Ten years ago today, I was the lead driver on a scout element crew in Iraq. It was around 11:30 pm when we were stopped in the city of Fallujah for a downed humvee. While they managed to get the humvee on the back of the tow truck, a car approached our position. We were right off the cloverleaf ramp leading into Fallujah. My gunner, Lcpl Grossman, fired a flare and the vehicle turned around.
Now this was after hours and curfew was in effect so we got on the alert. Once the downed humvee was on the tow, we proceeded to advance through the city. Three hundred meters from the George Washington Bridge, we spotted a small object on the road. It was the size of a cellphone box. I slowed and as the wind blew, a long copper wire became visible.
Quickly, I threw the humvee into reverse, keeping an eye on my side mirror to see if I was going to run into Scout 2 who was approaching. Luckily, Lcpl Zuccaro was an excellent driver and he could read my moves. He threw his vehicle into reverse and started moving. Fifteen feet from the object, it detonated. Our quick actions and keen observation allowed us to not be killed that night. After we were disabled, two enemy combatants commenced to firing at us from elevated positions.
Now in the rules of combat, the battle normally swings to those in the elevated position, but these men were trying to kill Marines and we take that personal. With the help of our surrounding vehicles who came to our aid after the explosion, we managed to dispatch both insurgents to the other side of this life.
Lcpl Grossman and I were awarded the purple heart for wounds received during the explosion and looking back now, it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years. Amazing.