Fire and Forget Soldier, the nonfiction book I’ve been working on with my friend Lee Deckelman, has been sent up the chain to the legal-types for inspection. In other words, we are in a holding pattern for awhile. While we wait, I thought I’d share another excerpt with you. This one is a little different because it has video and photographic support material to go along with it. For those of you who don’t know, Lee worked personal security detail (PSD) in the Global War on Terrorism. His first job in-country was with Team Miami, a solid group of guys, all former Special Forces. They are Lee’s brothers in combat which probably make them closer than most biological brothers. The following comes from the chapter about Team Miami titled Best Guys, Best Pay, and Best Equipment. Following the excerpt, you’ll find a video of the actual ambush.
On August 10th, an interpreter embedded with the team became panicked when he learned that insurgents were lining the streets to take out Team Miami’s motorcade. It was not unusual news by any means, and in most cases such threats didn’t materialize, or if they did, the threat was greatly exaggerated. However, this time the interpreter was more alarmed than usual. The team heeded his warning and proceeded with caution, but they didn’t expect anything of consequence to happen.
The normal route back to base was cut off by a traffic jam similar to one you’d find on the highways leading in and out of Los Angeles or Atlanta. The motorcade adjusted on the fly and took an alternate route. A mile into the new course, they discovered that a road was blocked off by a line of large boulders. Pig Pen ordered the motorcade to reverse out and head back to the original route. As soon as the call went out, two RPG gunmen popped out from each side of the road, and men with AK-47s appeared in all directions. The team members in the lead vehicle quickly cracked their doors open and laid down fire to give the limo (the vehicle with the Godfather) enough time to turn around. An RPG was fired at the limo, but missed, landing on the ground next to the follow vehicle Lee was in, blasting out his window. A chaotic torrent of fire from the insurgents also hit the vehicle. A combination of quick thinking by the drivers, armor on the vehicles, and the ability to run on flat tires got everyone out of the ambush alive. When they got back to the base, a thorough examination of the vehicles revealed a round from an AK-47 in Lee’s headrest.
Protection work means you go against your military training to stay and fight. Their primary objective was to make sure the Godfather was safe. The next time they had a patrol scheduled without their Principle to protect, they went back to the spot of the firefight to see if the insurgents had held the position. They would find out that the military had come in and cleared the area.