Term of Service: Life on the Front Lines of a Modern Vietnam

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In the summer of 2005, the Army’s 10th Mountain Division 1st Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq’s war-torn capital city of Baghdad to facilitate the extermination of the remaining militants and sympathizers of Saddam Hussein’s toppled regime. When Delta Company, 1st Battalion 87th Infantry arrived, they were met with a chaotic mission of routing an invisible enemy and saddled to a corrupt and incompetent Iraqi Army to scared to enter the more volatile districts without the protection of coalition forces.

By December, commanders had fabricated a massive mission that linked the hands of Infantry, Special Operations, Iraqi Security Forces and political figures and bound the capital city in exhausting suspense for days as coalition forces bore down on the still active Mahdi Militia and Al-Qaeda In Iraq insurgent cells to deter attacks on butter-soft voting venues. Bracing for mass casualties, stacks of body bags were dumped into Humvees to the point of compromising sensitive equipment as the soldier’s focus slowly centered on December 15th.

January 2006: the Delta 1/87 mission changed dramatically when troops were shifted into the infamous Abu-Ghraib prison complex to relieve Marines and later reshuffled to the district of Amaryiah to rejoin a reactionary battle as sectarian violence exploded throughout the city. Coalition forces were consistently hammered by stubborn and resilient supporters of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and the body’s stacked higher than from the savage struggle for political dominance. As a machine gun operator in a light infantry gun tuck, Sergeant Brian Welch and the men of the 10th Mountain Division served a full year in Baghdad and returned to face combat in Northern Iraq for an additional fifteen months.

In August of 2007, after almost continuous training for a second deployment, Delta 1/87 deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to conduct operations to disrupt enemy activity in the rural farmlands and traditional Islamic villages of northern Iraq. Relieving the 25th Infantry Division, the prognosis in Hawijah was unstable and volatile. The members of 2nd platoon faced off in a struggle with local insurgent cells bent on destabilizing the town and turning the populace into assets of terror while the rest of the company penetrated the farmlands surrounding Riyadh and began strategic plans for a new patrol base.

After a hideous attack on December 21st, 2007, Delta Company mourned the loss of a beloved father, husband and comrade. A battalion sized mission, Operation Dagger Harvest, speared the heart of the village harboring the hated IED trigger man and a new patrol base was constructed with the blood, sweat and tears of the entire company in memory of the fallen.

Term of Service brings combat to life just as graphic and emotional as its hideous reality even in the minds of the most sheltered civilians. The story of Delta 1/87 and its fallen heros resound through the pages and call for Americans to preserve the nation this group of Infantry soldiers sacrificed so valiantly for.

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