The dirt track leading to Blessing was called IED Alley because it was simple work to dig in an improvised explosive device, mark it with a few rocks to warn the locals, and wait for a Humvee to explode.
The standard counterinsurgency ratio of security forces to population is 1 to 50; in the brigade’s area of operations, it was 1 to 2,000.
“Wearing the same clothes for months, surviving on a loaf of bread or a few dates each day … we suffered grievously, but it was the true path; if one died, it was meant to be. What a happy life we led! … We woke before sunrise to perform morning prayer.… May God be praised! … our intentions were pure and every one of us was ready to die as a martyr.
CATASTROPHE AVOIDED In June of 2009, the owner of the New England Patriots football team, Robert Kraft, quietly paid for a trip by the team’s cheerleaders to Afghanistan. When they insisted on going forward from the rear areas, Camp Joyce was chosen. “The cheerleaders landed in early afternoon,” Sgt. Maj. Carabello said, “and spent two hours chatting with my soldiers. They were terrific. Then our intel section intercepted radio chatter about rockets being set up. You can’t imagine how I felt. We got those choppers back, put the women on board, waved goodbye, cleared the area, and WHAM!,...
Note: patriots cheerleaders were almost hit by rockets