Missing Soldiers' Bodies Found - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Missing Soldiers' Bodies Found

The soldiers killed were from the 101st Airborne Division, one of the units that replaced Georgia's 48th Brigade in Iraq. Sgt Lucas Hynes says, "For somebody to get by themselves then there's a breakdown in leadership or something went wrong."

Lucas Hynes and Michael Banister know first hand what can go wrong. As Sergeants with the 48th Brigade, they were attacked by IED's and rockets during patrols in the same area these soldiers were taken from. Sgt Michael Banister says "They know our plans, they know our strategies. If they see you off on your own like that they're going to go after you, cause they know its only one vehicle, they know they can get you. What's one guy going to do against 15?"

Hynes agrees. "Now they're trying this way to capture one of us or kill us, and then we finally counter that and they come up with another way. Checkpoints are really tricky, you never know who's bad or good."

In their year in Iraq, The 48th got good at protecting their territory, and themselves. But they still watched fellow soldiers get attacked, watched some die, and dealt with the anger and fear afterward. Banister says, "There was a dead burnt guy under me, rolling, hitting my legs. I thought that could be me. It scared me." According to Hynes, It puts it in perspective, that its not Springfield, Georgia, that these guys want to kill you, by obviously any means necessary."
Both Hynes and Banister say the first rule on patrol was never to get separated from your battalion, which is exactly what happened to the 101st soldiers. They say communication is the key, and wonder how those men lost radio contact. Hynes says, "If you don't have coms, then you shouldn't be outside the wire. If you don't have coms, then you have nothing."

Nothing can bring the latest casualties of war back, or make it any easier for their families, but Hynes believes it can be a learning experience for everyone.
Hynes says, "If this doesn't prove that we're dealing with barbarians not humans then nothing will, and it makes you want to oust them..or kill them."

Both Hynes and Banister actually say they were glad they got attacked early on in their time in Iraq. It helped make the situation more real and kept them on guard during their entire time in the country. But they say nothing can prepare you for what happened this week, and they are praying for the dead soldiers families.

Reported by Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

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