They said Iraqi fighters had often mixed in with civilians from nearby villages, jumping out of houses and cars to shoot at them, and then often running away. The marines said they had little trouble dispatching their foes, most of whom they characterized as ill trained and cowardly.
"We had a great day," Sergeant Schrumpf said. "We killed a lot of people."
But more than once, Sergeant Schrumpf said, he faced a different choice: one Iraqi soldier standing among two or three civilians. He recalled one such incident, in which he and other men in his unit opened fire. He recalled watching one of the women standing near the Iraqi soldier go down.
"I'm sorry," the sergeant said. "But the chick was in the way."
This is why I don't get involved in "support the troops" stuff, even though I have relatives over there. I hope they, indeed, behave with more moral conscience, that they do not get killed or maimed; and I feel badly for all of them -- that they have allowed themselves to be duped by this government and brainwashed by soul-less military minds.
P.S. However, I am going to join my cousin's campaign to get all the relatives to send his Army daughter sets of cotton underwear. (Clean underwear is a rarity in the Iraqi desert.) And she can share what she doesn't wear. But that's the extent of my "support the troops." Clean underwear for my activated Reservist female second cousin.