Monday, December 10, 2007

Making up for lost time...

In the past few months, I can honesty say that I have not been on any raids. It has been quite a while. Now, this is not saying that raids were not happening, it just worked out to where I didn't end up on any for quite some time. It seemed as if for me there was going to be no more kicking in doors, rushing in to homes/businesses and all the craziness and excitment that comes with them. Since it has been so long since the last time I had engaged a known enemy, raids were the last form of a rush and excitment that was left.

Well that all changed over this last week. In one of my previous posts I talked about the night time raid with the masked and armed local guards. Apparently that was to be the first in a series of raids for me and the others of my squad. The next raid was to go after some guys that we wouldn't mind capturing. These were to be the snap raids, or the ones where we get info at the last minute and head out to the target location without any real plan. This isn't a bad thing because we have been doing these for a while and everyone knows what to do as far as the little stuff. Just the major stuff usually gets hashed out between to squad leader, myself and the other team leader quick like and then we roll from there. We've gotten quite good at this and has allowed our reaction time to such info to be quick. So the first place we ended up going to was a bust so we headed out to our next location.

The next location was located in a "business" type of section and the place we entered was pretty big for the amount of guys we had. Nothing new and we quickly cleared the floors and rooms but no luck again. The roof eaisly connected to many other same level or close to the same level roofs of the adjacent buildings. There was only one occupant but there were some cups of Chai Tea (the typical Iraqi tea drink) that were out that were still warm, leading us to believe they had escaped as we were got there or just before. We wern't going to call this one quits just yet and began searching around to try and find them. While searching the home we found some vests with bodyarmor and ammunition vests. Now we really wanted these guys. At one point while searching adjacent roof tops the other team awoke a family living below and out of fear they fired a couple warning shots from their AK rifle. The sounds of the shots ringing out had us on high alert and they began carefully going in to that home. Like I said tho, it just turned out to be a man trying to protect his big family from unknown invaders. We never ended up finding the guys we were looking for, but it was good to get out there as a squad and to conduct these raids and get back in to the swing of things.

Another day we had some good info on a meeting that was taking place for some of the local militia and we decided to act on this quick. We headed out with a good amount of people for this raid and my team was to be the lead team. We ended up linking up with the leader of the local armed security guys and they went with us to the location. As we started getting close these guys began running and then sprinting around trying to get there as quick as possible and of course we had to keep up with them. The thing is I'm not sure the guys up with me knew where they were going and we began running all around this one neighborhood, but not towards the area we were supposed to go to. It was exhausting and to make matters worse, no one really brought any water because we figured this was going to be quick, in and out. Now we were echausted from sprint around all over the place and had almost no water to replenish. This was begining to suck.

We finally made it to where we were going and it ended up being a HUGE area. With the help of the security guys we secured the area and rounded up all the people that were around there for identification. This was where it got crazy because there had to of been over 100 people there and we hearded them all tightly together and begin the long process of identification. I can't recall how many we ended up getting but it turned out to be a good amount. The crazy thing was how many of these local security guards had showed up to help us out. It had to of been over 30 of them, which in many ways helps make our job easier. Like when we were on the way back with the detainees they had gotten some word from someone along the way about a possible weapons cache, so we stopped real quick and my team along with several of these guys went in to this "yard" thing and immediatly they went to working searching around like crazy and we pretty much just sat back and let them do the work. It was pretty nice, Im not even going to lie. We didn't find anything and so we headed on back finally after many hours of being out. We were all exhausted and thirsty and it was nice to finally chug a good bottle of water.

So that just about covers the major stuff out there. Its been good getting out there and doing these raids again, especially when they yeild the positive results. Hopefully this trend will continue and we can continue to be as proactive as possible until we leave here.

Well yesterday was the memorial ceremony for Reece. We had ourselves looking our best as we prepared to give our final respects to another brother, another great man. The service was done very well and it was good to be able to share in the memories of the guys that got up there to speak. I can tell it was tough for them. Its tough for everyone, even those of us who did not know him too well. Hearning about him I wish I would of had a chance to get to of known him better. In the end the memorial was a good thing, despite the rough feelings that came along with it. I know after attending Tolletts memorial that it had been a good thing to be able to express the feelings and emotions that you can't always express with one another when you are expected to pick up and continue on with your mission. I hope everyone was able to walk away from this memorial with a greater appreciation of the man Kyle Reece was and to be at peace with knowing he is in Heaven now, wathing down Im sure over all of us.


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6 comments:

Haole Wahine said...

I'm thankful you were able to attend the memorial service for Reece. You're right is very special to be able to take part, and not to put those feelings aside while you "take care of business."

God speed. SGT.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 12/11/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Dave J said...

s post was added to Our Troops Newsladder, at http://ourtroops.newsladder.net/

Feel free to add or recommend posts.

Anonymous said...

Eddie,

Please contact me by email. Not sure if my messages are getting through to you. Have some info to share w/ you.

klaus

Anonymous said...

Each person grieves differently. Can't imagine the strength and fortitude it takes in having such a short time to absorb and process a loss, then quickly turn around to continue doing your jobs. Or the discipline it takes to not commit an act of revenge due to carrying the grief. Thanks so much to all of you serving overseas. You are in our thoughts and prayers every day.
Cathy B and family

Sarah said...

Eddie- I attended a soldier's funeral last week here stateside. One of the most important parts of the funeral for me, was the chance to hear some of the things which his brothers in arms had said at his memorial service in Iraq. Although the hometown newspaper collected some quotes from his highschool friends, I knew in my heart that there was much more to this man that those quotes revealed.

I wish I could tell those soldiers who did offer some thoughts a big thank-you as well as my condolences... what they sent to us from so far away- was essential in portraying a life honorably lived.

82nd Airborne provided the honor guard, and at the graveside, I can say that he got a "21 gun and then some" salute... apparently there were some hunters in the surrounding hills and there were a few extra shots fired during the service. Knowing how much he loved shooting and hunting, I know it would have made him smile...and if he could have heard the rolling echo through the hills... well... I know he did.