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Brother Tim 05-23-2009 02:42 PM

My son and others in Iraq/Afghanistan
 
I said good-bye the second time to my older son this morning. The first time, back in January when he started his tour in Iraq, was very emotional, because I could not suppress the fear of the unknown. Today when he left, I was able to keep things under control. He has been home with his wife and kids for the last two weeks, and we got to spend several times together.

Pray for those in combat. Those of us who have not been over there, even those who were in previous conflicts, cannot understand the stress that they are facing. My son drives the point truck in a convoy of 4 to 9 trucks. He must be watching EVERY vehicle that approaches him. He must watch every person who walks to the side of the road, or will not move out of the way. His gunner's job is even worse, for he must do the same while at the same time, keeping his hand on the trigger of his weapon. The tales that he told us would weaken the knees of even the hardest among us.

They have procedures that must be followed. When any vehicle shows any sign of not getting out of the way, the gunner must wave a flag. If that doesn't change the vehicle's movement, a hand-held flare is fired by the gunner in front of the vehicle. If the vehicle continues, the gunner fires his rifle ahead of the vehicle using tracer bullets that can be seen by the driver. If all else fails, the gunner fires the 50 cal ahead of the vehicle, then at the engine, then at the driver. All of this in a matter of 10-15 seconds, by a kid who just turned 20 this year. My son, the driver, has to back up the actions by maneuvering his 18-ton truck in the best direction for safety while radioing the trucks behind of evasive action. The 50 cal has had to be used only twice so far without harm (other than emotional) to the cars' drivers, but the flares are a regular occurrence. The pressure is enormous. They have already had several men go AWOL while on R&R.

Worse than this is that the insurgents are using the children to test out the behavior of the convoys. One 12 year-old was killed several weeks ago because he was possibly involved in a grenade attack. My son's convoy had a grenade thrown at them by two little boys. It turned out to be a dud. The insurgents observe and adjust their attacks based on the response of the convoys.

I pray daily that my son will not have to take a life, or even witness an event. His heart is very soft, and I know that it would haunt him. I heard a report this morning that 90% of the returning troops are given some type of medication to cope with the stress.

I covet your prayers.

Bro. Parrish 05-23-2009 03:00 PM

Will do Brother Tim, that must be stressful for you as well.
Let's all pray for Tim's son and be thankful for our men and women in the armed services every day...

chette777 05-23-2009 11:04 PM

We will hold all of them in prayer

Jassy 05-25-2009 12:01 AM

Brother Tim, I'm praying for your son and the other people who are serving in the Armed Forces throughout the world. I've seen several nice posts for Memorial Day. I think we need to remember ALL that have served - not just those who gave their life for our country's freedom - but those who sacrificed by serving away from home, family & friends. No matter if people agree with war or not, we should still pray for their safety!

tonybones2112 05-28-2009 01:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brother Tim (Post 20508)
I said good-bye the second time to my older son this morning. The first time, back in January when he started his tour in Iraq, was very emotional, because I could not suppress the fear of the unknown. Today when he left, I was able to keep things under control. He has been home with his wife and kids for the last two weeks, and we got to spend several times together.

Pray for those in combat. Those of us who have not been over there, even those who were in previous conflicts, cannot understand the stress that they are facing. My son drives the point truck in a convoy of 4 to 9 trucks. He must be watching EVERY vehicle that approaches him. He must watch every person who walks to the side of the road, or will not move out of the way. His gunner's job is even worse, for he must do the same while at the same time, keeping his hand on the trigger of his weapon. The tales that he told us would weaken the knees of even the hardest among us.

They have procedures that must be followed. When any vehicle shows any sign of not getting out of the way, the gunner must wave a flag. If that doesn't change the vehicle's movement, a hand-held flare is fired by the gunner in front of the vehicle. If the vehicle continues, the gunner fires his rifle ahead of the vehicle using tracer bullets that can be seen by the driver. If all else fails, the gunner fires the 50 cal ahead of the vehicle, then at the engine, then at the driver. All of this in a matter of 10-15 seconds, by a kid who just turned 20 this year. My son, the driver, has to back up the actions by maneuvering his 18-ton truck in the best direction for safety while radioing the trucks behind of evasive action. The 50 cal has had to be used only twice so far without harm (other than emotional) to the cars' drivers, but the flares are a regular occurrence. The pressure is enormous. They have already had several men go AWOL while on R&R.

Worse than this is that the insurgents are using the children to test out the behavior of the convoys. One 12 year-old was killed several weeks ago because he was possibly involved in a grenade attack. My son's convoy had a grenade thrown at them by two little boys. It turned out to be a dud. The insurgents observe and adjust their attacks based on the response of the convoys.

