“It was my first patrol since taking a bullet through my helmet and returning from the Battalion Hospital. We were going to an area we had been before countless times and were all fully aware we were going to be ambushed. I was a team leader of my 51 section and a crew of machine gunners with a 240. When we reached the destination of our patrol, I detached, with my team, to set up an overwatch position on a nearby compound to provide cover fire for the main element. While crossing a field the ambush began.
They had my team pinned and had us in a perfect L. As we fought to gain fire superiority, the main element began maneuvering to counter the ambush. Unfortunately an ANA found a massive 155 IED instantly turning him into a triple amputee with unsurvivable injuries, even more unfortunate it didn’t kill him immediately. The blast knocked out two Marines but thankfully not seriously injured.
Myself and my team were able to find a semblance of cover by a hardened mud wall as I shouted at the gunners to kill everything that moved, this was a pointless order as they were already laying down 7.62 into the treeline with cold efficiency. They were masters of their craft. I then loaded the SMAW and due to my team members lack of experience and knowledge just asked him to tell me if I hit with the tracer rounds.
Past the tree line there was a compound on elevation. I was able to see the obvious signs of gunfire as a dust cloud formed on the roof. There was an enemy machine gunner there. I fired two tracers and heard my spotter shout “Good hit.” I then fired the rocket. The battlefield seemed to stop as if every person watched that rocket fly to its target. Then it hit. The compound erupted as if struck by a hammer of the gods. We shouted and cheered. And then everything fell silent. In the distance from that same compound, we could hear screaming. A woman’s screaming. Her husband and Child no older than 8 died in the explosion. By my hand.”
– Anonymous US Marine Assaultman. Lima Company, 3rd Battalion 6th Marines. June 21st, 2010. Marjah Afghanistan
The third picture is the actual compound from the post.
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.