Preparing For A Mission

(5/7 story) Previously - "We Own The Night"

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“It’s simple. We drive in, get the guy, drive out. No big deal.” Willy joked from his position in the turret.

He was cleaning and counting his ammunition while I was taking stock in the trunk.

Two AT-4 anti-tank rockets, 2 cans of fragmentation grenades, 12 cans of 7.62 linked ammunition, a cooler with ice; water and Gatorade, 4 cases of MRE: Meals Ready to Eat, road gear, pioneer gear; with axe and shovel, 2 stretchers for wounded, a carton of cigarettes, and on the back, a spare tire.

Daylight conditions busiest time of the morning, 8 gun trucks storming the southern side of Ramadi loaded for bear. It was time to kill or capture the S.O.B. that bombed my friend. He was a mortar engineer building tubes that could launch explosives over the walls of our compounds. He killed my friend.

Lieutenant had briefed us the night prior. It was simple. Our team would depart ahead of the other team. Make it look like any other patrol cycle. Screen to the north. Drive around a bit. I needed to find a route that would take us on a hap-hazard path. A path that the enemy wouldn’t think anything different about. Then when the signal goes across the radio, converge onto the building where the high value target is and snatch him up.

Assault, support, security – simple snatch and grab.

“Yea, simple.” Joked Willy from the turret. “Why do they build us up just to let us down?” He asked rhetorically as he climbed out of the turret and stepped onto the trunk lid, slamming it down and nearly smashing my fingers.

I cursed at him something.

Willy broke into song, “Why do you build me up, butter-cup baby, just to let me down, and mess me around, and then worst of all ----” the explosion cut off his singing – a concussive boom went out across the area, a loud thump that I could feel in my chest. Then a cloud went up. A black fire-torched lavic cloud.

It was in front of the Glass Factory.

“What the hell was that?!?!” I blurted as Willy came scrambling down off the trunk lid and onto the ground. He and I watched the cloud rise into the arabian air.

Lieutenant and Sergeant came running out of the operations center screaming for us to start the trucks and get the leaders to the front vehicle, my vehicle.

Lieutenant was the first to speak, “The raid is going to have to wait, 80 people were in line when that suicide bomber detonated.”

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