(Sung to the tune of: "Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2)
WARNING: This story contains graphic war violence… read at your own risk. ( the rest of us will clap with joy at the ending!)
From the Soldier side: I must apologize for keeping my readers waiting on this story, but I’ve been sort of busy. But, I’ll get on with it so nobody complains to management. (which is me, so you’d be wasting your time.)
To refresh your memory, we were at this FOB (Forward Operating Base) South of Baghdad …it was called FOB Kalsu. (check http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/iskandariyah.htm or Google it for more info)
And to remind you, everyday, usually after lunch, we were getting hit with 2 random mortar rounds. One day, the American Army grunts who patrolled the nearby city, brought in a bunch of males for questioning. This one dude we were chatting with starts to tell about these guys he knew were hitting the camp with mortars…OK, so now is everybody back up to speed? Good, here we go…
So, we spent a few hours “chatting” with this Iraqi guy who was telling all about the insurgents who were hitting the camp with mortars. He said he knew where they lived, their names etc. The female solider “chatting” with him, brought out a US Army map of the area to see if this guy who was helping us could point out where Achmend The Terrorist (ATT) lived. What the female soldier hadn’t yet learned was…most Iraqis in that area could not only not read a map, they couldn’t read.
She showed our Friend the map and he just stares at it like it was the most unusual thing he’d ever seen in his life….come to think of it, it may have been. I was getting frustrated so I got out the big sheets of paper and had the guy draw his neighborhood on the paper. Keeping it as simple as possible so our Friend’s head wouldn’t explode, he went house by house, the mosque and so on until we could find a point where we knew where it was. This took a long time and lots of talking, but was well worth the effort. We spent hours with this guy and got as much detail as possible.
The American Army grunts apparently felt that the info was had was good enough to go do a raid that night. The next day I came into the office and was told I had some pictures to look at. The Grunts had done the raid and wanted to know if the guy in the photo was the guy we were looking for. I had no idea because I had never actually seen this guy, and the way he appeared in the photo made it impossible to tell who he was. This is why:
The Grunts went to the house our A.T.T. was thought to have lived. The Grunts didn’t use a lot of surprise as they rolled up in very loud diesel powered armored vehicles. The A.T.T. ran out the back door of the house across paths around water canals…the grunts had a hard time following him. However, being that the Grunts were well prepared, they had an Apache helicopter flying support overhead. An Apache can track a mouse across a field in the pitch black, although it’s built for the destruction of tanks and all things bad like that…stopping humans is easy. The Apache only has large caliber weapons and missiles for killing tanks…when used on humans, they are devastating.
The Apache pilot told the ground Grunt commander he had a guy running. The ground commander told the pilot to fire a “warning shot.” The only thing onboard for a warning shot was a 30 mm anti tank cannon. It was fired and the A.T.T. ran faster. The pilot told the ground commander that the A.T.T. was running faster (yeah, I would to) so the ground commander told the pilot to “stop him.”
The picture I was looking at looked like a mix of slaughtered chickens, goats and human. I’d never seen anybody look such a mess. It was a good day for the good guys.
We never got mortared after that night.