On March 12, 2006, five Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 502d Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division abandoned their posts and headed to the village of Yusufiyah, located within their operational sector in Iraq. There the five Soldiers committed a brutal gang-rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, and the simultaneous murder of her family. Fueled by alcohol confiscated from Iraqis, coupled with talk of revenge against the Iraqi people, the Soldiers directed their frustrations towards the family whom they rationalized were supporting their enemies, viewing them as scapegoats for the real and imagined suffering they were experiencing.
In May 2006, I proudly raised my right hand and joined the world's greatest fighting force, the United States Army. I finally achieved what I had worked so hard for through my four years of college, the rank of second lieutenant.
We saw a significant increase in enemy activity and attacks in the recent months along main supply route (MSR) TAMPA in Iraq. Tensions were high on the ground and in the air. Improvised explosive device (IED) attacks were all too common and we lost a few aircraft due to enemy activity.