The report yesterday of Iraqi soldiers sacrificing their lives by throwing themselves at a terror bomber and saving lives of their colleagues and civilians reminded me of an event last year involving a Concerned Local Citizens group (CLC) member who sacrificed himself to save American and Iraqi lives.
Here is the story from the MNF-Iraq website:
August 21, 2007
Citizen sacrifices life to thwart suicide bomber
Multi-National Division - Center PAO
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq - An Iraqi man saved the lives of four U.S. Soldiers and eight civilians when he intercepted a suicide bomber during a Concerned Citizens meeting in the town of al-Arafia Aug. 18.
The incident occurred while Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, were talking with members of the al-Arafia Concerned Citizens, a volunteer community group, at a member's house.
"I was about 12 feet away when the bomber came around the corner," said Staff Sgt. Sean Kane, of Los Altos, Calif., acting platoon sergeant of Troop B, 3-1 Cav. "I was about to engage when he jumped in front of us and intercepted the bomber as he ran toward us. As he pushed him away, the bomb went off."
The citizen's actions saved the lives of four U.S. Soldiers and eight civilians.
Kane felt the loss personally because he had met and interacted with his rescuer many times before the incident.
"He was high-spirited and really believed what the group (Concerned Citizens) was doing," Kane said. "I have no doubt the bomber was trying to kill American Soldiers. It was very calculated the way the bomber tried to do it. If he hadn't intercepted him, there is no telling how bad it could have been."
Kane believes the citizen is a hero.
"He could have run behind us or away from us, but he made the decision to sacrifice himself to protect everyone. Having talked with his father, I was told that even if he would have known the outcome before hand, he wouldn't have acted differently."
Capt. Brian Gilbert, of Boise, Idaho, the commander of Company D, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, currently attached to 3-1 Cavalry, echoed Kane's sentiment.
"I spoke with the father," Gilbert said. "He said he has no remorse in his son's death because he died saving American Soldiers."