Skip to comments.Coalition Forces Save Two Iraqi Girls
Posted on 12/23/2007 8:14:21 AM PST by SandRat
The day began routinely for Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. As they had done so many days before, the group was conducting patrols along route Gnat into Arab Jabour, staying vigilant against the possibility of insurgent attacks, not only against themselves, but their Iraqi friends in the area.
“We’ve met a lot of really friendly people here. We know people by their names, and an Iraqi mom adopted us,” said Sgt. Timothy Klibbe.
They were conducting a standard operation, which began around 1 p.m., said platoon leader 1st Lt. Charley Staab. The unit was prepared to patrol the route down to the southernmost blocking point, looking for signs of trouble, insurgent weapons caches and improvised explosive devices.
But the day’s threat would not come from the ground below them, but from above.
Klibbe, a 2nd Platoon team leader, had just dismounted his vehicle when he heard an explosion up the road.
Driven by his training and fueled by a desire to learn what happened and administer any help needed, he said he took off at a dead sprint toward the explosion site.
Accompanying Klibbe was platoon medic, Spc. Scott Wolfe, a native of Millbrae, Calif.
They arrived at the scene with other Soldiers from the unit and were met by a man cradling a little girl in his arms.
Hajer, conscious but wounded, was bleeding from multiple shrapnel wounds.
A quick assessment by ‘Doc’ Wolfe showed she had deep wounds to her stomach and shrapnel embedded in her torso and legs. The injuries were more than he could treat. He said the decision was made to evacuate her to Patrol Base Murray for more extensive care.
As the trucks rolled into position for ground evacuation, Hajer’s sister approached the Soldiers. Although she walked on her own, Nora sustained injuries. The most serious was a laceration across the right side of her head.
Nora was sent to PB Murray as well. They arrived by truck within four minutes.
Wolfe used the short trip to stabilize the two, especially Hajer. “She was pretty stable by the time I handed her off to the aid station,” he said.
Once the girls were in good hands, the Soldiers returned to the scene. A crowd had gathered and was being questioned for information by other Soldiers on the ground, including Staab.
He met the girls’ mother. “She was in the garden milking the cow when she saw a big cloud of dust,” Staab said.
Once the dust settled, the children’s uncle found the girls wounded, picked up Hajer and carried her off to get aid from Coalition forces.
“It’s lucky we were there,” said Staab, a Novi, Mich., native. The Soldiers were able to locate the uncle, who was offering his thanks to the American Soldiers, Klibbe said.
The Soldiers escorted the man back to PB Murray so he could reunite with his nieces.
Among the medics working on the girls at PB Murray were Sgt. 1st Class Exter Drayton, the platoon sergeant of medical platoon, 1-30th Inf. Regt. Although unnerved by the children’s arrival, having a son, Malik, 9, and daughter, Mayah, 4, Drayton said he placed his emotions aside and got to work treating the girls.
“My priority is their care, not my emotions,” said Drayton, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., who is on his second deployment.
Drayton said the medics are an extraordinary group, who are passionate about saving lives.
Hajer and Nora received basic medical care at PB Murray and were then evacuated to the 86th Combat Surgical Hospital (CSH) at the Ibn Sina Hospital in Baghdad.
Despite hearing the news of having to transport his nieces again, the uncle was glad the girls were being taken to an American hospital, Staab said, where he knew they would receive the best care possible.
A quick flight north to the hospital took the girls and their uncle from PB Murray to the CSH, where doctors were awaiting the patients including Lt. Col. Michael Gooden, a surgeon.
After Hajer received surgery and Nora’s wounds were treated, the girls were transported for recovery to Medical City Hospital, also in Baghdad. Gooden said he gets very little follow-up on patients who go there, but he said at the time of transfer, Hajer was doing very well.
“I don’t anticipate any problems in her recovery,” he said. “Hajer should recover without any long-term disability.”
The positive prognosis was encouraging to Gooden. He said the stress of having to treat patients, especially children, and watching the effect it has on the patients’ friends and family, is the most difficult part of the job.
The first-responders played a vital part in the overall success story. They are still working every day to make sure the Dec. 11 events don’t occur again.
Acting on actionable intelligence from citizens, Staab said his Soldiers have found several weapons caches in the area since the incident. Within 48 hours, the Soldiers discovered a mortar tube and bipods.
My nephew is with the 3ID.
Now you have something to relate to him about 3ID that he won’t think you know.
Heroes all! Peace through Victory is coming to Iraq!
If and when you get the chance, thank your nephew for me. His service is greatly appreciated.
Can't have that. < /sarc derision of the LSM
Bless him, the 3rd ID will go down in history for the "Thunder Run" into Baghdad. Just badasses.
I can hear the comments in cafes all over LA right now: “no film here.”
God bless our troops!!
WRM, MSgt, USAF(Ret.)
Thank you for your kind sentiment. By the way, I was USAF, as well: 1970-1974.
“Thank you for your kind sentiment. By the way, I was USAF, as well: 1970-1974.”
I can’t help being proud of our troops, whatever branch they serve in.
Looks like we overlapped a bit. I enlisted late in ‘73, retired late in ‘97. Had a ball the whole time!