Karbala, Iraq: A soldier salutes fallen comrades from Task
Force 1-37, 1st Armored Division, while attending
a memorial service for three people who were killed
in Karbala. Colonel Peter Mansoor, commander of the
1st battalion, said that the army had not seen such
intense combat since 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia, when two Black
Hawks were shot down and 18 U.S. soldiers died.
The line of memorials—which is traditionally the Kevlar helmet
mounted atop the soldier's rifle with dog tags and boots—is for
(from left to right), SPC Philip Ian Spakowski, SGT Brud
J. Cronkrite and 2LT Leonard Cowherd.
A day before he was killed, SPC Spakosky, known as Spanky, called
his wife and two children. According to a friend, he was expecting
his loved one to ask for a separation. In fact, she wanted to tell
him she had just gotten a tattoo of his name.
Spanky was killed the very next day when a sniper’s bullet tore
through his hip as he provided security at the Mukaiyam mosque.