Posts tagged Marine
Posts tagged Marine
WASHINGTON — In late July last year, Marine Cpl. Kevin Dubois headed out to take the place of another Marine wounded while guarding a hastily setup landing zone near Sangin, a Taliban hotbed in southern Afghanistan.
Improvised explosive devices had taken a heavy toll all year, with Marines on dismounted patrols accounting for a disproportionate number of casualties. The guy that Dubois, a 25-year-old scout sniper, was sent to replace had stepped on a faulty homemade land mine.
Most of the explosive charge failed to ignite, but it still popped with enough force to injure a foot.
Sgt. Mike Dowling and Rex were deployed to Iraq’s infamous “Triangle of Death” in 2004. COURTESY OF MIKE DOWLING
By GREG HARDESTY / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
CAMP PENDLETON – The second RPG round blew Cpl. Mike Dowling off his feet.
The Marine had never seen combat before, but in 2004, he found himself in the thick of battle in Iraq’s infamous “Triangle of Death.”Boom!
The blast from the rocket-propelled grenade slammed him into the ground, along with a fellow Marine, Sgt. Rex.
As Dowling recounts in his just-published book, the explosion must have knocked him out cold for a second:
“I come to with Rex on his feet, eyes white with fear and searching wildly in the smoke and dust to find me.
“Then he’s on top of me, madly licking my face. If my dog could talk I know what he’d be yelling right now:
“Wake up! Get up! Show me you’re alive!”
August 9th dawned scalding and dry across the Marjeh district of Helmand province, Afghanistan. In the blocks, a fertile swath of land watered by a canal network stretching dozens of square kilometers, farmers roused their mules early in order to complete ploughing before their relatives came visiting for Ramadan. A convoy of marines, accompanied by Afghan Local Police, rattled down a dusty strip between fields known as Panther road.
Corporal David Cluver and his black lab, Archie, sat in the back of one the humming tan personnel carriers that rumbled through the western blocks that morning. They were on their way to set up a vehicle checkpoint, to count cars and see how many travelers would be passing through the region during the Muslim holy month. Archie, three and a half years old, bore the uncomfortably nested acronym-title of IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Detection Dog, or IDD (often called “IDD dog”, a more comfortable redundancy).