Friday I was away from the computer. I had to let Dr. “Sadist” practice his surgery skills on my partially impacted tooth. After which, I was trying to figure out how to walk a semi straight line to my computer while on pain meds and post the Friday Good News.
Alas, I never made it remotely close to my desk. This story is a good one and worth sharing, even if I missed Friday.
1st Cavalry News
Iraqi teen warns scouts of bomb, kidnapped sister returned
1st Lt. Nicholas P. Paolini
2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment
BAGHDAD—Just as the Scout Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment was returning to Camp Liberty on the city’s west side July 20, they drove past a 16-year-old Iraqi youth who was trying to get their attention. They were no more than a half mile outside the gates when they stopped to see what the big deal was. It isn’t unusual for kids to run towards American convoys holding their hands up asking for soccer balls or the infamous, “chocolate, mista.”
“We drive past these kids almost everyday,” explained the scout platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Alexander. “Every day they run outside waving and cheering. A lot of them give us the thumbs up sign. The 16-year-old boy had his hands together about chest high and then threw them apart as we were passing.”
Alexander knew right away what the boy was trying to tell them, there was an improvised explosive device close by.
“I stopped the platoon right then and there,” explained Alexander.
The scouts have become accustomed to numerous false reports of IEDs, but will never ignore a warning.
“I treat them all as if they were (all) true,” he explained.
The scouts then began talking to the boy through their interpreter to determine where the roadside bomb was located. The boy explained how three men came to his house and was trying to emplace an IED in the road. The boy stopped the three men from placing the bomb, and somehow, got them to go away. However, the men took the boy’s six-year-old sister.
It was at this time that Alexander noticed the boy had some bruising on his face.
“The boy must have given those guys a tough time ‘cause he looked pretty roughed up,” Alexander said.
Armed with a description of the three men, the scouts set out to find the kidnappers and suspected roadside bombers. The scout platoon drove in the direction the boy said the kidnappers fled.
Their first stop was to check with the nearby Iraqi Army checkpoints to see if they have seen the three men and little girl. The Iraqi Army said they saw no men fitting the description.
“We were just about to give up hope when we saw a young girl wandering around,” he explained.
The scouts went up to her with the interpreter to see if by some chance it was the missing girl. It was that family’s lucky day. It was the missing girl. The girl explained that she ran away from her captors. The scouts brought the girl back to her joy-filled brother.
“The brother was so excited when we came back and the girl hopped out of the Hummer,” explained Alexander. The scouts were also glad they were at the right place at the right time to help out the family.
“Kidnappings happen all too often here in Iraq,” Alexander continues, “I just hate seeing these kids getting caught up in the violence. It’s just a shame.”