Forums / Political & Legal / Is this really FINALLY happening???

4 years 37 weeks ago, 7:24 PM

ACE

ACE's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1501
Join Date:
Jul 2010
Location:
Puryear, Tennessee, United States

When 18-year-old Spc. Luke Dill first rolled into Iraq as part of the U.S. invasion, his Humvee was so vulnerable to bombs that the troops lined its floor with flak jackets.
Now 25 and a staff sergeant after two tours of duty, he rode out of Iraq this week in a Stryker, an eight-wheeled behemoth encrusted with armor and add-ons to ward off grenades and other projectiles.

AP
"It's something I'm going to be proud of for the rest of my life — the fact that I came in on the initial push and now I'm leaving with the last of the combat units," he said.
He remembered three straight days of mortar attacks outside the city of Najaf in 2003, so noisy that after the firing ended, the silence kept him awake at nights. He recalled the night skies over the northern city of Mosul being lit up by tracer bullets from almost every direction.
Now, waiting for him back in Olympia, Wash., is the "Big Boy" Harley-Davidson he purchased from one of the motorcycle company's dealerships at U.S. bases in Iraq — a vivid illustration of how embedded the American presence has become since the invasion of March 20, 2003.
That presence is far from over. Scatterings of combat troops still await departure, and some 50,000 will stay another year in what is designated as a noncombat role. They will carry weapons to defend themselves and accompany Iraqi troops on missions (but only if asked). Special forces will continue to help Iraqis hunt for terrorists.
So the U.S. death toll — at least 4,415 by Pentagon count as of Wednesday — may not yet be final.
The Stryker brigade, based in Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state and named for the vehicle that delivers troops into and out of battle, has lost 34 troops in Iraq. It was at the forefront of many of the fiercest battles, including operations in eastern Baghdad and Diyala province, an epicenter of the insurgency, during "the surge" of 2007. It evacuated troops at the battle of Tarmiyah, an outpost where 28 out of 34 soldiers were wounded holding off insurgents.
Before the Aug. 31 deadline, about half the brigade's 4,000 soldiers flew out like most of the others leaving Iraq, but its leadership volunteered to have the remainder depart overland. That decision allowed the unit to keep 360 Strykers in the country for an extra three weeks.
U.S. commanders say it was the brigade's idea, not an order from on high. The intent was to keep additional firepower handy through the "period of angst" that followed Iraq's inconclusive March 7 election, said brigade chief, Col. John Norris.
It took months of preparation to move the troops and armor across more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) of desert highway through potentially hostile territory.
The Strykers left the Baghdad area in separate convoys over a four-day period, traveling at night because the U.S.-Iraq security pact — and security worries — limit troop movements by day.
Along the way, phalanxes of American military Humvees sat at overpasses, soldiers patrolled the highways for roadside bombs, and Apache attack helicopters circled overhead as the Strykers refueled alongside the highway.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gus McKinney, a brigade intelligence officer, acknowledged that moving the convoys overland put soldiers at risk, but said the danger was less than in past.
The biggest threat was roadside bombs planted by Shiite extremist groups who have a strong foothold in the south, McKinney said.
But except for camels straying into the road, and breakdowns that required some vehicles to be towed, there were no incidents.
The worst of the ride was conditions inside the Strykers — sitting for hours in a cramped space — and the temperatures outside that reached 50 Celsius (120 Fahrenheit).
The driver's compartment is called the "hellhole" because it sits over the engine and becomes almost unbearably hot. The vehicle commander and gunner can sit up in hatches to see the outside world. At the tail end are hatches for two gunners. Eight passengers — an infantry squad in combat conditions — can squeeze in the back.
Riding as a passenger felt a bit like being in a World War II-era submarine — a tight fit and no windows. The air conditioning was switched off to save fuel on the long ride south to Kuwait. Men dozed or listened to music on earphones.
When the convoy finally reached the sandy border, two soldiers, armed and helmeted, jumped off their vehicle and raced each other into Kuwait.
Once out of Iraq, there was still work to be done. Vehicles had to be stripped of ammunition and spare tires, and eventually washed and packed for shipment home.
Meanwhile, to the north, insurgents kept up a relentless campaign against the country's institutions and security forces, killing five Iraqi government employees in roadside bombings and other attacks Wednesday. Coming a day after a suicide bomber killed 61 army recruits in central Baghdad, the latest violence highlighted the shaky reality left by the departing U.S. combat force and five months of stalemate over forming Iraq's next government.
For Dill, who reached Kuwait with an earlier convoy, the withdrawal engendered feelings of relief. His mission — to get his squad safely out of Iraq — was accomplished.
Standing alongside a hulking Stryker, his shirt stained with sweat, he acknowledged the men who weren't there to experience the day with him.
"I know that to my brothers in arms who fought and died, this day would probably mean a lot, to finally see us getting out of here," he said.

