One Day in Iraq

Here’s a piece that goes through one day in Iraq, and highlights one act of tremendous heroism, the kind that usually doesn’t even get noticed.

I say it doesn’t get noticed, but that’s not true, of course. The troops notice it. The boy noticed it and I’m sure his fambly will remember for a long, long time.

I’ve been spending some time with McClatchy’s Daily Iraq Violence Roundup, and it’s fascinating and horrifying. Unlike what we might read in our local newspapers or hear on the US versions of cable news networks, this attempts to be as exhaustive a list as possible of the shootings, kidnappings, suicide bombs, IEDs, pitched battles, car bombs, mortar attacks – everything that goes on in a single day in Iraq. Even though McClatchy relies upon their own correspondents in Iraq who peruse police, military (US and Iraqi) and medical reports – as well as their own sources, to be sure – they admit that there is no way to give a complete record of all that happens.

Here’s the report for yesterday, August 23rd:

Baghdad
– Around 8 a.m., mortars hit the Green Zone ( IZ) . No casualties reported.
– Around 9 a.m., a roadside bomb exploded at Na’iriya area of New Baghdad neighborhood ( east Baghdad) killing 1 person and injuring 5 others.
– Police found (12 ) dead bodies in the following of Baghdad’s neighborhoods ( 8 ) in west Baghdad( Karkh bank) ; 2 in Amil, 2 in Huriyah , 1 in Saidiyah , 1in Mansour , 1 in Jihad and 1 in I’laam. While ( 4 ) were found in east Baghdad ( Risafa bank); 2 in Sadr city , 1 in Ur and 1 in New Baghdad.
– Soldiers from Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, were targeted by insurgents while patrolling in Jisr Diyala, southeast of Baghdad, Aug. 21. U.S. Soldiers were unhurt, but two local children were caught in a roadside bomb explosion, killing one child and injuring another. Capt. Darrell Melton, Troop C commander, a native of San Antonio, described the incident. “The trail Bradley gunner was waving at two kids who were riding their bikes and were waving at my guys,” Melton said. “The next thing the Bradley commander knew, one of the kids was gone in a puff and he was thrown backward in the hatch. When he looked back, the other kid was crawling on the ground.” Melton said his Soldiers immediately dismounted their Bradley Fighting Vehicle and cautiously approached the wounded child. It is not uncommon for improvised explosive devices to be emplaced in groups and detonated on first responders coming to provide aid. “He (the wounded child) crawled a few feet, when the medic on site, despite the danger, ran out to him, picked him up and ran back to the Bradley to administer first aid,” Melton said. The medic was able to stabilize the wounded child, Melton said. Troop C then evacuated the child to a U.S. Army medical facility nearby. Such incidents are not unique to Troop C. Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, came upon a grieving family in the course of a routine combat patrol Aug. 13 in Salman Pak. Capt. Chris Pearson, of Birmingham, Ala., met with a local banking official in Salman Pak to discuss issues and prospective solutions concerning the banking industry in the local area. After the meeting, a town councilman approached him with a father who had lost his son earlier in the day to a roadside bomb. Pearson said he did not talk directly to the father, but the councilman explained the father just wanted to bury his son in accordance with Muslim tradition. “I expressed the Coalition’s condolences,” Pearson said. “Even though the IEDs target police or Coalition Forces, they can hit children and families. They are the ones that suffer.” The councilman informed Pearson that the family was having trouble getting through checkpoints and requested U.S. Soldier assistance in traveling to the cemetery. “Just to make it easier, we had them travel with us,” Pearson said. After dropping off the family, Pearson’s element began movement to Combat Outpost Cahill, north of Salman Pak. While traveling to COP Cahill, Pearson’s unit received word that the grieving family had run into another IED as they were returning from the burial. No one was seriously injured in the second incident. Pearson further explained that National Police, local Iraqi Police, governmental leaders and Coalition Forces all play a role in maintaining security in the area. When Pearson’s unit arrived in March, the local populace and Iraqi Security Forces had not yet developed a trusting relationship. “There are still a lot of improvements that need to be made,” Pearson said. “Everyday it gets better. There are highs and lows. They’ve begun attending meetings together and as long as they are communicating, it’s helpful.”

Anbar
– On Tuesday ( August 21) , a suicide bomber targeted a police check point at Dam street in Falluja (62 km west of Baghdad) injuring two people and he was killed by police.

Kirkuk
– Police found a dead body on Wednesday night for a civilian man ( 40 to 45 years old) at Ajaj village of Riadh district ( west of Kirkuk).
– Wednesday night, a car bomb targeted a convoy for a member of Hawija council board ( west of Kirkuk) injuring one guard who was transferred to hospital.
– Wednesday night, police arrested the media man of 1920th battalions in Kirkuk during a raid in Wahid Huzayran ( June 1st ) neighborhood in Kirkuk city.

Mosul
– Wednesday night, Iraqi army killed four gunmen during clashes took place at Noor neighborhood ( downtown Mosul city). In addition to that ,the army defused two car bombs at Harmat ( west Mosul) , Iraqi army said.

That medic from Troop C is a hero. He shouldn’t have to buy his own drinks for the rest of his life. Even as our political leaders play their stupid games with each other, making our soldiers’ mission more and more impossible, American troops do this type of thing every day. How I wish the rest of us could provide leadership worthy of their sacrifices and heroics.

That’d be nice.

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About the other scott peterson

Writer of comics and books and stuff.
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