Friday, February 18, 2011

Five Killed

This story was shared by an OIF Veteran who is struggling with memories of his time in Iraq. For some, it really helps just to get their story on paper (or on screen). Thanks for having the courage to share your story and for reach out. I know it took a lot!

I was in country for a couple months when this happened. As part of the scout team for my platoons convoy security, we came upon a possible IED. I was driving a Caiman MRAP with jamming equipment and a rhino attached. We spotted a bag that shouldn't have been there, we rolled up to it and my gunner couldn't see anything, so of course, I opened my door to take pics of this suspicious bag. The dust in the air had distorted the pixels. So, I got out on foot and walked up to the bag looking for command wire and possible infrared sensors. I got down on myhands and knees to take close up pics of this bag. I opened it up to see that my crew and I running it over back and forth had crushed everything in the bag. I no longer have the pix thanks to S1, but happy to help; We marked it with red chem sticks and hung one on a stake I pounded into the ground to alert other crews coming towards this IED. We continued to our mark and got word a couple hours later that the same IED had killed 5.

I think what gets me most is I was on hands and knees over this thing, 3 propane tanks linked to another 2 across the road in the median that we didn't find. As I sit here, I think about the families and what they're going through because I didn't clear this IED. We did what we were supposed to do, found it, marked it, let all other units including EOD know we had marked it, and somewhat dismantled it and CM. I thought we had done everything, and I would love to tell the families that we tried to do everything we could. I had other things happen similar like this, but not as bad. I hope this helps someone dealing with deployment recovery. I love my country and will love the Service, I will do it all over again. Congress and those elected really need to learn and know what its like to be there and put their lives on the line for their families like all of us who have.

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