Thursday, November 5, 2009

While Obama dithers, soldiers keep fighting the good fight

The story today on is worth linking just for the photo alone, a 4th Infantry Division G.I. caught in mid-air leaping into a muddy canal ditch to escape fire from the Taliban in the hills above an Afghan village.

The G.I.'s built a clinic in the nearby village. The Taliban blew it up. The G.I's return, knowing they will start another fire fight with the Taliban.

But that's what soldiers do, hunt and kill the enemy.

The atmosphere was tense. An attack was expected. Back at the ruined clinic, the squad's Afghan translator had asked if this journalist had a mobile phone. "You should call your loved ones now to say that you care about them. I'm telling you, the walk home from here is not a joke," he said with a nervous smile.

As they left Qatar Kala, with U.S. helicopters buzzing overhead, Goodman split his men into two squads, one along the riverbed and one in an irrigation canal on higher ground.

About 500 yards outside the village gunfire whistled down from the eastern mountainside.

Soldiers dived stomach-down. The rushing canal water soaked boots and uniforms and jammed at least one weapon as Soldiers got up to shoot back...

Gradually the Soldiers made it to safety. The firefight had lasted about four hours. The entire operation, from dawn until the return to base, went on for about seven hours.

The Soldiers were met in front of the bazaar of a friendly village by troops in military vehicles who gave them bottled water. They were caked in drying mud but with no casualties except for two sprained ankles.

Then they headed back to their outpost, which is named Honaker Miracle after two U.S. infantrymen, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Honaker and Pfc. Joseph Miracle, killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

The platoon was later told by its company command that reports suggested up to five Taliban were killed in Tuesday's fighting.

Just another day on the job for our soldiers. Say a prayer for all the men and women in harm's way, defending our freedom daily around the world.

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