Below find an excerpt from his book and don’t miss our conversation with Matt Zeller today at 3pm et.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday was the Afghans’ Freedom Day. Unbeknown to me, Monday was Martyrs Day. The thought that frequently crosses my mind: how weird it is that when someone wakes up on the day they are to die, they have no idea it’s their last day. When I woke up on Monday morning, I had no idea that it would absolutely be the scariest day of my life.
Monday’s mission took us to the Waghez district to help another team assess the ANP, the old district center, and the new district center that had been recently built.
Like Khogiani and Jaghato, Waghez is only reachable via dirt roads. Unlike Khogiani and Jaghato, Waghez has more than one road in and one road out. Our plan was to come in via a road to the north and exit via another to the south.
Our drive to the district center went without incident. We’d stop periodically, use the thermal cameras on our MRAPs to check out a suspicious hole or turn, find nothing, and continue on. Due to the relative threat of attack in Waghez and yesterday’s attack, we decided to roll with two MRAPs leading and one UAH at the rear. We figured if an MRAP hit an IED, there was a much greater chance the crew would survive than if the UAH hit one.
We stayed at the old district center for two hours while Captain Ricker’s team did its site assessment. Periodically I’d talk with the assembled police and try to acquire any intel about the enemy operating in the area. The police claimed there was a small group of Taliban