U.S. Army photo

I was in my small fire base’s tactical operations center on June 16, 2006 when two soldiers were captured from an outpost in southern Baghdad. The normal chatter of grids for improvised explosive devices and small arms fire on the movement tracking system quickly turned into an abnormal message: All convoys and patrols on the road needed to immediately stop and set up checkpoints and search every single vehicle because two soldiers had been captured. Over 8,000 Iraqi and American troops and a plethora of aircraft joined the search, resulting in 12 wounded troops and one death. The mutilated bodies of the two soldiers were found three days later, rigged with so many IEDs that it took the explosive ordnance disposal team 12 hours to reach them.

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