May 11, 2005

9 line

From milblog Firepower Forward, a gripping story of soldiers watching as Marine friends call for a medavac....

...The big flat screen television in the operations center resembles a teenager’s compute monitor with multiple text chat message windows open at any given time and even though they are all encrypted and secure most of the time the messages that flicker across are just as benign. Not this time. I read the last message
“TRINITY: Stand by for 9 line.” [9 lines is the format for medevac requests]

We in the LTF aren’t in the medevac business, and no longer supporting Trinity, we had no part, but the people gathered at the screen because we had worked with these guys for the past 3 months and we had made a lot of friends. Absolutely powerless, we stood and waited for the next message to pop up.

“TRINITY: Line 1 – ##A, AA, ########” The series of numbers and letters that popped up reflected the grid coordinates of where the marines wanted the medevac to land.

SPC Stogner copied the coordinates and began to plot them on one of our wall maps.

As we waited the following lines, I scrolled back through the messages to see what had brought them to this point.

Having taken some fire from a hillside, the marines had pursued and seen the attackers disappear into a cave. Close air support was called, but the A-10s aren’t built to flush thugs out of a hole in the mountain, nothing is, except Marines.

“TRINITY: Line 2 - ####, Trinity.” It was the radio frequency and call sign of the Marines at the landing site.

The smoke cleared, and of course the Marines had to go in. The firefight ensued, the TIC was reported and soon after word came that there were 2 US WIA. 9 Line to follow.

“TRINITY: Line 3 – 2 critical.” Now I was worried. This line was supposed to be the number of patients by precedence.

It wasn’t only the word “Critical” that concerned me, but the fact that they had used it. There are only five different words that should be used here, each with a specific meaning to the medics as to the severity of the injuries. "Critical" isn't one of them. It was a break from protocol and uncharacteristic of the consistently professional, by-the-numbers behavior I had always witnessed from these guys. I could only imagine what was happening on the ground, and I prayed that it wasn’t a sign of panic....[thanks to
Winds of Change].

These guys are fighting for YOU. And ME. They are fighting the jihadis who are streaming into Iraq and Afghanistan from every stinking hell-hole of the Middle East. It's good and important that they should; the genius of the Iraq Campaign is that the terrorists have to fight for the heartland of the Muslim world. They have to come out into the open where we can kill them, rather than plotting new 9/11's in the dark.

Our troops are defending US, all of us. And defending ALL the peaceful people of the world, including those of the Arab and Central Asian world (who suffers the most from the Islamist animals). They are doing noble and heroic work, risking their lives to protect the weak.

Which is why I want to puke thinking of the lefty weasels who heap scorn and sneers on our forces....and not out of conviction (though even that would be vile), but purely for reasons of domestic politics...

Posted by John Weidner at May 11, 2005 3:20 PM
Weblog by John Weidner