[August 24, 2021] In September, I will publish my first book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq.” This is an advanced book announcement. When my book hits the stores, it will be first available for your Kindle device. You can read it on other electronic devices as well. And a paperback version will come out as well.
Below is an exert from a chapter on how we moved about the battlefield. The book tells the story of my first combat tour in Iraq with the 1st Cavalry Division. It’s about how small, highly motivated units can make a difference. It’s also about leadership under the most trying conditions.
At the beginning of my book, I quote General George S. Patton, “Better to fight for something than live for nothing…” Apt quote to begin this essay on the early part of the Iraq War; we were getting our bearings and trying to understand this ancient land and its people.
Regular readers of my blog know that I’m an American patriot and proudly so. Being around, so many Veterans growing up and serving with the U.S. Army for 40 years makes it difficult not to be a patriot. I encourage you to read my book and to submit an honest review. My hope is that I can paint a picture of a soldier on the battlefield and not get hung up on the politics of war.
Moving about the Battlefield
After being in Iraq for four days, on 13 March, we conducted our first convoy from our base camp at Victory to Camp Taji. Taji was a 45-minute drive north and the largest 1st Cav contingent outside of Baghdad.
This base was once the home to Saddam’s elite Republican Guard divisions and home to Saddam’s chemical weapons research, manufacture, and storage facilities. The base also had a small airfield used for rotary-wing American UH-60 Blackhawks and AH-64 Apache Attack helicopters.
Coalition forces (primarily U.S.) occupied the west side, while Iraqi Army units occupied the east with two checkpoints, one north and one south. There was no vetting of who joined the Iraqi army ranks and no control over their behavior that we could see.
It was a thrill to “lock and load” our weapons while exiting the Entry Control Point and travel at high speed northward along Iraq’s main roadway, Highway 1. The traffic was heavy at times (good news as it represented an improving economy). Still, so many cars and trucks on the road made it difficult to identify car bombs that could run up beside you and explode.
This convoy was my first into “Indian Country,” where death would meet you suddenly and where you learned never to fully trust the common Iraqi army soldier as insurgents infiltrated them. I learned that “speed saves,” a reference to the fact it was hard for car bombs or snipers to hit you if you travel fast.
I will come back to this topic once the book shows up on Amazon. Thank you all for your encouragement and help in getting this book off the ground.
- UPDATE: I changed the cover of my book and the title to make it more attractive.
- NOTE: I still have other electronic books here: https://www.theleadermaker.com/the-green-book/