The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


October 09, 2007

Name: Toby Nunn
Posting date: 10/8/07
Stationed in: Kuwait / Iraq
Hometown: Oakland, CA via Terrace B.C. CANADA
Milblog url:

Usually I try to write about the lighter side of my world, and to document the legacy and greatness of our guys, which to me is a pleasure and honor. I also try to ensure that everyone at home has happy thoughts to lighten their worries. I do try to be strong and brave but there are times that it is tough. Right now is one of those times. I have not written for a few days because I have been in a personal low. This is the greatest suck of all for me in this world.

Last week the world lost one of its great young warriors and leaders. I am proud to say that I worked by this man's side on my previous deployment here, and he was instrumental in the development of the Iraqi National Guard with me. CPT Drew Jensen, also known as MISFIT 6, was the officer assigned to assist me in the initial start-up of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, now known as the Iraqi National Guard. He was from C-Co 5-20th Infantry, also from the 3/2 SBCT. He was OPCON to the Tomahawks, and that is where they felt best to place him and his men. I immediately liked him, a smaller man in size about the same as me, and with a very like mind. He was a West Point Graduate and classmate of my Platoon Leader Jake Kemnec and another friend of mine CPT Nick Kardonsky.

Within a few short days of our beginning to work together Drew made an immediate impact on me when our camp was attacked with a ferocious barrage of indirect that caused several casualties. He, along with his RTO Ragu and several others of his, joined Wally and I in helping provide aid to casualties. We lost one, but another lived as a direct result of Drew's leadership and poise, and witnessing that made me proud to be associated with him. Later I was awarded for my actions in that event, and found out that the guy who put me in was Drew. A very selfless act to award me and the guys, when he was instrumental in the event and went thankless from the public.

I never was able to express my gratitude to him for everything that he taught me during those short months. I tried to, over a beer back in the rear, but masculinity kept me from truly expressing my emotions. Instead he simply got a "Good times, dude!" And that they were.

CPT Drew Jensen passed gracefully with his new wife present, back in the rear after being rendered paralyzed by an enemy bullet. He received this injury while providing aid to another soldier, again demonstrating his natural heroic being.

I have struggled with this one greatly. Not that any of them have been easy, it's just we need real men like Drew. I know God has a plan and that's what we tell ourselves when we don't understand why we have lost someone so needed and precious. I hope that I will be half the man the Drew was and inspire my men as he did.


CPT Drew Jensen, center.

"Misfit 6, ING 7"
"Misfit 6, ING 7"
"Negative contact with MISFIT 6, ING 7..."


I am sorry for your loss, our loss. His family is in my prayers. Wars are indiscriminate, they take the good, better and best without partisan. You were blessed to have known him, our country blessed to have him serve. His legacy of service is yours to share - he will "live" through you.
Take care and stay as safe as you can.

Please accept my condolences on your terrible loss. He sounds like a very fine man who will be sorely missed. Thankfully, he had friends like you who will assure that he will not be forgotten.

your words; " I hope that I will be half the man the Drew was and inspire my men as he did."

Did you see, 'Saving Private Ryan'? It's sorta like that. You are, you will be, and this is what you need to know now.


All of us need to remember to Earn This...thank you.

And the final roll call is always the worst.

God be with you.

Bless both
of you for the
jobs well done
and the everlasting
love and remembering

Shine on my friend; thank you
for continuing forward and speaking this truth mid all this mess. Strong hearts do prevail and you and Drew Jensen provide the example of that.

I am sorry for your loss. I am trying to teach my 9 and 6 year old sons just how important the US military is and how you are the real heros, not over paid athletes. You are all in our prayers here at home, your families too.

All my children are young, some still infants. I have read for the first time entries from various soldiers. It brings tears to my eyes to think that you all are losing so much more then we here at home could ever imagine. A sense of innocence that you can never get back. While all the same, giving us the very freedom that we is so very precious to us all. I just want to say Thank you to you and to all the platoons deployed there. It sounds so small, just a Thank you, but because of you my children can grow up in a more safe world. Because of you, I can walk freely in my neighborhood and not have to worry about being a terroist shooting me. Because of you, we have freedom. Thank you again, and I am sorry for your loss.

May the Lord watch over you and those around you, and bring you all home safely. God Bless.

I am inspired reading your story from half a world away. Thank you.

Thank you guys for being there, you've saved a lot of innocent lives in Iraq.

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