"We prepared for this mission for a year," he said, which was something of a surprising revelation. "We did a lot of training. We expected 72 hours of battle, and 12 hours later I was standing in Beyara, which shows you how brave these peshmerga were. They were warriors. Here we are, big bad American soldiers with 50 pounds of gear. The Kurds had a couple magazines and an AK." They barely kept up with the Kurds and were astonished at their courage. "When they started, it was a like a bomb took off. They just went right through. We would have stopped and put in for some CAS and done it in stages."
He was stunned when he saw one wounded soldier with a hole in his shoulder get patched up with cotton balls and Scotch tape and rush back off to the front line. "I was about to call in for a medic; the guy puts on his shirt again and takes off for the front."
I'm collecting these stories about heorism and bravery of native Iraqis and Kurds, and about the cooperation and teamwork between Coalition forces and the locals.