. We then helped the IA raid the entire town. I’m not sure what all they found, but they are somewhat less than courteous when searching homes. The average Iraqi would rather the US search a house than the IA, because we tend not to toss an entire china cabinet just to see what’s behind it. We tend not to. Depends on the situation.

Godspeed, brothers. You did not go gentle into that good night.


Anonymous said...

Yesterday was Memorial Day. I hope this finds you and your men as safe as can be. I hope you had some good chow and cold beer. You guys are not forgotten and the people here at home are behind you all the way. You guys are doing a damn good job. There is a long, long line of combat Vets here at home waiting for you guys to come home and take your place in line with us. In time, you will stand in this line and wait for some others to return and take their place in front of you. It's the only outfit where you get to go to the front of the line if you're the news guys. Be sure to join the VFW or Legion or both when you get back home. Make it home and bring as many of your men with you as you can. We are waiting for you and you are always in our minds. Former grunt, USMC, viet nam.

Anonymous said...

I know if those flyers had been alive, they would have been very happy to see your men arrive so quickly. Now, though, I am sure their families will be happy to get them back. I didn't realize the significance of this until my dad died and then I could see how much it helps in closure. You did a great job.

Anonymous said...

I appreciated reading about this. I quietly read as much as I can and pass along to several friends the stories that tell how its going. Keep up your morale, there are lots of us who know that progress continues. God bless you and those around you.

Barb said...

Thank you for the report on what really happened - Grayhawk provided the link, but your site link will join my sidebar ASAP.

Thanks for your service, sir!

TallDave said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing, thanks for serving, and God rest the heroic fallen in freedom's cause.

mac said...

I never fail to be impressed by the courage, skill and spirit of our military. May God bless all of you because the work you are doing is desperately necessary. You folks make me very proud to be an American. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Anonymous said...

Just the way it should be done... gotta love some IA raids

SGT Hawkins
C3-7 INF

Nascar3 said...

Thank you for putting your life on the line to protect our way of life!

Thank you for sacrificing your freedom to make sure we enjoy ours!

May God be with you and may you go home safe to your loved ones.

USMC_Vet said...

Thank you for putting it on the line. As Blackfive said, it's probably nice knowing there are those who've got your six (or try to), but that is surely an overstatement.

You've got a great blog and we all appreciate what you can share of your experiences, lest we leave it to the New York G-D Times to document the history you are making. That didn't seem to work out so well last time I checked the written 'record' of the Tet Offensive. Your voice helps ensure that never happens again.

Welcome to MilBlogs, sir.