Thursday, August 25, 2005

LTC Erik Kurilla

Michael Yon's latest post - Gates of Fire - is up. In it he details the mission on which Deuce Four's LTC Kurilla was shot. Fortunately, Kurilla is doing okay- he was hit in the arm and both legs. As per usual Yon's writing is superlative and he is hip deep in the action in which Kurilla was injured.

Though I have never met the man I have the utmost respect for LTC Kurilla from reading of his exploits (I think that's the most apt term to apply to the man) in Mosul. He seems to be the very personification of an excellent officer. During the contact he was shot on he continued to fight back and then, when help arrived, continued to give orders to ensure that the area was secure.

I know I don't need to say it but I will anyway- go and read Yon's dispatch.

Seemingly everytime Yon reports in it seems that there is an example of the ineffectiveness of the current issue cartridge, the puny 5.56mm. This time is no exception-

"Prosser shot the man at least four times with his M4 rifle. But the American M4 rifles are weak--after Prosser landed three nearly point blank shots in the man's abdomen, splattering a testicle with a fourth, the man just staggered back, regrouped and tried to shoot Prosser."

Prosser had to ditch his rifle and engage the terrorist hand-to-hand. Evidence, if any more were needed, that American troops deserve to have a replacement issued ASAP. Or at the very least more effective ammo- LeMas' blended metal ammo would not be amiss. The 5.56mm is simply endangering the lives of troops.

Yon also tells us that the terrorist involved in the attack was arrested in December- with enough evidence to send him to prison for a long time. For some reason, the Iraqi court released him.


Kurilla is doing okay by all accounts- Kim du Toit is keeping track of his progress and also getting together some sort of care package for him- so head on over and make a donation.

I'll end now with Yon's words on Kurilla-

Kurilla had gone on missions every single day for almost a year. Talking with people downtown. Interfacing with shop owners. Conferencing with doctors. Drinking tea with Iraqi citizens in their homes. Meeting proud mothers with new babies. It's important to interact and take the pulse of a city in a war where there is no "behind the lines," no safe areas. It's even dangerous on the bases here.

In order for leaders of Kurilla's rank to know the pulse of the Iraqi people, they must make direct contact. There's a risk in that. But its men like Kurilla who can make this work. Even and especially in places like Mosul, where it takes a special penchant for fighting. A passion for the cause of freedom. A true and abiding understanding of both its value and its costs. An unwavering conviction that, in the end, we will win.

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