Arjun, Eric Palmer, Martine discussed on This is War
Really looked down on any gonna go ostracized. If that was you, of course, that makes perfect sense. These bonds are built under the assumption that everyone is in together. Remember, the courage is the absence of fear. It's the ability to recognize danger and keep going any way of jumping not because you want to so much as because you know, people are counting on you. Everybody wants to go home. But nobody wants to go home at the expense of anyone else in the unit. It's one of those things at amplifies loss during wartime this notion that it could have been you it just wasn't and even when you're doing your job as well as you can sometimes it's not enough. God. I mean, the J assess I can't explain how terrible it was. Because we are right there in the middle of the city, and we got attacked a lot there. We got a ton of mortar attacks if you stuck your head up over. The sandbags during the middle of the day. There's a good chance you're gonna get shot or at least shot at for. Sure. It was nerve wracking because there was only one entrance to R J s and we win against all the rules of combat. Don't make patterns and never use the same entry exit point twice second squad was doing they're just mounted patrol. They had just finished their required. Eight hours of walking around the city. I I was actually in the operation center. The talk in in. I was watching the patrol come in on the cameras. I can only see a couple of guys. And then all of a sudden, I just see everybody on the patrol turn around and start shooting. We're on Q r f I run down. And it's coming over the radio that somebody's shot. One of the guys in my squad done jumps in the the driver seat. And it was just me and him. Because it was right outside the gate. And I jumped in the Mark nineteen on the turret. We take off out there and a couple other trucks we pull up in and we're taking fire, and there's there's round snapping over the top of me, and I'm shooting I'm engaging with with the Mark nineteen in the middle of the day. It feels like it took a long time. But it must have been only a couple seconds. And they they load somebody underneath me because I'm in the turret, and they load somebody underneath me, and I looked down. And I couldn't tell who was and because their face was blue, it was swollen. There was a. It was a nice remembers little tiny this little hole right up on his on his right cheek. And there's still a little bit of blood. And I was like I was like who is that. And they're like it's Palmer hitting me. Man, corporal, Eric Palmer was the other SOG owner who helped him fight off the ambush near the ice house earlier that spring he and Davies had developed that life or death bond, the all or nothing attitude of mutual support. And that point I just picked up Martine, I shot it until we didn't have any Emma left to that. And then I picked up my saw, and I shot that until I didn't have any ammo the medivac helicopter came in. And it was it was really bad. We took him inside of the Jess for a second until the medivac could come in. And then we mounted back up through bunch of ammo back in the trucks called the nine line. Medevac came in to the open field outside of our Jesus. And we rolled back out there. And we just kept taking fire the helicopters getting shot at we drove out is close to the the Blackhawk as we could they pulled him out in late it loaded on the bird. But and then after that, it was you know, it was horrible. Everybody's sitting around. And you know, this is a guy I've spent years with training partying just like brother knew me. And then that happens in an automobile to recognize them. And then the the fucked up thing is everybody we all knew he was dead. It was undeniable and they're like, oh, he he's going to be. Okay. I remember our with Arjun came out there. And he goes, yeah. Everything's alright. Bombers going to be okay. And everybody's like are you are you fucking serious? Did you did you see him? He's he's dead. He's not going to be. Okay. I guess they had him on on life support. His parents flew out. Out to Germany, and I guess they made a decision take him off life support there, and it was horrible. And I I don't know. I I don't know if it was a. I don't know if it was better if he was on life support. So as family could could be there or if he just died out there. So his family didn't have to deal with that. And does really it was really really bad. And that was the point where I was like. Yeah, I'm I'm ready. Get the fuck out of this place. Palmer was shot on June twenty first two thousand seven and the first of the five v who set to rotate out in August, a few weeks later Davies would get word that they were extended to November taking them all the way through the worst of the fighting season. But summer wasn't even well underway yet and the next few weeks would be as difficult as any other part of the tour.