A Personal Account From a Veteran of the Conflict in Iraq
"Shea and Regalado are dead."
The words chipped at my heart as Sgt Murphy spat them out. They ring in my head even to this day, reminding me constantly how everything in life can change drastically in the course of seconds.
An Iraqi Journalist reported false information on the event, citing damaging claims that our soldier had spit on and slapped the Iraqi soldier, instigating the attack. This is not the truth, and a prime example of how media twists everything around for their own purposes of propaganda and ratings. I will tell the real story, how it really happened.
It was still morning in Mosul, Iraq; Sunny as usual and just starting to cool off heading into the winter season. The date was November 12th, 2008 - A day that will be burned into my mind until the end of time.
Elements of Killer Troop, 3d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, US Army had arrived at a checkpoint in Mosul's Zangili neighborhood, which was being used as an outpost for the Iraqi Army. As the US vehicles approached the entrance, Iraqi Army Pvt. Muhammad Abdullah al-Hadidi moved the concertina (barbed) wire for the vehicles to move through. After the vehicles had passed he replaced the wire, turned to his supervisor, and asked permission to excuse himself to wash up before prayer. He left his post, took the 30 round magazine out of his Kalashnikov, and loaded his rifle with a 75 round drum magazine.
As the soldiers of Killer Troop poured out into the courtyard to provide extraneous security, the leadership of both Red Platoon and Blue Platoon entered the office of the Iraqi element's command for a meeting.
Moments later, a shot rang out, breaking the peaceful silence of the morning. A short pause, then a long string of shots coughed from a AK47 nearby. Then - a roar of gunfire as the American soldiers responded with their M4 carbines. Suddenly - a return to silence. The whole exchange took seconds - but it was long enough. As more soldiers came running to the courtyard responding to the calls for medics the haze of combat was still in full effect. What's going on? Wheres the threat? Through all of it, the soldiers of Killer Troop marched forward, and did their jobs diligently.
Pvt. Muhammad Abdullah al-Hadidi was killed where he stood, but it was not without cost. 2 Americans lay dead and 6 more wounded. I don't know what caused the attack, as the perpetrator was killed instantly, but I was told there was a high probability of his being contacted by a higher, funding tier insurgent offering to give his surviving family a large sum of money if he were to kill an American. After all, this is not unheard of - and is the second time 3d Squadron, 3d ACR has experienced an attack of this sort while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on the 2007-2009 deployment.
SPC Corey Shea
Corey was a great man and a great friend. Corey Shea, 21, of Mansfield, Mass., Died in the attack, and his death was taken harshly by all. He loved poker, sports and could never seem to put the video game controller down. Corey wanted to Study criminal Justice at Texas A&M University. Corey will always be remembered for his Bostonian antics, a lot of times yelling "Chowder" in a jokingly thick Bostonian accent at random times for comic effect; and his love for his brothers.
SGT Jose Regalado
Jose Regalado, 23, of El Sereno, Calif., was an exceptional non-commissioned officer. Jokingly nick-named "SGT Regulation" at the rank of Sergeant he demanded the respect of his men, and had what it took to back it up and to earn it. Not only was he a great soldier, but he was a great husband, and father. He carried an ultrasound, and later a picture, of his newly born daughter in his pocket at all times during the deployment. Jose will always be remembered as an all around great guy - He always knew what he was talking about, and would more than happily answer any question you had. If you looked upset he'd sit down and talk to you. It really didn't matter what it was, if there was something to be done, he was the go-to guy.