?I was walking beside the Marine, then we heard gunfire, and I saw that the American Marine was shot. Then I realized it was just me and him, so I quickly started shooting at the enemy." ? Private Imad Abid Zeid Jassim, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps
Portions of Iraqi Private Imad Abid Zeid Jassim's citation for bravery reads: "...[A]s the firefight ensued, under a hail of enemy fire that was accurately targeted on the wounded [U.S.] Marine, and without regard for his own safety, Private Imad Jassim moved forward into the enemy fire and came to the aid of the wounded Marine. He dragged the wounded Marine out of the line of fire to a covered and concealed position...reengaged the enemy...aggressively pushed forward...dislodged the enemy fighters.... His efforts clearly saved the life of the Marine...."
On the evening of May 30, 2004, Jassim and his fellow members of 4th Platoon, India Company, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) were jointly patrolling the streets of Al Karmah, near Fallujah, with leathernecks from 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. All at once, the patrol was ambushed from the rear by enemy insurgents. A U.S. Marine was instantly struck down with a gunshot wound to the leg.
Reacting as they had been trained to do by their U.S. counterparts, the Iraqis swung into action.
Jassim, who was standing closest to the Marine when the latter was hit, immediately returned fire.
Sergeant Abdullah Sadoon Isa, Corporal Eiub Muhamad Hussane, and Private Ahmad Lazim Garib raced toward-and-beyond the downed American. Constantly under fire and simultaneously returning fire, Sgt. Isa quickly positioned other members of his platoon between the wounded man and the enemy.
Jassim and another private, Kather Nazar Abbas, stopped shooting long enough to begin dragging the American to a position of relative safety. Bullets and at least one rocket-propelled grenade zinged past their heads as they managed to pull the Marine behind a wall. A U.S. Navy medical corpsman rushed forward to render first aid. The Iraqis and the Americans continued battling the enemy force.
The response to the ambush was textbook. "The ICDC ultimately assaulted through the enemy's position and pushed them out," said 2nd Lt. Charles Anklin III, of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines.
On Friday, Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, and Col. John A. Toolan, commanding officer of Regimental Combat Team 1; decorated the five aforementioned Iraqi soldiers for their "heroic achievement" during an awards ceremony at Camp India in Nassar Wa Salaam. The awards included two Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals and three Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Each of the medals included combat "V"s for valor.
"You've witnessed the bravery of these soldiers from India Company, who were willing to shed blood with Marines to make sure we get a free Iraq," said Toolan, before a gathering that included Iraqi military leaders and local village sheiks. "The important aspect is that the Coalition and Iraqi forces have worked together, and the bond you see between the ICDC soldiers and Marines has become rock-tight."
Private Jassim added that the firefight created an even stronger bond between Iraqi (ICDC) soldiers and American Marines. Speaking through an interpreter, he said, "I feel very, very bad the Marine was shot because they are like my brothers now, but I'm ready to go out again. I'm always ready."
The ICDC soldiers not only saved the life of an American, but their actions served as an example of the ongoing coordination and positive developing-relations between the U.S. and Iraq. This was good news. It was not an isolated event. Unfortunately, so little of this kind of news ever gets any ink.
This is one of the many "positive" albeit rarely told stories coming out of Iraq, U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) told NRO from his Washington office on Saturday.
Wilson believes such stories must receive equal time with the negative ones if the U.S. military is to continue garnering needed support at home and abroad. He should know. A 31-year veteran officer of the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard as well as a current member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, Wilson has recently traveled to both Iraq and Afghanistan as part of congressional delegations. And his keen interest in the futures of both countries is both professional and personal. Wilson has four sons. The oldest three are military officers: Two are serving in the Army. One is in the Navy. The oldest son is currently stationed in Iraq.
Last Thursday, Wilson was part of a group meeting with Iraqi president Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawar; al-Yawar said that there were more representatives of the various news media per capita in Iraq than anywhere else in the world. The Iraqi president added, that may well be the reason there seems to be only "bad news" coming out of Iraq.
"Of course, we want the media there," says Wilson. "But problems arise when there are too many reporters in one place, all in competition with one another, all trying to outdo each other." According to Wilson, there is a growing consensus on both sides of the political fence ? particularly among those who have toured Iraq ? as well as among members of the new Iraqi leadership, that competition for the "big story" is forcing reporters to concentrate on "the ten percent negative stories, while ignoring the 90 percent good, positive stories." That's not only unfair. It's strategically dangerous.
