Beyond Duty: Life on the Frontline in Iraq by Shannon Meehan, Roger Thompson

By Shannon Meehan, Roger Thompson

Less than the blazing Iraqi sunlight in the summertime of 2007, Shannon Meehan, a lieutenant within the U.S. military, ordered a strike that might take the lives of blameless Iraqi civilians. He inspiration he was once doing definitely the right factor. He notion he was once maintaining his males. He notion that he might in simple terms kill the enemy, yet within the ruins of the strike, he discovers his mistake and uncovers a tragedy.

for many of his deployment in Iraq, Lt. Meehan felt that he have been made for a lifestyles within the army. A tank commander, he labored within the violent Diyala Province, effectively battling the insurgency by means of quite a few Sunni and Shia factions. He used to be celebrated by means of his senior officials and embellished with medals. but if the U.S. surge to retake Iraq in 2006 and 2007 eventually driven into Baqubah, a city nearly totally managed by way of al Qaida, Meehan may make the choice that might switch his existence.

This is the real tale of 1 soldier's try to reconcile what he has performed with what he felt he needed to do. Stark and devastating, it recounts first-hand the truth of a brand new form of struggle that continues to be mostly unstated and forgotten at the frontlines of Iraq.

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AQI dominated the towns along the southern edge of the Diyala River and ran rampant in Baqubah, so the move to the northern side of the river appeared to be an attempt to gain ground along the route to Khalis. In response, the Iraqi Army in conjunction with the 5th Battalion of the 82nd Airborne conducted Operation Church in the area in August 2007. The one-day engagement saw some of the heaviest fighting by the 82nd during its entire deployment. The operation resulted in the capture of three ranking AQI terrorists, the killing of thirty-three other AQI members, and the seizure of numerous weapons caches.

We were to be stationed in Kuwait, and as QRF our mission would have been to provide rapid support for any group in the region that would need it. We would essentially be on constant standby, stationed in Kuwait and living in the artificial America. In the weeks leading up to our deployment, however, the situation in Iraq worsened, and our mission changed. We were told we were needed in Baqubah, and Kuwait transformed from our permanent home to a brief training stop. In all, we only spent twelve days there.

I talked about this with the two other platoon leaders I lived with. In the evenings, we went to the Green Beans Coffee Company, gathered in a group of lounge chairs, and talked about the future and how we were coping with this transition period in Kuwait. We discussed the fact that many of our men were restless and many were beginning to feel homesick. The long periods of nothing to do gave all of us too much time to think about what we were missing back home. The separation from our loved ones was only days old, and the atmosphere of the Kuwait base was enough to keep that separation fresh.

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