April 7, 2005
By Owen West and Bing West
The Culture of Victimization Must End.
Outside Fallujah a year ago today, a small convoy was ambushed by fifty insurgents. A rocket-propelled grenade hit the first Humvee, robbing one Marine of his hands and raking the others with shrapnel. Machinegun fire swept the kill zone.
Captain Brent Morel was in the second Humvee. “Stop and dismount,” was all he said before opening his door and sprinting off toward the ambush position. A small band of Marines followed him over two berms, splashing across a chest-deep canal as they closed on the ambushers.
As the surprised enemy broke, the Marines shot them down. It was the last time a large group of insurgents attacked an American convoy on that route with small arms, notwithstanding numerical advantage.
Twelve hours later, the casualty assistance teams were at the doorstep of Brent’s widow, Amy, and his parents, Mike and Molly.
On a rooftop fight in Fallujah last year, Lance Corporal Carlos Gomez-Perez hurled grenades and manned a machinegun to drive back a band of insurgents. Once the roof was cleared, he walked down stairs pouring blood. An RPG had torn a chunk the size of a Coke can out of his shoulder.
“Sorry, sir,” he mumbled to his lieutenant. “Mind if I take a break to get this patched up?”