The Home of Atilla

“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dispatches from Mosul, Iraq

Posted by Atilla89 on September 11, 2007

I’ve just been reading Michael Yon’s blog, let me tell you that it is excellent; his and Totten’s are the best for independent reporting in Iraq. This is his latest post and its great. Here’s an excerpt from my favourite part of the blog.

Both the young 2nd lieutenant and the young specialist were inside a shop when a close-quarters firefight broke out, and they ran outside. Not knowing how many men they were fighting, they wanted backup. LTC Kurilla began running in the direction of the shooting. He passed by me and I chased, Kurilla leading the way.

There was a quick and heavy volume of fire. And then LTC Kurilla was shot.

Last steps

 

LTC Erik Kurilla (front right), the moment the bullets strike.(2nd LT front-left; radioman near-left; “AH” the interpreter is near-right.)

Three bullets reach flesh: One snaps his thigh bone in half.

 

Both legs and an arm are shot.

 

The Commander rolls into a firing position, just as a bullet strikes the wall beside 2nd lieutenant’s head (left).

Kurilla was running when he was shot, but he didn’t seem to miss a stride; he did a crazy judo roll and came up shooting.

BamBamBamBam! Bullets were hitting all around Kurilla. The young 2nd lieutenant and specialist were the only two soldiers near. Neither had real combat experience. “AH” had no weapon. I had a camera.

Seconds count.

Kurilla, though down and unable to move, was fighting and firing, yelling at the two young soldiers to get in there; but they hesitated. BamBamBamBam!

Kurilla was in the open, but his judo roll had left him slightly to the side of the shop. I screamed to the young soldiers, “Throw a grenade in there!” but they were not attacking.

“Throw a grenade in there!” They did not attack.

“Give me a grenade!” They didn’t have grenades.

“Erik! Do you need me to come get you!” I shouted. But he said “No.” (Thank God; running in front of the shop might have proved fatal.)

“What’s wrong with you!?” I yelled above the shooting.

“I’m hit three times! I’m shot three times!”

Amazingly, he was right. One bullet smashed through his femur, snapping his leg. His other leg was hit and so was an arm.

With his leg mangled, Kurilla pointed and fired his rifle into the doorway, yelling instructions to the soldiers about how to get in there. But they were not attacking. This was not the Deuce Four I know. The other Deuce Four soldiers would have killed every man in that room in about five seconds. But these two soldiers didn’t have the combat experience to grasp the power of momentum.

This was happening in seconds. Several times I nearly ran over to Kurilla, but hesitated every time. Kurilla was, after all, still fighting. And I was afraid to run in front of the shop, especially so unarmed.

Read the rest here.

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