Recalling comments made during a meeting between U.S. Army Gen. John Abizaid and a congressional delegation in Afghanistan, Wilson said, the rejection of good stories by competing media is not just a belief shared by members of the Republican party. "I remember [Democrat] Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee making the comment that 'good news has no legs, and bad news has wings,'" he says. It's simply a reaffirmation of the newsman's clichéd adage, "If it doesn't bleed, it doesn't lead."
That's not to say there aren't important negative stories coming out of Iraq. But there are just as many ? if not more ? important positive stories that could be written about events taking place in that country. Unfortunately, stories about hospitals being renovated, little girls learning the basics of math and science for the first time, or five brave Iraqi men being decorated for saving the life of a wounded American, are not nearly as dramatic as a roadside bombing or an assassination.
? A former U.S. Marine infantry leader and paratrooper, W. Thomas Smith Jr. is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in a variety of national and international publications. His third book, Alpha Bravo Delta Guide to American Airborne Forces, has just been published.
Iraq and Syria have agreed to work together to improve border security to try to stop foreign militants infiltrating Iraq."
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, Barham Saleh, says there is agreement on " the necessity to cooperate to prevent [insurgents] from crossing the border ".
Mr Saleh was speaking after meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
Mr Saleh said Mr Assad spoke of his " interest in the stability " in Iraq, which shares a long desert border with Syria, and said joint Interior Ministry committees would look into setting up security mechanisms.
Last week, a British newspaper quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying his government had gathered information from intelligence services showing support by some neighbouring countries for the insurgents.
Mr Zebari did not name the foreign powers, but the Sunday Telegraph quoted "senior Iraqi officials" as indicating " that Iran and Syria were the worst offenders ".
Last week Mr Assad and Iranian President Mohammad Khatami made a joint call for the rapid departure of foreign troops from Iraq.
" This force is in Iraq at Iraqi request. Its departure at this stage would not be useful either for Iraq or for the region. It would be a catastrophe for security ," Mr Saleh said.
Our Visit in Landstuhl on the 18th June 2004 together with Carolyn and Debbie
On the 18th June 2004 Carolyn from Landstuhl, Debbie from Ramstein my husband Rudi and I we were on the way to visit wounded soldiers and marines in
So Carolyn and I we did all that we had in the backpacks from Debbie. And the chocolate which I had with me for the soldiers was not melted this time. Today we had a lot of backpacks for the soldiers and Carolyn, Debbie and I we went from ward to ward to visit our hero and Rudi was going to the Fisher House to give greetings the wounded there.
On the first ward a wounded told us that he has to go back to
Carolyn is a wonderful Angel she finds always the right words to talk to the wounded. So we let her to go to the wounded and we are waiting in front of the room. Often they are so strong wounded that they could not speak so much and she gave them a backpack and calmed them with a few words and they were happy. As we walked over the wards we saw so much sorrow I cannot tell you. Going over the intensive care unit, your heart cried. At the ICU a soldier told us that he has to go further to Walter Reed and that his wife is staying in the Fisher House. For him it was a great thing that his family was here in
Later we are going out to the bus stop and looked for soldiers they could need a backpack too. I meet there two soldiers are going back to
The backpacks are always a good thing. A lot of soldiers have nothing to take there few things back to the States. They looked all so happy as we have given them one. A wounded has nothing as that he has on his body if he arrives in Landstuhl. A filled backpack with things he need is a great thing to do something for them. If anyone interested to send backpacks to Landstuhl look here http://www.soldiersangels.homestead.com/wounded-soldiers-project.html the backpacks are going with an Angel to the wounded directly.
After this we are said good bye to Carolyn and Debbie because we had another appointment in Landstuhl. We met CH Young and he wrote me for days "By the way, our Cyber Café room needs a portable telephone (with a cord). I wonder if you have an extra (used) one to spare? This is for the morale purpose and the line is available there all the time." So we visited him in his office and my husband looked which telephone he need. As my husband saw that nearby the Cyber Cafe was a telephone shop from the T-Online/Telekom he looked that the CH could need and bought him one. I cannot tell.... he was so lucky, so he went back fast to tell it the other CH there. It was great to visit him and he introduced us his chiefs: CH Holmstrom, he will be the new Chief of Chaplains Office in Landstuhl and CH McLean will leave the office after 3 years now. My husband was glad that he could help him.
A wounded shy and faintly soldier from
I cannot tell you ...I am so with out words!!! SPC G. S. had great injured on his breast and lung! He was a body guard for a commander in
"May No Soldier Go Unloved?