Friday, March 16, 2007

An American hero

It is hardly surprising that the Iraq War public relations battle is being lost in Britain, when we have no effective advocates in the government - unlike Australia - and no effective information stream from the military - unlike the US.

CENTCOM is one of the leading edges of America's media and internet information chain. Here they present a story of an everyday American hero:

On Feb. 22, 2006, Taylor and his intelligence team headed out to search for roadside bombs in a volatile region of Afghanistan. They had received word that a bomb had exploded in the area the night before, so his team – a combination of Afghan national police officers, Army intelligence personnel, and U.S. military police – planned to gather any information and evidence about the explosion. By studying the bomb’s components, they might be able to determine who manufactured it – and how to protect against similar devices in the future.

They climbed to the top of a ridge to scout the valley below, where the bomb was supposed to be. There were no civilians in sight, which instantly put Taylor on alert. The wooden box supposedly holding the shards of the bomb drew the team’s attention. Yet, instead of pieces of an exploded bomb, the box held a receiver for an anti-tank landmine – and a large rocket. Having hardly any time to think, Taylor grabbed the two Afghan police officers near him and jumped on top of them in a ditch, just as the weapon exploded. The flying shrapnel found its mark with Taylor – but his body armor protected him from serious injury. The Afghans had been wearing only flannel shirts, and so were saved by Taylor’s split-second decision. For his actions, he was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” on Jan. 6, 2007.
I'm not American, Taylor isn't British. But I'm grateful to him for what he is doing, and proud that people like him are helping Iraq move into a peaceful and democratic future.

I'd like to be posting similar stories about British servicemen. But the MoD needs first to remove the cork from its arse, and start presenting some information we can reproduce, to help us share the pride some of us already feel in the young men and women who are risking, and giving, their lives in order that we can sleep soundly in our beds.

At least, chez Risdon, sleep soundly until the mastiff downstairs starts snoring. These seventeenth century cottages are all well and good, but the ceilings are thin...

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