Sunday, December 31, 2006

They deserved better leadership ...

The NYT today profiled a few of the American soldiers who've died recently in Iraq. Sergeant Fry was the last story of the article:
A Grim Milestone in Iraq: 3,000 American Deaths - New York Times:

... A team leader, Sergeant Fry, who shipped out to Iraq in September 2005, disarmed 73 bombs, including one of the biggest car bombs found in Falluja. Once he helped defuse a suicide vest that insurgents had belted to a mentally handicapped Iraqi teenage boy. The boy had been beaten and chained to a wall. Another time, he spotted a bomb from the roof of a house. A little boy popped into the yard, hovering dangerously close to it. Sergeant Fry won his confidence by playing peekaboo, then got him to move away.

He was in 'very high spirits' in March, calling his wife to say that his duties were done, his paperwork filed and his anticipation impossible to stifle. 'He had made it,' she said. Then a mission came down, and commanders were preparing to send a team of mostly inexperienced men to defuse bombs along a road in Al Anbar province. He volunteered for the job, instead. 'That is how he led,' Mrs. Fry said.

Sergeant Fry found three bombs that night and defused them. But the insurgents had hidden a fourth bomb under the third one, a booby-trap. It blew up and killed him. An Army team stayed with his body for six hours, fending off enemy fire in the dark until soldiers with mortuary affairs arrived to take his body away.
They deserved great leaders, they got the Bush/GOP team. I hope the leadership, at least, is improving ...

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