“As I mundanely monitored the convoy’s progress, a piercing flash broke the pitch black of the after-midnight hours illuminating the intersection. Microseconds later, the sharp deep boom of the explosion rocked our ears waking everybody and evoking a controlled race to identify the origin and magnitude of the attack. Although much of the convoy was in a dead space and was unable to see from our position, I noticed two heads, white hot except for their headwear, cowardly poking above the solid wall that lined the walkway on the second tier of the minaret. They were the obvious initiators of the attack and I wanted to open fire so bad I could already visualize the outcome.
I readied my machine gun as the Platoon Leader gave directives through the platoon net to aid the convoy. We crossed the intersection with itchy trigger fingers and moved into position to defend the stricken convoy. The hit-and-run attack was over, but the sight that met our eyes was nothing short of hideous. The cab-over style eighteen wheeler that had taken the brunt of the blast had rambled seemingly uncontrolled off the road and was now stopped with no visible movement inside. When Staff Sergeant Watts cautiously opened the driver’s side door, one local national lay inside with devastating injuries. A large piece of shrapnel had destroyed the windshield and taken a chunk out of the man’s head so big there was no hope of recovery. Blood, brain matter and cerebral fluid coated the interior of the vehicle’s cab in a hideous concoction that was already attracting flies. The poor bastard was still breathing, but it was only in violent gasps signifying the body’s acknowledgement of imminent death. It was the first time I had witnessed such a graphic expiration. Little did I know, there were many, many more of these scenes to follow in the months of civil unrest. The entire platoon shared what can only be described as a feeling of cold mental darkness. It was evident in the soldier’s behavior”.