Clear thoughts

This essay has a total of 883 words and 4 pages.

Clear thoughts


As I reflect upon my experience in the Persian Gulf War I can recall the fighting all too
clear. The time was 2110 hours on 16 January 1991. The ground war had been underway for
five days and I was mentally exhausted. My platoon had been assigned the duty of clearing
bunkers. During the last portion of our briefing we were given explicit instructions to
ensure that we all made it back alive. We were also instructed to take prisoners if we
could, if not, do what you were trained to do, "kill". Those orders will always remind me
of the reason I am alive today.


Within minutes of receiving our order we were headed to what was going to be a turning
point in my life, front line combat. After walking almost an hour a member of my team
detected movement about one hundred meters straight ahead. I halted my squad, grabbed the
radio from Pvt. Tucker and warned the remainder of my platoon. I whispered into the
handset, " Rock six, Rock six, this is, rock two Charlie, we have positive contact".
Without hesitation, the commander ordered us to engage. Sparing no hesitation on my part,
I directed two members of my squad to wait at the right side of the bunker, the other
three men were to follow me. We dropped into the prone position onto the cold, wet, Saudi
Arabian sand and began to crawl toward the left side of the bunker. While crawling, I
realized that we could be killed within seconds; it was my job as squad leader to insure
that wouldn't happen. Was it fear, excitement, or perhaps a mere lapse in concentration? I
wasn't certain if I could, or even had the time to weigh the feelings I was having. I
halted my men, regained my focus and re-clarify the importance of our mission. Upon
completion of our final plan of attack we continued to crawl toward our objective.


As we approached the bunker, I realized that it was not only a bunker, but a trench line
as well. I crawled back and radioed the commander of my findings. He began to repeat his
last order, "Rock two Charlie, engage your objective", when a new order was given. That
order was to send one man inside to investigate. At that very minute, my world stood
still. I had to make a decision. Which one of my warrior brothers was going to be the
unlucky man? The decision was simple, I'll send myself. Without notifying the commander, I
slid into the trench as silent as I could possibly be. Once inside the trench, I looked to
my right and then to my left. No one was there, at least not in the trench. I began to
move toward the bunker when an Iraqi soldier, like a ghost appearing out of a fog, stepped
out of the bunker. I knew that our orders were to take prisoners', but the decision was
his; would he die today, or would he surrender? With one look at the American flag sewn on
the left sleeve of my uniform, he laid down his rifle. I motioned for him to walk towards
me and to climb out of the trench. With his hands above his head he proceeded up the side
of the trench, only to be detained by my men.


My mission wasn't over yet; I still had to clear the bunker and survey the remainder of
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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