"We returned to supporting Hammer 46 as he and his men moved through their patrol, finally ending up back in their vehicles with thankfully no casualties or injuries to report. After the remaining hours spent supporting them, we slowly flew back toward KAF. Bravo Troop had stopped the fight and we had continued to support and keep Hammer 46 safe, so the mission was technically a success. Despite that knowledge, I still could not shake that terrified, pleading gaze and my curiosity about whether or not the child lived or died."
"The turret atop one of the vehicles stopped shooting grenades, and the Marine disappeared momentarily into the vehicle interior. Dirt kicked up on the sides of a few vehicles as enemy rounds thumped and ricocheted away from the armor plating. The thick glass from the turret gunners’ windows was spider-web cracked and opaque from stopping bullets. The front of a vehicle facing the tree line took a severe string of rounds, and I hoped that none penetrated the windshields or managed to damage the engine compartment.
Apparently out of grenades, the Marine I had seen in the turret popped back up, surprisingly boosting himself over the protection of his armored paneling and firing his rifle while exposed to the incoming enemy rounds. God, I love these guys, I thought with swelled pride over their display of bravery. The Marines were not retreating; they were inching towards the tree line instead. "