“It Makes It Hard To Tell Good Guys From Bad Guys…”

August 30, 2007

He never saw it coming on Tuesday as he was working in a 6 foot hole underneath a bridge on August 28th. Until he heard an explosion and saw the smoke. That was how 20 year old Spc. Jeffrey Ellis described the events that occurred on Tuesday, when a bomber struck his unit, killing three of his commrades.

Spc. Jeffrey Ellis holds up a piece of shrapnel that was removed after he was injured in a suicide bomber attack on Tuesday.
(Photo by Bryan Mitchell/Stars & Stripes)

“I didn’t know anything was going on until I heard the boom and saw the smoke,” Ellis said on Wednesday from a bed in the field hospital on FOB Salerno, Afghanistan, located about 10 miles from the Pakistan border.

Ellis was rushed to the field hospital, where physicians removed ball bearing style shrapnel from his right arm and torso. He still has at least one piece remaining inside his body, lodged in his abdomen. Ellis will be transferred to Germany in the near future for futher medical care.

“I’m lucky, it didn’t hit a single organ in my, but they don’t know if it’s going to cause any more problems,” Ellis said.

The attack was part of a wider campaign seen recently by militants in Afghanistan, in an attempt to disrupt the work that is being done by coalition forces. The region remains very perilous. Late Tuesday evening, a memorial ceremony was held at Bagram Air Field for the fallen Troops. Scores of Soldiers lined lined the area and saluted, as the fallen Soldier’s flag draped coffins were inched along Disney Drive.

American forces are working side by side with Afghan National Army Troops. They are engaging in a two pronged approach to the situation in the area. On one hand, they’re working to improve the infrastructure. On the other they’re working to located and rid the area of insurgents. Insurgents in Afghanistan, are increasingly using the same tactics seen being used by insurgents in Iraq, such as car bombs, suicide vests and roadside bombs. Just as in Iraq, the insurgents don’t care who is in their way, whether it’s innocent civilians or Troops.

Tueday’s attack, also injured two teenagers who are now recuperating, alongside Ellis from wound that they sustained in the attack. Samia Allah and Aminu Ullah, 15 and 13 respectively, were walking home from school shortly after Noon that day. As they were crossing the bridge that Spc Ellis and his commrades were busy rebuilding, the suicide bomber struck. Samia suffered wounds to his torso and ended up having to have one of his kidneys removed. Aminu received deep lacerations on his back.

Their father, sat quietly between their beds, in a state of shock and utter sadness. He expressed how grateful he was that the Americans treated the wounds his children received and expressed disappointment and sadness towards the suicide bomber.

“It’s a problem for me and my family,” Mohammad Salah said, through interpreter Dr. Ahmed Gul. “The Americans come to make a bridge, but the bad guys don’t want us to have a bridge or for my children to go to school.”

According to Spc. Ellis, this is the first attack that he’s experienced in the 10 months that he’s been deployed to Afghanistan. He said that because of the bombing, he now has a sense of unease.

“It makes it hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys,” he said. “We just don’t know where he came from.”

Stars and Stripes


2 Responses to ““It Makes It Hard To Tell Good Guys From Bad Guys…””

  1. Haole Wahine on August 31st, 2007 4:14 pm

    thanks Terri, You know how I feel about Afstan, and getting the word out. “Forgotten War”, doesn’t mean the terrorists have forgotten.

  2. Tom Morgan on September 3rd, 2007 9:39 am


    Will Marcus be in Kerrville any time soon? Would he be available for a radio interview and speech?

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