Into the crosshairs
I read an article today on Yahoo. Here is the link: http://news.yahoo.com/end-iraq-war-bittersweet-soldiers-vets-153926217.html The article covers a dark day in 2004, April 4th to be exact, when I lost some guys that I knew. Here are a few excerpts:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
After 50 yards, all four tires were blown, the radiator shot, and his first man was shot. A sucking chest wound. Miltenberger ripped open the soldier's Kevlar vest, applied bandages, rolled him facedown to maintain pressure and keep the wound sealed.
Another man screamed. He had a severed artery. Miltenberger fashioned a tourniquet. Another guy hit. Another tourniquet. And another. And another. And another.
The Iraqis were shadows, hidden behind doorways, windows, as they fired upon the men. Another hit. "I can't move!" he screamed. Miltenberger pressed a bandage against the wound, and braced his knee hard against the young soldier's back, to keep up the pressure. "You'll be fine," he yelled to the panicked soldier, knowing it probably wasn't true.
"I could see the driver. You could see the hole in his hand, see his ear and part of his face missing where he had been shot, and you could see the blood rolling out of the back of the truck," he said, shaking his head.
He was one of the first men back into the city, in a Humvee with add-on armor but a canvas roof -- built for noncombat use. It was all they had at the time they got the rescue call. Since the stated mission in Sadr City was to improve the quality of life for locals, the division brought only a fraction of its standard armor component for the 2004 deployment in Iraq.
It wasn't long before his vehicle came under heavy fire. Four were hit immediately, including Denomy. After dropping off the wounded at a casualty collection point, Denomy -- hit in the shoulder and back -- gathered up his remaining men and 15 others, and went back into the city. Eventually, the men were rescued. That day, eight men were killed. Over 60 wounded.
I was in Sadr City for a long time. I knew that area well. I knew two guys that had been killed in this attack.