September 22, 2011

"The moon in September was special and the war kept going."


"No matter where we walk, the enemy will plant bombs. 

On the roads, in the grape rows, in the middle of open fields where nobody would ever plant a bomb, there will be a bomb and people get blown up.  The victims often are noncombatants, such as children.  And so we were walking in this dry canal.  When there is water, the enemy will stretch tripwires below the surface.  Nowhere is safe and there are only so many places we can walk.

"The point man often misses the bomb and is not hit.  The casualty might be the fifth man, or the fifteenth.  One casualty in 4-4 Cav was the 35th troop in the sequence. 

"In this war, every man, or woman, is on point.  One step from the "cleared" path might as well be a hundred miles off.  During firefights you go for cover.  Before I was here, a Soldier fell off a path and was killed. 

"The person who triggers the bombs is not always the one who is hit.  The triggers are often at a distance from the charges.  Or, as happens many times on every mission, you are standing there and someone walks by going forward or back, and to pass by they step must off to the side and in that moment you both can go.

"This sun was just rising.  The night before, Soldiers and the dog had slept on the ground and I slept on the roof of a house.  Now the sun was rising and birds were singing and we were walking in the canal when BOOM."

21 September 2011
Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Task Force Spartan, 4-4 Cav

More at Every Step is Your Last | Michael's Dispatches

Posted by Vanderleun at September 22, 2011 11:36 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

They are "on point" for the United States. My greatest fear is when our Soldiers and Marines leave Central Asia, the enemy will attack us in our homes, places of worship, and shopping and business locations. IEDs and suicide bombers may become common in America. Who will walk point for us then?

Posted by: Tom at September 23, 2011 10:23 AM

Was that outside Plei Me? Or maybe a bit west of An Khe? Sounds like a path near the Mouse Ears. Maybe the last hump up that hill WNW of the A Shau before anyone heard of that damn place.

They all sound the same with the same results; it sucks large.

Posted by: Peccable at September 23, 2011 11:24 AM