This one almost got the red-meat graphic. The subject: Marine Lance Cpl. Chad Yeager. An excerpt:
One of my good friends who I’d gone to high school with, he joined the Marines right out of high school, and he got married to another one of my good friends, we all went to high school together. And they moved to Washington state.
But anyway, he came over here – he was in Ramadi – and I think he was two weeks ’till he came home. And they got ambushed one night, and they couldn’t get anyone on the radio, so he stepped out of the humvee. He was the vehicle commander.
Right when he stepped out, the guy on the roof hit another IED and it killed him. The sad thing was, he was supposed to be home in two weeks and his little girl was supposed to be born in three. And, I don’t know, it really bothered me. I had to bury him, and right after I buried him my unit asked me if I wanted to volunteer, and I was like “Hell yeah.”
The best part is his pep talk to the Iraqi cops. I wanted to blockquote that, but if I did you wouldn’t follow the link. So follow it.
Update: The Times surveys the troops: “The decision to increase the American military presence in Iraq is being greeted with a blend of optimism and anxiety among American soldiers and their families, those most directly affected by the change. Unlike in Congressional corridors and across the civilian landscape of the country, there seems far more support than outrage, more cheer than cheerlessness, and a hope that maybe this will do it.”
Update: Caption this.