As an IT Guy myself, and a current Microsoft TechNet subscriber to boot, I've enjoyed playing the role of techie superhero over the years - coming to the rescue of many coworkers, family, and friends.
But all joking aside, with the U.S. Veteran's Day just 6 days away, our young men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have been on my mind lately. Since this is a tech blog, I'm going to keep this as 'apolitical' as possible. However, I came across a tear-jerking, gut-wrenching story about an ambush in Samarra, Iraq that I just had to share. It all started with an article I found on Powerline, which piqued my interest:
Six weeks ago in the Iraqi city of Samarra, four paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division became the object of a pre-planned, coordinated effort by dozens of al Qaeda. to kidnap and slaughter American soldiers only days before General Petraeus's internationally televised testimony to the U.S. Congress on the state of the war in Iraq. Not all survived -- but those who did fought like heroes, saving each other and preserving the honor of their nation.
This is their story.
From Powerline, I clicked through to The American Spectator article titled The Longest Morning, which shared this "untold" story of American heroism. I don't look at this as a "Ra Ra! Go America!" article by any means. In fact, although they killed many Al-Qaeda in the battle, a few GIs were tragically lost. Some of my fellow Americans believe that 'one' dead American is one too many for this war and that we should get out of Iraq now. The point of this post isn't to start a debate whether we should leave Iraq or stay. I just want to share the true story of my fellow Americans fighting for their lives. They even fought valiantly to prevent Al-Qaeda from capturing the body of a slain GI killed in the battle, which would have been used for propaganda. I can't believe this story wasn't covered by the three major networks - NBC, CBS, or ABC - which is why I'm sharing it here. Take my word for it and spend 5 min reading this article. Whether you are for or against this war you will appreciate what our fellow Americans are experiencing over there.
After reading about the heroics in Samarra, I now have to amend my previous statement about not encountering "every day" heroes. My fellow American citizens serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are my "every day" heroes!
I salute you with this Youtube video I just found - produced by a 15-year old girl and having nearly 19 million page views. (Preview image to right)
I wish you well, stay safe, and come home soon to the heroes parades you so surely deserve.