Tales Of Men & Women  by Stone Riley                     www.stoneriley.com                     Website Edition © 2007 by Stone Riley, all rights reserved

Shock And Awe

a short short story

Here's a combat story from Iraq that I heard on National Public Radio one morning.  The report was very brief so please forgive me if I have to fill in some details.  That's really what you do with a radio story anyway and the incident apparently was pretty typical; I probably can't go very far wrong.

Anyway, the lead point element of one of our mechanized divisions has reached their current designated spot on the road to Baghdad.  They halt, drive off of the road and form up around the landscape like they should.  The commanding officer naturally sends out some guys in tanks and Bradley armored vehicles to scout ahead a certain distance up the road and the reporter who's telling it happened to be a passenger in one of these particular Bradleys.

Pretty soon they spot a major ambush attempt.  Our guys, well trained and still alert despite the sleepless grind, see it in time with their computerized vision screens.  The enemy has put some tanks, maybe half a dozen tanks, big T-72's no doubt, lying in wait, hiding in among the little houses and the mosque and palm trees of one of those dusty little adobe desert villages.

Our guys stop and deploy and – while maneuvering still outside the enemy's effective range – pop all the enemy tanks with one round each.  That's very good shooting.  They all explode and burn.  Pretty quick our guys are on their way again.

Now here's the thing.  They go as far as they're supposed to go and turn around so now they're rolling back.  They reach the ambush site again.  Now here's one single enemy soldier left all by himself and he starts shooting at the armored vehicles with nothing but an AK47 rifle.  They pop him with a cannon round.