A Fallen Soldier's E-mails to Home
We love you son.
From: Darrell Griffin, Jr.
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 7:15 AM
To: Darrell (DAD) Griffin
Subject: your son checkin' in
Dear Mom and Dad,
My squad was responsible for finding the biggest weapons cache in all of our Brigades' [area of operations]. We cordon & searched an auto-shop and found a fully fabricated IED w/ approx. 25 lbs. of C4 [explosives] attached to it, Anti-tank mines with walkie-talkie triggering devices, 5 [rocket-propelled grenades] rounds and ledgers recording the names of suppliers of these types of materials. The man we detained in this auto-yard is a chief bomb maker in Tal afar. Yesterday while at the castle, we took heavy small arms fire for about an hour. An IED went off at around 9PM to our north from the castle about 400 m. away and hit some guys I know. It hit their Stryker. There were substantial injuries and we were hit again at the castle soon after the IED went off to our north. We received heavy small-arms fire from below (the castle sits on a steep hill) and we returned fire in the general direction. Things are pretty intense here right now. I'm glad however that my squad and I found all those bomb making explosive materials. An Anti-Tank mine can vaporize any soft-skinned military vehicles and is probably what hit that Stryker. When that Stryker came to a stop, they discovered another IED next to it that did not detonate. Its purpose was to kill troops on the ground once they dismount to execute recovery procedures.
Please keep praying for my squad because we are the only Stryker and only squad that has not been hit with an IED. I had a hard time believing in the miraculous as pertaining to prayer, but it seems as if catastrophe is just out of our reach. We have been doing the killing and not the opposite. Tell your precious friends that I received their care-packages and so appreciate their care and concern. I don't have the names with me but they sent me a lot of CD's and candy. The music is beautiful. I received your letter and enjoy so much how you use the narrative as a letter. Please continue to write in this manner. I can't stress enough how I feel and truly believe that your prayers are having a weird effect on me and my men. It is very uncanny how we are so brave and always seem to be just out of reach of things that can kill us or injure us. However, we have had to experience killing others and this is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I love you guys so much and truly feel your love for me as your son. I count the days when we can all see each other again and look back on this time, this year. I love you all.
From: Darrell Griffin, Sr.