• Today's Daily Devotion
Night Watch
A couple hours into that night, the dust storm began to let up. As visibility became completely clear, we were shocked to see an enemy convoy about four kilometers to our ...

Night Watch

Corp. Will Brandon, United States Marine Corps

A couple hours into that night, the dust storm began to let up. As visibility became completely clear, we were shocked to see an enemy convoy about four kilometers to our direct front. Lacking our night vision capability, the enemy used very dim headlights to maneuver. Although these headlights were about half as bright as regular automobile headlights, they were very visible from our position. We were astonished. The Iraqi convoy stretched from one end of the horizon to the other. It was just sitting there, not moving.

All I could think about was what a great opportunity for an air mission. The chatter over the radio suggested it was going to be a target for the artillery. We used the artillery quite often, and the round of choice was Improved Conventional Munitions. The ICM is a big bullet that bursts open and drops a bunch of little bombs that are designed to take out tanks. They could blow a two-foot hole in packed dirt so precisely that you could drop a soda can down the opening.

Finally, after what must have been more than an hour of staring at this massive enemy convoy, we heard the sound of Marine artillery guns way off in the distance to our four o’clock. Five seconds later, we heard the burst, followed by the crackle of hundreds of mini bombs impacting. Unfortunately, all of the shells hit way to the left or right. Nothing hit any of the enemy vehicles to our direct front. The bomb had one effect. The enemy immediately turned off their lights.

“Great,” we all thought. “We didn’t hit any of them and now we can’t even see them.”

As I sat behind the driver’s station where Lance Corporal Mejia watched the thermal driving screen, I switched between binoculars and night vision goggles trying to get a glimpse of something out there. Finally we saw movement. More than a dozen large dust signatures were barely visible in the air. Only one thing could throw a dust plume that high a tank! Our twenty-six ton tracks are no match for a forty or sixty-ton standard battle tank. A .50 caliber machine gun could chew us up, let alone a round from the main gun of a tank.

All we could do was watch and wait for help as we stared into the darkness with a giant enemy in front of us.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, be my watchman throughout my day and night today.


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