I pray daily that my son will not have to take a life, or even witness an event. His heart is very soft, and I know that it would haunt him. I heard a report this morning that 90% of the returning troops are given some type of medication to cope with the stress.

I covet your prayers.

Tim, I will have others praying for your son too besides me. I have a special little prayer of my own and I'm dead serious about it too: I pray to God that He will lead someone to teach our government how to fight a guerrilla war.

Grace and peace to you, your family, and your son over there.

Tony

Forrest 05-28-2009 11:05 AM

We sure will brother Tim.

Brother Tim 05-28-2009 12:07 PM

Thanks to all who are praying for my son and others.

I am as patriotic as is possible. I would never speak out against war when our nation's interests are threatened, even indirectly. My son's stories, however, have really caused a lot of mental frustration on my part. There has to be an easier way to accomplish what his unit is doing there. They basically make rounds to each of the police stations, taking them supplies and messages, on some routine basis. This sounds harmless except for the fact that these behemoths that they drive (Maxx-Pro MRAPS) cannot navigate the city streets without completely disrupting the normal traffic. Because of their turn radius, they must often travel in the opposite-direction lanes to enter the winding barrier-lined paths to the stations. Everyone who is stuck in the mile-long traffic jams is mad at these troublesome Americans! (who wouldn't be?)

I asked him why the Iraqi police could not come to some central area and get their own supplies. Let them be the ones that make the commuters mad.

Now, as of June 30th, there will be no more combat patrols, keeping the routes clear for the convoys. It will be up to the convoys themselves to watch out for the bad guys.

Tony, a guerrilla war might be the trick, but right now it is being run by monkeys!

tonybones2112 05-29-2009 09:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brother Tim (Post 20867)
Thanks to all who are praying for my son and others.

I am as patriotic as is possible. I would never speak out against war when our nation's interests are threatened, even indirectly. My son's stories, however, have really caused a lot of mental frustration on my part. There has to be an easier way to accomplish what his unit is doing there. They basically make rounds to each of the police stations, taking them supplies and messages, on some routine basis. This sounds harmless except for the fact that these behemoths that they drive (Maxx-Pro MRAPS) cannot navigate the city streets without completely disrupting the normal traffic. Because of their turn radius, they must often travel in the opposite-direction lanes to enter the winding barrier-lined paths to the stations. Everyone who is stuck in the mile-long traffic jams is mad at these troublesome Americans! (who wouldn't be?)

I asked him why the Iraqi police could not come to some central area and get their own supplies. Let them be the ones that make the commuters mad.

Now, as of June 30th, there will be no more combat patrols, keeping the routes clear for the convoys. It will be up to the convoys themselves to watch out for the bad guys.

Tony, a guerrilla war might be the trick, but right now it is being run by monkeys!

Tim, I was taught and in turn taught guerrilla warfare myself. The British, as embodied by Sir Robert Thompson during the Malaysian insurgency, found out what Scipio Africanus found out in ancient Roman times putting down the insurgency in Spain: You fight guerrillas with guerrillas you'll win. That's been true down through the history of warfare.

This is Vietnam all over again because we tried to fight a war that was supported out of North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos with the backing of Russia and Red China. Same thing here: the insurgency is being run out of Iran and Syria with the backing of Russia and Red China.

I pray for your boy and his safe return, I pray for all of them.

Grace and peace Tim

Tony

greenbear 05-29-2009 10:38 PM

Tim,
I'll be praying for your son's physical safety and that he won't have to take a life or witness anything that could tramatize him.

Jennifer

ChaplainPaul 05-31-2009 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brother Tim (Post 20867)
Thanks to all who are praying for my son and others.

My son's stories, however, have really caused a lot of mental frustration on my part. There has to be an easier way to accomplish what his unit is doing there...I asked him why the Iraqi police could not come to some central area and get their own supplies...Now, as of June 30th, there will be no more combat patrols, keeping the routes clear for the convoys. It will be up to the convoys themselves to watch out for the bad guys.

I'll be praying for both you and your son. Can you give his first name? If not, I understand. These soldiers do impossible missions on a daily basis. Kids not old enough to legally drink alcohol in the US handle life-and-death situations under extreme pressure and at great personal sacrifice.

The next time any of you see a soldier, sailor, airman or marine in uniform at the airport, at a restaurant, a grocery store or wherever, shake their hand and tell them that you appreciate what they are doing. Buy their dinner. Ask them where they're from. Write a "Thank you" note on a 3x5 card, title it "To the Next Soldier I Meet" and the look for the opportunity to give it away. And above all, tell them to put their faith in Jesus Christ.


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