Victory comes in steps....
....one foot in front of the other until the job is done.
For the men of Charlie 1-8 Cav, it had been a typically tough week in a dispiriting year of chasing ghosts.And the jackpot was?
One night they were ambushed by an attacker who melted away before they could return fire. Another night they raided a suspected insurgent safe house but found it empty - and the neighbors professing ignorance, as usual. Every day they searched homes and cars, hunting for the extremists planning attacks to disrupt Sunday's election. Almost every day they seemed to come up dry.
Then, Sunday, they hit the jackpot.
From two nondescript houses they pass every day, the troops pulled out three 100-pound bags of plastic explosives and fertilizer, 51 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 16,000 rounds of ammunition, dozens of rifles and machine guns, and eight mobile-phone-connected switches for setting off roadside bombs. Most of the arms were in barrels, buried in the front yard.All this happened because an American military man was doing his job paying attention and following up on leads.
Perhaps the most chilling finds were artillery shells fashioned into the kind of bomb that has routinely killed American soldiers; a pressure switch used by suicide attackers; eight Iraqi police uniforms and several police radios; several black ski masks of the sort worn by the people who have beheaded hostages on videotape.
The troops of 1-8 Cav have uncovered a number of such caches in recent months - one reason, they believe, that the frequency of attacks in their sector has diminished since November.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could read these stories more often? (Hat tip to Mudville Gazette.)