Friday, December 7, 2007

E-Mail from A Soldier in Iraq

UPDATE: NBC has rejected a TV ad from conservative group Freedom's Watch which supports administration policy in Iraq. The ad asks viewers to remember and thank U.S. troops during the holiday season.

NBC said it declined to air the ad because it refers to the group's Web site, which the network said was too political, not because of the ad's message.

And so it goes. I watch so little TV that it would make no difference if I boycotted NBC. But it will be interesting to see how this story unfolds.


A friend in Florida whose son is just back from Iraq, forwarded this e-mail to me from another soldier still serving there. It was written to his wife this week. The direct detailed communication we now can have with our soldiers abroad and share with others here is truly miraculous to me. This e-mail speaks for itself:



We were using an Iraqi internet company named "Sadik's". I think they've tried to allow Iraqi companies a chance to get in on the American business action. He delivered very poor quality internet at a premium price. I think he just made the wrong people mad. We started checking him out and come to find out they were in fact looking in on everyones emails and computers.

Very well could have been selling information to our enemies.

We raided the company a few days ago and he is now in jail. Hopefully this will pave the way for a more honest company to set up here, but it may take a few months of no internet. Because I work beside the commander, I'm allowed to use his internet in his office which is US run. So occasionally I'll be able to get messages to all of you.


Our last mission went pretty well. It was by ground this time, Of course I still had air support to contend with. I just did some of it from the truck. Once we got to our area we immediately started looking for the insurgent we were after.

We were picking up signals from him, and it took several hours to find him. It's the finding him that's interesting. We ended up splitting up, and it was the Commander, Gutierrez and myself that ended up getting him.

Once we got to the house, we got a signal-lock from the air; we snuck over the fence and quietly got to the door. The commander whispered to me, "you think we should do this?", "I said well, I have one grenade, once flash-bang grenade and we have a ton of ammo, if they start to give a fight I'll just toss the grenade in to clear out the room, and we can mop of the rest of them as we go through".

Of course we plan for the worst case scenario. We planted Sgt. Gutierrez at the back door and the CO and myself at the frt door. We didn't have any breeching tools with us, so we had to do this the old fashioned way and kick the door in. So I stepped back, preparing to kick the door in; aviation was poised ready to catch any squirters (men that escape without us knowing) we may have missed.

The closest support we had was on foot about a klick (mile) away, so it was JUST US, and with everything I had a mustered up, I gave a good kick and BAM....I bounced back and about fell on my ass. They had every door reinforced with steel framing. At that point the gig was up, so I just started kicking, trying to get that door open, I broke every window trying to get in from the outside, it was useless...after about 5 minutes of this (which is a very long time, we would normally have the whole house cleared by then), a woman comes out and unlocks the door and lets us in. (I look back and laugh at it now).

Of course, we go through the routine of clearing every room, about the time we finished, I get a call from aviation saying they're seeing someone hop the roof tops from our position, he must have climbed out a window, and he was on the run.

There were only three of us, so it got crazier. We had to leave someone at the house. I was in contact with the birds so I was going. As the CO and I headed out the door for no apparent reason the woman dropped the front part of her robe, I said to the commander jokingly..."normally we have to pay to see a show." It's not every day that an Iraqi woman is willing to disrobe. Normally, they're screaming and throwing cloths ON, as we stack into a room.

So the chase was on, I told the apache's to laze the target with IR, so we can see them with our night vision. We saw the laze and started running in that direction, about that time one extra soldier saw us running and joined in the chase. The birds for some reason kept losing their orientation and were leading us in circles. What it came down to was we ran probably a klick in circles and we found the man about 100 meters away on the roof. Once we confirmed he was up there, the three of us tried to find a way up without having to crash into this house too. (We really don't want to interfere with families if we can help it.)

I found a small mud style stairwell leading upward one house down. The CO stayed down, and I led the way up. I heard in my ear "the man is peaking over the edge and looking at you guys"...from the birds. (Remember since I'm the FO – I'm the only one that has the communication with the air).

I squeezed myself up against the wall trying to get out sight, so he couldn't get a clean shot off at me. I went up the stairs slowly, once we reached the edge, it was the "take a deep breath quietly & point"...I looked at the other guy and told him..."this is what we are going to do, I'm going to pop up and clear the sector, if he is there with a weapon, I'll take him...but as soon as a I pop up I'm going to move over and you have to pop up immediately to my right." If it's just one guy he'll have to choose who to shoot first and that thought process will buy us enough time to take him.

So I popped up and the man luckily just threw his hands up, the adrenaline was pumpin, let me tell you. I yelled "get on your stomach" (in Arabic) a couple of times, and he did what he was told, I moved to his position and zip tied his hands, my partner moved over behind the wall where he was at and checked to be sure there was no one else lurking around.

So it was exciting with a good ending.

We walked him over to his house he ran from and found his wife still topless. Gutierrez said apparently it was feeding time for the little one. The man was our number 5 man on the most wanted list in the area....and I did the catching.

There was some jealousy once we all got back, but it is all in good fun……………………….. Oh, Hun...apparently they started naming our missions after our wives, so I'm putting you on the list.

It's like a hurricane being named after you, so it's a good thing. Sean's wife was the last mission.

Congratulations, fellows, on a job well done.
May God bless our brave soldiers working in harms way there and elsewhere and their families. Amen.


Rita Loca said...

Amazing the communication we now have!
OT, I posted about the blogging baby shower. We used your genorous gift to get Jackie two pairs of the sandals she wanted for summer. One dressy and one casual. We also purchased two Christmas, (matching) dresses for Abbie and Elena,thank you for your kindness. we had a great time delivering it all. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful to have participated in a small way, Rita, with your family. Will check out the shower post!

Bob's Blog said...

What a fabulous email, and Amen!

Marie said...

Fantastic story, God bless the troops. They are awesome.

Anonymous said...

yes, a slice of life and heroism happening every day in's a great story not getting nearly enough attention in the MSM.

615_libertarian said...

that email read like a true-life short story. it is exiting and touching. the fact that the MSM wont cover these types of stories speaks volumes.

is anyone suprised that NBC found a technicality as a way to deny these advertisments?

Marie said...

I just heard that NBC has changed its mind and will air the ads.

Webutante said...

thanks for the alert, glad NBC has rethought their decision.