Thursday, February 01, 2007

Just one story of many...

The following was posted on Andi's World Milblog and I just had to re-post it here. This is one of many stories like this I've heard or read about our association with locals in Afghanistan and Iraq. Andi's World is linked on my sidebar. This post was written by Airforcewife in Andi's absence. Thanks

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

I Would Have Died For Him

About two months into my husband's last deployment I got an interesting email from him. Before I go on to describe what he said, I should probably make clear that of the many choices in amount of communication available to military families, hubby and I have chosen the "I'd rather hear it from you" route, and he tends to give me a fairly clear picture of what his life is like deployed.

I have an incredibly active imagination, and so I exaggerate the information I get from sources other than my husband. After many, many, many,many incidents that nearly caused me to lose my mind we decided that it was better he tell me. Hubby can phrase and parse the situations he encounters all he wants... Just as long as I have an idea of what's going on. That way I can ignore any outside information and still feel like I have a handle on what's going on.

In any case, this is the background under which I received an email about a local on hubby's deployed base called "Rambo."

This email hubby sent me was odd. Never before has hubby singled out one of the locals he works with to tell me about, even though his deployed line of work has him working very closely with locals. I hear aggregate stories about incidents and I hear about funny and isolated events, but he has never mailed me a biography before. The reason is entirely OPSEC.

Rambo, however, was a special case. For one thing, he wasn't one of hubby's contacts. He lived on the base. For another, Rambo genuinely loved the Americans and having them there. He proved it constantly, putting himself in physical danger every day to make sure "his" base and "his" American soldiers were as safe as possible. Rambo could be counted on to be at the very front of the line guarding the facilities any time a crowd assembled.

Rambo's story began in the 1970's; he was an ethnic Tajik that fought with the United States against the Soviets. When the Soviets left, the Afghans allied themselves with various warlords until the Taliban took over.

The Taliban wasted no time in murdering Rambo's entire family, and Rambo left for the hills to fight with the Northern Alliance. When our special forces took Kabul, Rambo fought alongside them, and he was the first guard at the base.

My husband sent me an email about Rambo, pictures of the two of them together, and ended his email with this line, "Rambo takes care of us. He is one of us. Any one of us here would take a bullet for him."

I sent the story hubby emailed me out to many people I knew, because most of our civilian friends and family are far removed from the war. For more than a few, we are the only people they directly know who are fighting. They ask us questions, and they often do not understand. I try to pass on what I can. The amount of devotion Rambo showed to the guys at hubby's base touched me deeply, and I wanted to share what they told me was one of the reasons they supported their cause so much.

Just yesterday, now that hubby is home and safe with me, I learned of yet another chapter in Rambo's story and more proof of his amazing character.

The building hubby worked in while deployed was the target of a suicide car bomber. As the truck of explosives came through the gate, something about them triggered Rambo's attention and rather than waste time sounding the alarm - he took matters into his own hands and yanked the suicide bomber from inside the truck in an attempt to prevent its detonation. The truck detonated after both Rambo and the would-be bomber were free and took a huge chunk out of the building. The damage wasn't as extensive as it would have been if the explosives laden truck had managed to make it into closer proximity.

Rambo didn't blink. He just did.

No one can argue that there are many, many problems in Iraq and Afghanistan; and many things to overcome that are difficult, ugly, and at times despair-inducing.

But there are good things, and good people, there too. The foundations of these new countries will be built with such as them, although the building may be very long indeed.

My husband often recites John 15:13 from the Bible. It resonates with him very deeply: " Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." After hearing about Rambo, I understand why.

Posted by airforcewife on Wednesday, 31 January 2007 at 07:12 PM | Permalink


Blogger Wadical said...

Hello friend. Nice new blog. I like the theme...these heroes deserve recognition.

9:22 PM  
Blogger PJ said...

Thanks, buddy. I'm happy to hear from you. How are things going?

6:42 AM  

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