Wednesday, October 22, 2003


Supply troops, just like CPT Patti's, mixing it up with the bad guys.
Forget what you think you know about supply guys. Down here, there may be few more dangerous missions than driving supply routes, taking hot chow and cold ice, bullets and bedding to far-flung outposts in vehicles described as “thin skinned.”...

All was calm when a rocket-propelled grenade suddenly swooshed from a clump of trees, tearing its way into the front of a truck and severing the leg of Spc. Brian Wilhelm.

A 31-minute firefight followed. Reinforcements were called and quickly arrived. Wilhelm was evacuated by helicopter under fire, and eventually transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he is now.

That was the most intense firefight the supply soldiers have had, and they won’t soon forget it.

Spc. Shane Bartrum was in the lead vehicle when he heard an explosion.

Turning, he saw a truck disabled and a soldier wounded.

“I was just laying down suppression fire so they could get to him,” he said. “What I was doing was making sure I had ammo. When I ran out, I reloaded.”

The enemy fire continued from the nearby tree line.

“You could see the whites of their eyes,” said Pfc. Victor Mendez, describing the closeness of the enemy barely 100 yards away.

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