Friday, August 26, 2005

Gates of Fire

Michael Yon's latest piece, "Gates of Fire" is up. As usual, it should be required reading for everyone. No qualifications. Everyone. Yet again, Yon describes the human drama, the individual, heroic, professional personalities of our soldiers in Iraq. Every paragraph is more than worthy to be a teaser quote (although if you're familiar with Yon's work, you won't need a teaser), but here's an excerpt anyway:
When a soldier is killed or wounded, the Department of Army calls the loved ones, and despite their attempts to be sympathetic, the nature of the calls has a way of shocking the families. There is just no easy way to say, "Your son got shot today." And so, according to men here, the calls sound something like this: "We are sorry to inform you that your son has been shot in Mosul. He's stable, but that's all we know at this time."

LTC Kurilla likes to call before the Army gets a chance, to tell parents and loved ones the true circumstances.
Kurilla was running when he was shot, but he didn't seem to miss a stride; he did a crazy judo roll and came up shooting.

BamBamBamBam! Bullets were hitting all around Kurilla. The young 2nd lieutenant and specialist were the only two soldiers near. Neither had real combat experience. AH had no weapon. I had a camera.

Seconds count.

I agree with Michelle Malkin often, about many things, but I've never agreed with her more than when she writes:

If there were Pulitzers for Blog Reporting, Michael Yon would win hands down for Gates of Fire.

Not only are the writing and the story amazing, but Yon's pictures of the actual action described elevate the drama and humanity of the soldiers to new heights. Read the whole thing. And then read it again.

(btw, the
book that the article's title refers to, "Gates of Fire," by Steven Pressfield, is a GREAT book, and is well worth reading)

Update: I was *this* close to writing about how much I can't stand the 5.56mm NATO as a combat round (it's great for, you know, ummmmm....woodchucks or something, I guess), and how part of Yon's article gives an example of WHY I'm not fond of it, but Kim du Toit beat me to it, and with fouler, though entirely appropriate, language.

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