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Friday, March 09, 2007
The Fighting Killions

Michael Fumento continues his gripping reporting from Iraq with a portrait of a military family:

Rob's brother, Douglas, also joined the military but went the National Guard route notwithstanding that he knew he'd end up in Iraq just like Rob would. Doug is 27, Rob 21. Having one child in the military is rare enough these days; two all the more so. But here's the kicker: their father, Rick.

Rick Killion had been a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol from 1972-1976, whereupon he then enlisted in the Air Force in 1976. That's where he met Cheryl Newcomb, who was also in the Air Force, and soon married. She gave him his two children. Rick was an avionics technician, which keeps you about as far from combat as you can get, until exiting the service in 1980 at the rank of sergeant (E-5).

Some thrilling action described as well:

In that same video clip a sniper nearly beans Rob, the round ricocheting off the top of the wall over which he'd been leaning. He utters a few unprintable epithets, then yells: "That hit right in front of me!" But seconds later he whoops "Whew! Yeah!" thus reflecting Winston Churchill's observation that "nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result." Then he fires at another jihadist and I get the shot I was waiting for, his SAW pounding away while the ejected cases bounced off my body armor chest plate.

After we left the building and scrambled through an ambush that had us looking like the soldiers at the end of "Black Hawk Down," I kept snapping photos and shooting video and darned if time and again Rob wasn't right there in the thick of it – perhaps in half my photos of the fight.

Highly recommended.

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