The picture above is called “Rough Day at Rushdi Mullah.” The artist is Army Specialist ________. It was sent to me by a friend who served alongside Specialist ______. Here is the story behind the picture:
“Here is that drawing that I meant to send you. Sorry for the delay, but I lost your e-mail address. Backstory: It was drawn by one of our Public Affairs Office soldiers, Specialist _______. On February 6, 2007 I was on battlefield circulation with her and we stopped at the Combat Outpost in the village of Rushdi Mullah, a very volatile village south of Baghdad in the heart of the Triangle of Death. As we approached the outpost we monitored the call that they had come under sniper fire and had a casualty. We entered the COP as B Company/4-31 Infantry was responding to the incident. The casualty was Private First Class ________, KIA by a sniper bullet as he was maintaining security in his rooftop guardpost. He was 20 years old and from ________.
“COP Rushdi Mullah was the tip of the spear. It lay on a key Line of Communication that basically bisected the Triangle of Death and controlling that village enabled us to make the final push to the Euphrates and gain freedom of movement throughout our Area of Operations. It was not only key terrain, but it was mere feet away from some of the baddest Al Qaeda insurgents that ever needed a high lead diet. We put B Company out there and they withstood furious resistance and delivered devastating effects on the enemy. They had nothing, no sanitation, hot chow, no down time, and 24 hour security to withstand the relentless attacks of the enemy. They took pride in being the hardest of the hard and hammering at the strength of AQ.
“The unit dealt with the situation, increased their security posture and took positive measures to ensure the village felt their resolve. The sniper was ultimately hunted down and killed. But the moment that this picture was captured was that moment, when all the smoke had cleared, that you realized that these noble, hardened warriors were young boys from farms in Kansas and slums in Detroit, but they were brothers in arms, committed to each other and they lived and died with each other. We lost a great American on February 6, 2007, and those boys in B Company/4-31 paid a price as well. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said at Kennedy’s funeral, ‘We may laugh again, but we will never be young again.’
“Thanks for letting me share this with you, and thanks for what you are doing.
Thank you ___, thank you Specialist ________, thank you Private First Class________, thank you B Company/4-31 Infantry. Specialist ______ and Private First Class ________, I’ll publish your names if you or your family give me permission. Thank you to all who have served and who are serving now. Thank you to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who want a decent, fair, peaceful life, as we all do.