Sunday, September 25, 2005

Battle For Mosul III: Prelude

"Deuce Four,” is on its way home.

I attended their departure ceremony, presided over by the much respected Brigade Commander, Colonel Robert Brown. Purple Hearts were awarded to soldiers wounded in action. The commander of the Deuce Four, LTC Erik Kurilla, was not there to pin the medals on his soldiers; Kurilla was the last Deuce Four solider wounded in Iraq, and was recovering from three gunshot wounds. All told, the 1-24th infantry regiment earned over 157 Purple Hearts during their mission in Mosul.

Shortly after the ceremony, I boarded an Air Force jet that landed in Qatar after midnight. Several friendly Air Force people asked where I intended to go. Was I hungry? Did I need a place to stay? They were extremely helpful and their hospitality was such that I was tempted to sojourn for a day. But I politely tore myself from the offer, and asked for a ride to the front gate. The Air Force obliged, calling a taxi, and they drove me to the front gate to wait for the taxi. I walked off base and sat in the desert darkness. By then it was about three in the morning. "
Michael Yon


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