Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Friday, September 14, 2007

By the Numbers

In the early hours of the morning, the last soldiers of our task force caught their flights out of Camp Taqqadum and left our work in Iraq to others. Badger 6 has a post up over at Badgers Forward summarizing the year for our company. I'll do a post of my own sometime in the next few weeks with more detail.

From B6:

Missions Performed - 647
Improvised Explosive Devices Reduced - 458
Kilometers Traveled - 51135

To put those numbers in perspective:

Our missions lasted anywhere from 2 to 60 hours, but were commonly around 8 (not including 2 hours prep time for each mission). The longest mission any platoon conducted without stopping for rest was somewhere around 24 hours. Those kilometers rolled by at a glacial pace that rarely exceeded 30 kilometers per hour and was often much slower. Most importantly, we believe that each bomb we found potentially saved between 1 and 5 American or Iraqi lives. That means that our company alone could easily have saved over 2000 lives.

We brought 102 men to war, if my memory serves. Among those, 97 experienced at least one attack by the enemy and earned the Combat Action Badge. All three of our medics earned the Combat Medical Badge, for giving medical aid in combat. Those same medics helped save the lives of several of our soldiers- 35 of 102 received a Purple Heart for wounds received during an engagement with the enemy. Sadly, three of our best were killed in action.

We are going home.


  1. Well done,

    Come on home, with the thanks of a grateful nation.

    Gratitude and Prayers,

  2. TD, you guys are the greatest, please convey my thanks and admiration to each and everyone, you have earned the never ending gratitude of America, welcome home son, relax and enjoy life, you have earned it.

  3. I can't wait to see you! You have no idea how much I've missed you :)

  4. Amazing job, thank you.

  5. Fair winds and following seas brother, I'll be taking a spot out there after the new year for the fourth time.

  6. well done. I thank you for myself and mine.

  7. Thanks, TD. And Godspeed on your way home.

  8. Anonymous15/9/07 05:55

    Those are amazing numbers - especially how many IEDs reduced. Yikes. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Welcome back. Stay safe!

  9. Thanks you for your service TD and congratulations on a job well done.
    I look forward to your commentary and review of the mission in Iraq.

  10. Anonymous15/9/07 20:08

    God Bless. Welcome Home and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  11. Anonymous16/9/07 08:03

    Let me add my thanks and welcome home also. God bless America's military and their families.

  12. I am so glad to hear that you guys are coming home... Thank you for all you have done, TD.

  13. Anonymous16/9/07 10:33

    Though I am not an American I wish to thank you for the service you have done for your country, the Iraqi people and for all of us.

    Thank you.

  14. Can hardly wait to give you a welcome hug. Safe journey.

  15. Anonymous16/9/07 12:09

    Thank you for a job well done! It's been bittersweet reading your entries since I found out about your blog. Thanks in particular for your tribute to our son, Cpl Stephen Shannon. I know he did the same duties you did- we're so proud of you all! Hoping to be able to meet you when you get home. Dan and Joan Shannon

  16. Anonymous16/9/07 18:41

    Congratulations on a job well done -- and welcome back home.

  17. Anonymous17/9/07 00:16

    Thank you for your service, TD. Welcome home.

  18. Anonymous17/9/07 05:48

    TD, the military gives y'all well deserved medals. You have our well earned respect. You folks have done an amazing job. I never read a story about IEDs cleared, or weapons caches found and destroyed, without thinking of all the lives saved. To the families of the heros we've lost, their names will be engraved in stone, their stories recorded for history, but their spirits will live on in our hearts. All gave some, some gave all. From a greatful nation, thank you. You have our respect, and our love.

  19. Anonymous17/9/07 10:59

    Many blessings on you and your entire team. Hurry home for a much deserved rest! Thank you for having the courage to stand up and put on a uniformm when so many are afraid to even fly their flag outside their home for fear of offending someone or appearing to take a stand. Thank you for your service and sacrifice and that of your family. Lastly, thank you for sharing so much of yourself thru this blog. Your writings connected me to the world over there, which was a comfort considering I have a loved one currently serving. I learned a lot! Like so many others, I look forward to your future works because I'm sure they will be as compelling as your writings here. God Bless!

  20. God Bless you all and Thank you for all you have done for our country!

    Hope your time in purgatory (Kuwait) is brief!!

  21. I am glad you are on your way. You all did good work over their and I have really appreciated your sharing the days of your life with us.

  22. So fuckin' proud of the job you guys did. The country owes you all... what it can never really repay.

  23. Good job, Soldier. Have a safe trip home.

  24. Thank you for your service. We are in your eternal debt.

  25. Anonymous19/9/07 00:25

    You know Don... you leave these people in such suspense. How do they know you didn't get drunk/lost on your layover in Ireland and get painted like a leprechaun by some hooligans? Such inattentiveness to the adoring public!

    Well folks, I'm glad to let you know that our TD has made it back stateside just fine, and although the army is currently keeping him from hitting the road to see everyone he wishes to... that delay will be ending soon enough.

    Welcome home, buddy, and take care of that jetlag.

  26. Anonymous21/9/07 11:57

    Safe journey home and a huge THANK YOU to you and all the men and women who serve our country with such courage. I am an Army Mom and will soon see my daughter deployed again. May you all be blessed!

  27. Anonymous22/9/07 08:04


    I'm glad to see you back home safe and sound, and grateful for your reports to us back home. I know you have a great deal to do, but please consider collecting your experiences into a book. There are several good accounts of the invasion of Iraq in print, but I don't know of any that describe what it took to wrest that land from the secondary invaders who tried to hijack the liberated Iraq the way the Bolsheviks hijacked Russia during its revolution--or why it is essential to stop them.

    I'm sure that your experiences would find a publisher, and equally sure they would help to answer sloganeers back home.