“I was in 2/1 Marines in Fallujah from March 04 to Oct 04. I was an NCO running a squad at that time.

Myself and my peers had been in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. We had a new platoon Sgt who was a recruiter in 2003. This Fallujah deployment would be his first combat experience.

This guy had a huge chip on his shoulder from not having combat experience. His goal was to win medals. He was constantly putting us in danger to try and win medals.

One day he is with my squad on patrol in the city of Fallujah. We turn a corner we are looking at a crowd of 60 or more military age males. It was a funeral for someone killed that morning (probably by Marines).

We were immediately seen and have this mass of angry military age Iraqi’s staring at my 10 Marine squad. The hate was palpable.

I tell my squad we are going to detour one street down to avoid a possible problem.

This platoon Sgt denied my orders and tells us to patrol straight through the angry crowd. He said ‘Sometimes you need to take the bull by the horns’.

So my 10 Marine patrol walk through this angry mob of Iraqi’s. I took point. I had my grenade in my hand with the pin pulled. I was showing the grenade to everyone as a warning to leave us alone.

The crowd parted like the red sea seeing the grenade.

As soon as we made it through, the crowd started chanting and carrying the dead guy off. On the roofs I could see locals with AKs holding over watch.

That was one of many times that platoon Sgt almost got me and/or my Marines killed to win medals.”
– Sgt. Brad Simmons, 2nd Battalion 1st Marines. Fallujah, Iraq.
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As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.