Did I write that we were bored? Uh yes. Did I knock on wood? Uh, no. Be careful what you wish for....
A few hours after that last post everyone was in the midst of their afternoon routine when the call went out. I was in the gym working up a treadmill sweat. A civilian vehicle was caught by an IED. In this case it was the secondary kill zone. It had apparently stopped short of a suspicious object which served to flush it in the blast area of another IED. The explosive element was a propane tank which limited shrapnel but caused a powerful concussive force. Three passengers were killed, two survived, a father and his three year-old daughter.
Their injuries were extensive. The girl had fractures to both of her tibias and a femur, pulmonary contusions, and, as we found out later, a closed head injury with brain bleed. The father had a pelvic fracture, lung contusions, and injuries to his liver, spleen and spine. We activated the walking blood bank and donors from the base lined up. The surgeries went on for the next 6 hours just to get them stable enough for transport to the hospital at KAF.
Twelve hours later we had our first enemy casualty. He had accidentally detonated an IED that he was placing. He arrived with a massive head injury and no pulse. There was little that we could do for him.
Finally, this morning there were three army combat engineers from a route clearance team. Another IED. Fortunately none of the three were badly injured. Chock up another save to MRAPs and body armor.
Route clearance is probably the most dangerous job here. One bit of grafitti from the latrine wall put it this way: "Route Clearance. I look for what you run from. I get blown up so you don't have to." All I can add to that is "thanks."