Monday, September 03, 2007

"How Far Should We Go?" A Letter From A Soldier

Number Two in a series of letters from SGT Daniel Nuoffer

Mr. Lewis,

There is a sand storm out today and I have sand all over me. Its like being at a beach but no water to swim in. It is about 120 outside right now so you sweat and when you do the sand sticks to you. Don't even think of taking a shower you would look like a powdered donut. I make light of it but we are doing good.

Well an update Sir. I have seen a lot of crap in the last few months. Everything from IEDs (Road side bombs) To trucks loosing their wheels just rolling down the road. It is something else. We have been running about 3 missions a month and the missions last about 7 to 10 days or more if the roads go black for an IED or small arms attack. My crew is good. We get shot at once and a while and it keeps us on our toes. But all in all things are good.

How Far should we go?
About a month ago I was on a mission to TQ a base North of Baghdad. It takes about 5 days to get there and another 5 to get back. We started the mission from Cedar 2 and drove all night to Scaina. The mission was going well, smooth roads, not a lot of fire, just a good trip all around. We pulled into Scania about 0300 and started clearing and finding out where to get chow. I was the last truck in the convoy, so it takes a few minutes for me to get in the gate and when I do, my escort team is waiting on me. I got in the gate and started to walk up the road to the lead truck to find out what was going on next. The road had vehicles on either side and it was a tight fit for anyone who needed to get up the middle. As I was walking, a Humvee passed going the same way and about 20 yards in front of me SMASH!!! The Humvee slammed into the open door of an 915 (18 Wheeler). The driver, who had been getting out, was flung in front of his truck. I ran to him and started evaluation of a casualty. He talked to me and said that he just got the wind knocked out of him but that for some reason his arm hurt. There where two cuts all the way to the bone on his right fore arm. It had not started to bleed yet, so I still had about 10 to 15 seconds to tell if his arteries or blood vessels were going to hemorrhage. I called for my combat medic and started to treat the wound. The medic got there and helped me fix him up. As that was going on, I called for a litter and a carrier crew. We loaded him up and took off down the road to the aid station. We had gone about a mile and one of the litter crew members said, "Sgt Nuoffer how far do we have to go with this guy". The words that I said stuck in my head. They are the reason for this story. "Until we get him to help."

So many times we see our fellow Christians fighting for life, wounded and dying. We render aid as best and we know how and move on. Sometimes that person makes it to help on their own and sometimes that person does not make it to the help of Jesus Christ. They die. Ask yourself next time, "how far do I need to take this person to get help"? Suck it up and take them to Christ!! HOOOAAA!!

The soldier who was injured made it to the aid station and reserved 20 stitches to fix his arm. He was on the road 3 day later and we completed the mission to TQ. I see him once about every month and he is doing well.

I love you all and thank you for your prayers. God bless you and I will be home as soon as I can.
Sgt Nuoffer

Note: Sgt Daniel Nuoffer is on his second tour in Iraq. His duty is to command the lead gunnery vehicle that guides our troops in convoy down treacherous roads from Kuwait into Bagdad. He will be gone for 15 months. His new wife awaits his safe return as do we all. Send him your love and support. You may e-mail him at
(minor edits by JTO)

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