Dear Family and friends,
As many of you may have heard by now, there was a major VBIED that exploded in [redacted]. The amount of explosives within the truck was enough to shake my CHU almost [redacted] miles away.
When we arrived at the scene, it was one of chaos and despair. There are not enough words to describe the carnage and evil that we saw. I saw it again a little later at the hospital. [numbers of Iraqi civilians dead and wounded redacted] I know, because I walked among the bodies to count them for my report.
At our initial stop at the hospital, it was total anarchy trying to get the wounded treated. We had Blackhawk Helicopters Medevac the injured to the hospitals at [redacted]. The less severe were being treated at the hospital [here] and the neighborhood clinics.
The dead were being piled outside in the yard and covered in blankets. Still, stray dogs found their way to the bodies, but Thank God there were enough people there, still with the sense of mind, to chase them away.
When I walked inside the doorway of the hospital there was a commotion going on. As I tried to get a grasp of what was happening, I looked to my left and saw more bodies, covered in blankets outside of the foyer. I asked [my interpreter] to come with me, so that I could document who these new bodies where or when they came in.
As I stepped closer to them in the dark, I realized I was looking at the bodies of small children. Some as young as 12 months old.
As I lifted the tiny blankets, I became numb; one infant had its tiny head missing. Others were disfigured and their bodies broken and mangled. I could not believe what I was looking at.
There was no semblance or the perception of a rough American soldier. I dropped to my knees and started to cry uncontrollably. All of the men, Iraqi Army and police, doctors and nurses all stopped to look at me. I did not care, I was beside myself. My interpreter did not say a word, he also sat there staring at me, but he knows me and understands.
One of the [Iraqi] men came to me and said, in a voice totally filled with compassion and caring, "Why you sad, American soldier?"
I looked up at him, and I could not say anything. I got up and wiped myself with my Arabic scarf and rejoined the group of men to hear their argument.
They told me that about some doctors did not show up. I asked them why. They said because the terrorist and insurgents had threatened them.
"Did not you and they take an oath to preserve life at all costs?" I asked them. "Why are you here and not them?"
They said it is a sad day in Iraq when an American soldier will fall on his knees and cry for children that are not American, but our own doctors will not come to help.
I asked them, why not send the Iraqi Army to their homes and force them to show up? The head doctor grabbed my by the elbow and said, "That is why God has sent you and given you a big heart." I told him that I would do everything in my power to see that it happens.
3 days prior, a suicide bomber detonated his bomb in a market area. Not just anywhere, but outside of a candy store.
These so called freedom fighters, Martyrs and defenders of the faith do not attack Iraqi army, police or soldiers like me, but innocent civilians, and children on top of that. They cannot win against the American fighting soldier, so they have to go to the weakest of the weak to spread their campaign of fear.
I wish people like Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore and the leftist elite in the Media and Hollywood would come here and volunteer their time and talents. Let them try to count and cover the broken bodies of infants.
If the Coalition Forces leave from Iraq this will be an everyday occurrence until one of these groups, who believes they only should exist, takes over through such terror and murder.
If you have children, whether sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, little cousins or your neighbors kids, hug them and appreciate the fact that you will not have to see their life end in such a brutal and cowardly fashion.
Pray for these people, for these children, and for all of us.
In addition to the redacted names, place names, etc. I have also edited complete passages for the sake of clarity and length.
Update: Because this Soldier was subsequently shown on TV being carried on a litter, a buddy wrote to tell us he was ok. Turns out he was trying to protect a child from being trampled by a crowd in the chaotic and violent aftermath of this incident. While doing so he fell down a flight of stairs, causing a concussion. He briefly collapsed.
He was back on duty within a couple of hours. In a reference to his Greek heritage he quipped, "It is going to take a lot more than about 400 Turkomen to stop a Spartan."
Keep charging, Spartan. We love you.
Update 2, 02 April: "Why you sad, American soldier?" - Part 2