Small unit insertion in the Diyala province of Iraq sometime in ’06-’07. This was my first unit. Named Task Force 300 because the Squadron had roughly 300 shooters and a gigantic Greek commander. Of those 300: 22 would die, 1 in 3 would earn a purple heart, and all would collectively earn a Presidential Unit Citation for the campaign.

We operated much like island hopping in WWII. Moving from village to village setting up a patrol base and stabilizing the area before moving on to the next village. We didn’t really know it then, but we were fighting the infancy of ISIS. It wasn’t an easy deployment but paratroopers aren’t exactly ones to want it easy. I don’t know if I’ll ever be more proud of being a part of anything else in my life.

Author – Seth joined the Army in 2006 and went to Iraq a couple times doing LRRP work for the 82nd Airborne. After that, he played the Private Military Contractor game for a while until he decided to pursue a degree in economics. He now works as a data analyst and firearms instructor.