- Posted February 7, 2013 by
California City, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The war through your eyes: Iraq 10 years on
A particularly deadly IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred in Balad Ruz, Iraq in February 2005. The initial IED went off and the "JOC" Squad (Joint Operations center) pulling security at the Mayor's office thought someone had shot the building with an RPG, but the blast was actually 700 meters away. It was just so powerful that it shook the entire town.
The photos are the aftermath of the attack. The cows you see in the one photo are eating corn that was used to hide the IED in the back of a small truck, the ploy was to make the trucks look like farm trucks delivering corn. It worked. Luckily the second truck did not initiate/explode. It would have killed several more people to include our Troopers. The initial blast killed mostly Iraqi civilians and a few Iraqi soldiers.
What you see hanging from the power line is someones arm and shoulder. The rest of the bodies are to graphic for this format.
The second vehicle was rigged like the first with over 500 pounds of explosives in it hidden under corn and the only reason EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) figured it did not go off was that the cell phone used as a "trigger" had dead batteries. Otherwise many others would have also died.
Apache Troopers responded quickly and later loaded the burnt and blown apart bodies into pickup trucks to be buried later, gruesome does not even begin to describe the carnage.
Fortunately for us we had elements to clear our main routes 24 hours a day and in hindsight I believe this saved many lives. We also had two different enemy IED teams blow themselves up trying to emplace IEDs to kill us with. Which we found amusing at the time in dark humor way.
Iraq was a very dangerous place especially if you were out daily in the villages, towns, and cities as an Infantryman/CAV Trooper. The routine lulled you into being bored but a Trooper faced possible death daily, some took it better than others.
Each unit has had several PTSD cases that are serious but for the most part we have all moved on with our lives. As National Guard we returned home and went back to work, trying to pay bills, raise kids, or finish school. It was in Iraq one week back home two weeks later. Many deployed more than once.
Defending The Frontiers of Democracy by Daniel Hendy (free full preview)