Then my commander told us one half of our men were still in the city, and he sent us back a third time.
More help was needed, and the U.N. forces stationed closed by were asked to assist with their tanks and armored cars.
A huge convoy was assembled, including two Pakistani tanks and Malaysian armored cards, to rescue our men. I thought, surely the Somalis will not fight armored vehicles. But as soon as the tanks turned down the main street every Somali weapon began to fire.
For the next 12 hours the convoy fought its way into the city. It was 8:00 a.m. the next morning before we were able to recover our men. My Humvee was ordered to follow the last tank out. I said to myself, the tank is leaving before us? I told my machine gunner Brad Paulson, “We’ll be the last vehicle out, so face your gun backward because everyone behind us is a bad guy.”
We had driven about a mile when Brad said, “Sergeant, there are men running down the road after us.” I looked and saw 15 American soldiers looking scared to death, running down the road shooting at targets to the left and right. We had left 15 men in the city! My platoon leader, in his vehicle ahead of me, and I decided to let the convoy go. We backed up, loaded those men, and drove them to security.
How Could This Happen?»