Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Steel Rain

Dan Malorni
English 109.01
Snapshot 2, October 7, 2010
Steel Rain
When I found out about this project, there were many events that came to my mind about what to write about. The most important event that happened in my life was also a fight for my life. These moments of my life takes place in Al Habbyniah, Iraq on April 13, 2007 in the isolated desert.
Everything was normal that morning, no cars on the roads, small arms fire in the background through the night, and the sun bearing down on us as if it were on our shoulders. Our squad, of 13 marines, were given the mission late the night before to clear the roads of ied’s (Improvised Explosive Device) so the next unit can push through. This may sound like a rough job, but like a fisherman on the sea, this was our specific job and it was all we knew how to do.
As our patrol of 3 gun trucks and a mine vehicle slowly crept down a dirt road, all of our eyes fixed to the side of the road, looking for signs of danger. We noticed a very thin wire that led from the road in front of us to a mud and stone shack off in a field about 300 yards away. Our patrol stopped immediately, backed up, spread out, and set up a cordon around the suspected device like we have done hundreds of times before. As I look unto the direction of the device when we are set up, the sun disappears right in front of me as the road in front of me vanishes as well. This all happens so fast that I my body does not have time to react.
As I react to the explosion, the gun truck behind me calls out on the radio “Trigger man left, trigger man left”. I quickly react by spinning my turret left to the shack we had identified as where the wires came from, and I notice a young man peeking out from behind the building off in the distance with an Ak-47. I raise my rifle and switch it to fully automatic with the man in my crosshairs…BOOM! Before I could pull the trigger I was slouched over in my Humvee with blood all over my face, a severe burning sensation on both my wrists, and bells ringing in my head louder than a church on Christmas. My driver looks over to me and asks, “Malorni, you good?” I instantly respond, “Yea man, it’s not that bad.” Not knowing the extent of my injuries, I manage to stand back up in my turret and assess the damage done to our truck. But as I stood up I hear over the radio, “Holy shit” from the truck behind me. This was a good holy shit. This explosion looked a lot worse than it actually was; our truck had taken most of the blast disabling it leaving our injuries minimal.
After everything settled down and the threat was “eliminated”, I took some time for myself to reflect on the day’s events. This day had opened up my eyes to a whole new appreciation for life, and to never take for granted what we have here in America.


Justin Gingery said...

Hey dan, its justin. Thats an incredible scene. I can picture that and thats crazy. I like how you say to never take anything for granted. I bet you were scared out of your mind.

mikelohre said...

Dan, your post makes me wonder if you've seen the movie The Hurt Locker? I saw it and thought it was good because it made me think a lot about the contradictions of war and all the people who are affected on many sides, but some veterans say it is not that accurate. I would love to hear what you think, as you really were there and, as this story shows, risked so much to get through it. Thanks, Dan!