The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

A Perspective From A U.S. Army Soldier's Wife:

The Next Big Bomb, by Shana Jackson, The Quill

One of the most common things in Iraq for the soldiers to deal with are the IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).

These devices come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations depending on how much explosive they put in them.

They are then placed about anywhere you can imagine. Most common places: coffee cans, trash piles, buried underground and or roads. At times, this makes it difficult for the soldiers to find the IEDs before it is too late.

The insurgents and local militants use them to attack the Iraqi Army, Police, and Coalition Forces.

Another thing that is hard for the soldiers is that the IEDs are detonated in numerous ways. It can be anything from a hand held remote to a cell phone calling in, or it being on a timer. The Coalition forces have certain devices on their vehicles and portables that counter the remote devices which can jam the signal. This will stop the IEDs from going off. They still get hit every once in awhile.

There is also the VB-IED (vehicle Borne IED) which is nothing more than packing a vehicle full of explosives and using it as a delivery method for them. They will use anything from a bicycle to a dump truck.

These explosives are a little more difficult to spot and counter due to the fact that just about everyone or everything you see out on patrol has to be looked at as a delivery method of explosives. These explosives have also been used in the SV-IED's (suicide vest IED) which is a person wearing the explosive and walking into a crowd and detonating.

Most common use for this one is after a VB-IED or IED has been detonated. Then after the crowd gathers and starts to inspect the area they walk in and detonate another bomb.

The soldiers deal with these types of things on a daily basis. So far Gary's team, BTT 4251 has been blessed and have not been hit with any of these. They have had a few VB-IED's and regular IED's detonate within 500 meters from their COP but no injuries.

So, with this being said, when the team goes out on combat patrol or convoys it can turn a 20 mile trip into feeling like a 500 mile trip due to the fact they constantly have to be looking everywhere and at everything as if it were an IED or VB-IED.

The most recent one in their region was a dump truck packed with 500 lbs of explosives and driven into an Iraqi police station killing over 45 people and injuring 50 plus and making a crater half the size of a football field.

There was also a truck parked on the side of the road packed with a little bit of explosives that detonated and got this truck shown in the picture.

Luckily, with the UP Armor that vehicles use, no one was hurt in this incident.

Again, please keep Gary Jackson's team, BTT 4251, in your thoughts and prayers as well as all the other soldiers serving for our country.