Tal’Afar, H.R. McMaster, and the Truth

The Ghosts of Tal'Afar

We knew that eventually we would leave Tal’Afar (be it at the end of tour, if relived, on a medivac, or in a bag). We knew that the security situation wasn’t stable and that there was a big ramp-up going on to try to stem the Al Qaeda spring offensive. On the 17th of April 2005, I woke up mid-morning after a long day on quick reaction force duty (QRF) to find the empty field outside of our living pad filled with 1,500 + soldiers and vehicles. A steady stream of men was walking in single file lines like ants in and out of our shower and shitter trailer, and sewage was backing up through the pipes and into the pad. 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment had arrived overnight (the main body came in the very next day).

We’d been anticipating 3rd ACR for about two weeks now since we had…

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