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May 04, 2004

Here's another story.

I received this story in email today, like many of us with .mil addresses have over the past couple of days. I was going to get it up - but then I got an encouraging email from a fellow blogger (who can tell I'm a little grumpy right now!) who also got it and has posted it on her site. So, I'm running with it ahead of schedule. Winds of Change is right - it's an honor to have trained and led these young soldiers - and to support them from a layer farther back, now. 99.9% of them carry on the tradition, and serve admirably, and proudly. Here's my 'buck-up, bucko!' email:


Thought you might enjoy reading this one:

The letter came across my email inbox earlier today. It describes the outstanding leadership and quick thinking of a young lieutenant whose tank company's equipment was being moved across Iraq. The convoy came under heavy, planned ambush and this young tank officer rallied the tankers, got the tanks off of the transport trucks while they were under heavy fire, saved the transportation officers who were lightly armed and got them all out of there alive. The convoy commander, a Captain, credits this younger officer with saving all their lives.

At a time when professional soldiers are angry at the lack of professionalism show by a few MPs (abuse of prisoners), which tars them all, it's good to know we have young men and women like this young man. As as 1st Lt, he's probably around 24 yrs old. I feel very fortunate that he and others like him chose to serve.


Best - (and keep on blogging!)

Oh, by the way: there's at least one report out today saying the real
physical abuse in the Iraqi prison was done by Iraqi guards. Sigh.

As for the last, I sure hope so. Click the link above to read what Winds had to say on her blog.

And now - another story of a sharp soldier who can think on his feet!

The CSA wanted to share this email with you. The email was sent to GEN Bell, CG, USAREUR from MG Dempsey, Cdr, 1AD.



...I met yesterday outside Najaf with a 1LT from the Iron Dukes of 2-37 Armor who as tank company XO was leading a convoy of two platoons of tanks on HETs from Al Kut in the east to Najaf in the west, a distance of about 175KM. As they passed through the town of Diwaniyah, they were ambushed by a group of insurgents--undoubtedly former regime soldiers with some military training--with RPGs, heavy machine guns, and AK-47s. The Task Force Scouts had passed through only 30 minutes earlier without contact, so this was a well planned ambush of probably 50 or so organized in two and three man teams.

The convoy suffered three soldiers KIA in the initial moments of the ambush--one Iron Duke, one 2ACR cavalry trooper, and one transportation officer. The convoy immediately returned fire. They had several HUMMWVs in escort, and the tanks on the back of the HETs were manned with loaders and TCs on crew served weapons.

Within minutes of the ambush, one of the HETs was disabled, and the Lieutenant realized he would have to stand and fight to ensure he had everyone. The Iron Dukes "broke chains" as they described it, by essentially driving off the back of the HETs under fire to engage the enemy. In the course of the next hour, they fought their way out of Diwaniyah employing every weapon available to them including main gun. They got everyone and everything out with the exception of one HET.

Enemy BDA was 30 killed and an unknown number wounded.

A day after this fight, I received an email from CPT Thomas Moore, of the 1175th Transportation, who was the convoy commander. He wrote: "were it not for the courage and actions under fire of the 2ACR and 2-37 soldiers that day, he is certain all his men would have been killed." He asked me if he and his soldiers engaged in that fight with us could wear the 1AD combatpatch. I told him I'd be honored.

There are many such stories of courage under fire and just as many stories of incredible compassion to the innocent...

Continuing mission, sir.

V/R Marty

It's our job as milbloggers to get these, and the other stories, out in the public eye!