“December was rough for us. We were operating out of Leatherneck, driving far from the base and dismounting for patrols in enemy controlled territory. After spending a few months doing helo opps this was a whole new ballgame, our movements were being tracked much more easy by the Taliban.
IEDs became our new big threat. I was driving the second vehicle of four. We came down into a small hamlet surround by rocky hills. The fields in this area were never wet and we would often avoid the roads by driving across them. Today the fields were flooded and a muddy mess. Alarms started exploding in my head but the lead vehicle kept its speed down the road.
As we passed through the few buildings in this little “valley” I looked to my left and there was a guy standing 10 ft from me. We locked eyes for a moment, he twisted away from me, and the lead vehicle disappeared in a violent explosion. Time stopped for a moment and I was sure my friends were dead. I looked back to my left and the man was gone.
We dismounted and started to prepare for the ambush that always followed IEDs but one never came. Everyone in the vehicle was alive but the gunner was badly injured and the rest were dazed. Some of those guys never truly recovered from that day. One took his life, another lost his marriage and was medically retired because of a severe back injury from the blast. I’m positive to this day that I was making eye contact with the bast*rd that buried that explosives that hurt my brothers and it bothers me that I didn’t kill him. War is disgusting and the only people that escape it are the dead.”
– Anonymous US Marine. 1/9 Walking Dead. Afghanistan 2013
This story was documented by Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.