“Hey, Hey, wake-up, some bad shit happened last night.” “What’s up?” I notice that the sun is rising as Kase explains to me what happened, and that I should go help clean the blood and used medical supplies out of the Strikers. I knew it must have been really bad if we had to load casualties into other vehicles besides the designated medical Striker called the MEV. I quickly threw on my DCUs and boots and ran out to the blood splattered vehicles.

As I cleaned out the Strikers I realized that a bad night in Tal Afar, Iraq had left many of my brothers in arms laying in hospital beds in the Mosul CASH. Grenades and 7.62 had reigned down upon the Rangers in the courtyard as they were breaching an HVT’s house in the heart of that city 50 kilometers west of Mosul.

The target house was highly fortified and among other devices, had chutes installed to drop grenades down into the courtyard below. One young Ranger, who had only been in Battalion for a matter months, had an enemy grenade detonate directly between his legs. Fortunately, the young man survived since Asia doesn’t make’em quite like the good ol’ US of A.

It was the summer of 2005, and Tel Afar was known as an insurgent hotbed. Insurgents had complete control of the city. It was later discovered after 3rd Cavalry’s Operation Restoring Rights, that the city was infiltrated with thousands of insurgents, and that a complex training base was established to train incoming extremists flooding in through Syria.