“When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.”- George Washington
4 years 37 weeks ago, 7:32 PM

photobear6

photobear6's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1576
Join Date:
Aug 2009

of our troops leave before it becomes a complete shit hole again.

America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the Mall. If you don't stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!
4 years 37 weeks ago, 7:41 PM

HKBauer

HKBauer's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1532
Join Date:
Jul 2010
Location:
United States

It was before we got there and will be again sad to say.

4 years 37 weeks ago, 7:47 PM

CharlesW

CharlesW's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
4860
Join Date:
Dec 2009
Location:
Live in the wilderness, Republic of Texas, United States

My thoughts are it will be like the last to pull
out of Nam.
As soon as the last chopper lifts off there will
be a blood bath of all who supported the US

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
4 years 37 weeks ago, 7:54 PM

photobear6

photobear6's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1576
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Charles I was just

being generous once a shit hole always a shit hole until they decide to clean it up themselfs.

America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the Mall. If you don't stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!
4 years 37 weeks ago, 8:22 PM

Anonymous

interesting thought...

I worked as a military contracted mechanic for the US ARMY for 7 years.The last time was when I hurt my back.I gave my back to make sure our soldiers had safe vehicles to ride in.sounds selfish but it is where I was working when it happened...I would do it again if i knew that our boys were riding in a safe vehicle rebuilt by me...

4 years 37 weeks ago, 8:22 PM

Anonymous

ACE

PM

4 years 37 weeks ago, 10:23 AM

zx12rmike

zx12rmike's picture

Rank:
President Pro Temp
Points:
7870
Join Date:
Dec 2008
Location:
commiefornia, United States

Cdub, I'm with you on this one, blood bath! Like the "witch hunts" of the old days. They won't stop until the fervor of their humiliation has died down a little

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
4 years 36 weeks ago, 11:52 AM

hitumup

hitumup's picture

Rank:
Points:
31
Join Date:
Apr 2010
Location:
Indiana, United States
wow

i shutter to think! its gonna be hell on earth over there... poor basterds

Always on the Hunt!!
4 years 36 weeks ago, 10:09 AM

TLtactical

TLtactical's picture

Rank:
Major General
Points:
611
Join Date:
May 2010
Location:
Gilbert, Arizona, United States
Leaving Iraq

I must admit that I was wrong....

I really believed Iraq would become another Korea and we would not ever leave!

Afganistan though... I wonder how long we will be chasing shadows and smuggling back opiates???

Best Regards TL “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ---Aristotle Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, & zoologist (384 BC - 322 BC)

Who's Online

Guns Lot Activity
Users
Currently Active Users: 959 (1 member and 958 guests)
daisycutter

Users Active within the last 24 hours
daisycutter, Pa Pa Tom, captmax, jf.chandler sr., teko52, tallguy007, jusuni, DanO, LLE, nobile157
Guns Lot Statistics
Stats Topics: 8,750, Comments: 162,476, Members: 23,517
Welcome our newest member: Hank6046

Recent Activity