This Humvee came into the shop all shot up. Another victim of IEDs. All the soldiers got away, though. How many times have I heard, “it barely missed me”? A few of course, are not so fortunate, but as I conversed with the driver, he too, though not a devout believer, admitted he knew that higher forces are often at work here. I hear that all the time. I know it’s true.
It went down like this: The final return from evening operations on election day; the unarmored truck of Iraq Army soldiers hit an IED. The Americans behind them loaded the wounded soldiers into the back of their up-armored humvee and pulled a u-turn and boom! The clever bad guys had placed another IED on the other side of the road. The American soldiers were lightly wounded but probably more shocked as much as anything else.
Looking at the passenger door, 3 larger pieces of shrapnel almost penetrated, three more did. Large enough to kill. One was stopped by the door handle. One passed harmlessly in front of his knees, barely. One went right through at thigh level, where it stuck more than an inch deep into his…pocket operation’s manual. The Iraqi soldiers, though in a less-armored vehicle, were also fortunate not to have suffered more.
But more there is! The soldiers following this group quickly jumped out and rounded up some guys lurking in the area. They were tested for explosive residue. One was found red-handed, you could say, and the rest were released. After questioning by the Iraqi police, he spilled his guts (blabbed) and the rest of his crew were rounded up. Uh-huh! That’s what I like to hear.
And that is why things get quieter and quieter here in Iraq. Determined Iraqis, determined Americans, and a generous out-pouring of miracles, if you ask me!