Sunday, June 12, 2005

Yon reports

Michael Yon is back with the troops in Mosul, and he's filed another (and quite long) report. An excerpt:

Hot information comes in that a high value target is at a specific house nearby. There is radio chatter as the Battle Captain in the TOC communicates with the Recon platoon on a quick plan to hit the house and the one next to it. Within minutes, the Recon soldiers roll up to the homes, drop ramps, and burst into the bottom floor. They rush in and begin securing the rooms on the bottom floor, where they detain three men, while other Recon soldiers flow up the stairs.

Benjamin Morton is part of Recon's raiding patrol. He lives directly across from me on base. Everyone calls him “Rat” because he saves everything. Rat moves upstairs, training his rifle above him. Rat’s the #1 man, in the most dangerous position. Two enemy men are hiding on the balcony, and one has an automatic weapon with a large drum of ammunition. As Rat comes round the corner, the insurgent sticks the weapon around the balcony corner and fires a long burst of about twenty rounds. Four bullets strike Ben Morton. His buddies come behind him and throw a flash bang into the room, and return fire, catching a bed ablaze with tracers. They pull Rat out and call for medics. Despite everyone's valiant efforts, Benjamin Morton does not survive his wounds. Had they thrown grenades first, three women and four children would have died alongside the four men who were captured or killed that night. The men were elements of a car bomb cell.

The night got worse for our people. Sometime later, soldiers from the 73rd Engineers (Deuce Four is their parent unit) patrolled the roads of Mosul searching for IEDs to clear the roads for other patrols and convoys. A bomb buried in the road exploded under a Humvee, rupturing the fuel tank, engulfing the men inside in flames, killing Creamean and Seesan, and severely burning another soldier.

The next day, we are rolling in the streets of Mosul when I hear radio chatter on the net that our brother unit, 3/21 across the Tigris, just found two men held as hostages in a dungeon-like basement. As the truth unfolded over the next few days, we learn that their captors were trying to blackmail one of the men into carrying a bomb into a police station, possibly to kill us.

This is don't-miss-it stuff.

Stay safe, Michael.

No comments:

Post a Comment