Marine Capt. Markus Trouerbach, 40, the officer assigned to train the post’s Afghan soldiers, uttered an unprintable word. “That one was real close,” he added.Yep, you want to read it all especially if you want a view of our partnering with the Afghan forces.
In the mountains ringing the outpost, he knew, the Taliban mortar crew had found the range.
The loudspeaker repeated the warning call. Another round was inbound. It was a teardrop-shaped steel canister packed with explosive putty, weighing perhaps seven pounds.
It screamed in and detonated beside a bunker used by the post’s local guards, blasting shrapnel deep into two Afghan men.
The guards’ second in command, Nezamudin, was killed outright, smacked by shrapnel in the neck and face. Jamaludin, the cook, a man with a nearly atrophied leg and a thick red beard, fell stunned to the ground. Blood rushed from his wounds.
If there is any universal and binding compact among military men under fire, it is this: If you are hit, we will come to get you. Among units that endure, it is a pledge more inviolable than law. And it comes with a corollary. You will do the same for me.
As soon as the word came over the two-way radio that the Afghans had been hit, Petty Officer Third Class Ramon G. Gavan, 23, Captain Trouerbach and Gunnery Sgt. Daniel P. McKernan, 36, grabbed their weapons and nodded knowingly to one other.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
C.J. Chivers in the NYT does it as it should be done. He is in the middle at the very front and reporting it straight. Well done.