Chiver e-mail continued:
It was nice chill morning in Mosul, Iraq.
Sunny skies, almost perfect weather, and like any other day we were getting ready for a mission on the south-east side of Mosul, and on this day, it was my turn to be the gunner on lead truck. My weapons were a .50 cal machine gun and a M4 rifle. As we conducted the final checks my platoon sergeant at the time opened the passenger door and told my team leader the area we were going into had not been patrolled for at least two weeks…and to expect to get into trouble. I was a very cocky 20 year old private first class then, and I thought I was ready to get into trouble, little did I know that day would change me and my brothers forever.
Due to the sensitivity of that mission, I cannot disclosure the purpose and details of it.
I believe it was two hours into the mission when we made a right turn into a street code name “Broadway”.
I was sitting down on the (.50 Cal.) gun scanning my sector as much as I could through the cracks of 50 cal machine gun.
When out of the blue…Dust and dirt came out of nowhere completely covering me with it.
My M4 sitting in front of me came flying straight to my face. Thanks to the Army’s common sense, I was wearing a face-shield (like the cops use) which stopped the M4 from smashing my face. Everything was going in slow motion. From witnesses statement, it lasted about 3 seconds. The dust and dirt cleared-up as fast as it came. Now we were sitting at a funny position, to be exact we were sitting at a 45 degree angle, it was then when I realized,
“we just got BLOWN the fuck up”.
I felt PFC Stakley punching my right knee and asking if I was “Ok”, I yelled back a loud “yeah”.
Then it came…one of the moments that from time-to-time, comes back to haunt me.
PFC Webb was yelling from the top of his lungs in massive pain, PFC Stakley had already gotten out of the truck, I went down the hatch and saw a pool of blood.
PFC Webb’s face was covered with blood and I can (could) see he had a long clean cut on his face. Then I looked down and I could see tons of blood coming from his legs area, but couldn’t see the wounds…that’s when I looked at CPL Brown which was driving that day.
CPL Brown’s seat was sitting on top of PFC Webb’s legs, I tried to move it while yelling at CPL Brown to wake up, he didn’t, so I grabbed his shoulder, gave him a strong shake and said,
“Brown wake the fuck up”.
Then I realize he was unconscious or so I thought, he wasn’t, he had died instantly in the explosion without suffering.
If I would’ve known that at the time, I would’ve treating him with more respect, but I didn’t know, and that too hunts me from time to time.
At this point I couldn’t do anything, I looked at PFC Webb and told him I was going to be right back, I climbed up the hatch when the most unforgettable pain hit me with the thunder of God himself, I looked down thinking I lost a leg. I had blood but not mine, then it hit me, “my foot is broken”, I crawled out of the truck to sit on the roof, trying to get my headset off I took my whole helmet off, then very loud TINK TINK TINK exploded all around me,
WE JUST GOT AMBUSHED .
We responded with all mighty power of angry Infantrymen. The combat engineers were close by and came to help us.
Finally I reached the ground and jumping on one leg, I tried to help PFC Stakley crack open Webb’s door but (when) I stepped on my broken foot, it gave-out and collapsed. In mid-air one of the intel guys caught me asking “what’s wrong?”. I said broken foot, he helped me up and on one foot, I jumped to the truck behind us where my platoon sergeant was.
We made it back to the hospital on base where I was surrounded by medical staff. They were asking questions and all I was saying was, “My left foot is broken, take care of my boys…I’m fine”. Then one of the Doctors put his hand on my chest and with a firm voice said,
“My boys are taking care of your boys, and I’m gonna take care of you”.
I woke a few minutes later to listen to someone saying “this is morphine”, I was out again. When I woke up again, I was lost, I didn’t know what the fuck was going on. Then a medevac helicopter pilot showed-up and told me that he and his crew had just flown PFC Webb to a base in Germany. I was like WTF, “what happened to him?”. He told me (that PFC Webb) had lost a leg and probably would loose the other one. In the midst of anger and sadness, I was also bit relieved because now I knew where Webb was going.
But what happened with Brown?
The pilot left and I had passed out again, then I woke-up and saw the most terrible thing ever. My brothers were walking in line to my bed, they were crying, they were trying to suck it up, to tough-it-up, they surrounded me and my Company Commander came next to me and said, “there is no easy way to say this…….We lost Brown”.
It took about a second and half to sink in.
As I was breaking up in tears,
“He just became a Father.”