Thursday, November 11, 2010

Read the Service and Sacrifice manuscript Foreword by MAJOR GENERAL WESLEY E. CRAIG JR. (Retired)

MG Craig was my Division Commander during the time the Keystone Task Force Dragoon was in Iraq. He is also an associate of mine and was quite courteous to author such a well written and considerate Foreword to the manuscript "Service and Sacrifice" which should be published some time in March 2011. Thank you General Craig!

This is a gripping story of men in combat – combat against rarely seen terrorists who do not abide by the Geneva Convention, who kill military, civilians and children indiscriminately. This story is written by First Lieutenant Sam Console, a platoon leader in Charlie Company, 103rd Engineers. He and his men were mobilized in 2004 by the 28th Infantry Division and assigned as part of Task Force Dragoon; a battalion sized task force of close to 800 troops made up of Infantry, Armor and Engineers. TF Dragoon was further assigned to reinforce the 116th Brigade Combat Team of the Idaho National Guard in their deployment to northern Iraq 2004/2005. This intrepid and brave group of combat engineers performed route clearance work for a solid year in Bayji, Iraq. They discovered, defused or destroyed hundreds of IEDs, saving countless lives of the US Armed Forces, Iraqi military and civilians. They performed some of the most dangerous work in Iraq at that time. Their Battalion Commander, LTC Phil Logan, told me personally that the Charlie Company Sappers (combat engineers) were relentless, indispensable, and some of the bravest soldiers in the entire task force. He wished he had twice as many!

1LT Console weaves his own personal story into the tales of combat action. He describes the heavy burdens of responsibility felt by the front line supervisors of troops conducting daily combat operations. He graphically explains the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on those around him and himself as the men of Charlie Company deal with the death of comrades and allies alike. His stories of flashbacks, second guessing of decisions made in combat, the feelings of guilt about “why was he killed and not me?” will be very familiar to all combat veterans. The help given by the American Legion and the Veterans Administration Hospital are reassuring to those who still need assistance but have not asked for it.

Finally, this is a story of the personal triumph of the men that made up C Company, 103rd Engineers. They trained and worked together in very trying and dangerous circumstances. They formed a close brotherhood that saw them through hundreds of IED hunting missions. This story will explain the great inner strength among the men of this company that developed in the crucible of combat. They tackled all challenges head on, following the Engineers motto, Essayons…”Let us try!”

Our country is blessed with the service and dedication of the soldiers who are written about in this book.

Also, please feel free to take a look at the photos I took on Veterans Day 2010 in Washington, D.C. at the Facebook Public Site below.

God Bless America and as always, Our Troops no matter where they are in the world.
Sam Console
1LT, Combat Engineers (DAV)

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