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.


July 30, 2008

Name: 1SG Troy Steward
Posting date: 7/30/08
Returned from: Afghanistan

Last week I was online working, as I always am, and a familiar name popped up on my instant messaging client. It was my old terp and good buddy, Jawed. If you ever read the blog entries that I wrote on here back in 2006-2007 that name should sound familiar. Jawed was one of the terps that spent a lot of time downrange with me. He and I got to know each other through hours of talking in the Humvee.

It had been a while since I had heard from him so I was pleased to see his "Hey Top, are you there?" comment pop up. Of course I quickly responded and asked how he and all the terps were doing. He told me he was fine, and was just coming back from a three-week mission, so that is why I had not heard from him in a while.

He then proceeded to tell me that another of my terps, who I also spent many hours with talking both in the FOB and downrange, had been killed. He told me that Fayez had been killed about two weeks earlier in an ambush.

Ironically, Fayez was the terp in a truck with three National Guard soldiers that was ambushed a couple of weeks ago. Two of the soldiers were from my brigade in New York. I was very sad to hear that my youngest terp, Fayez, who was only about 20-21 years old, was killed in that attack.

Framed_steward_fayez_2 However I was pissed off and angry to hear how he died. Jawed told me that Fayez had survived the initial IED blast and even the subsequent small arms ambush. At some point I assume that all three soldiers had been killed and this (for some reason I don't know) allowed the enemy fighters to make it all the way to the Humvee.

I had seen news reports of the enemy fighters holding up an U.S. issued M4 rifle the day after the attack, but was not sure it was legitimately from that attack. Well I guess it was true, because Jawed told me that the enemy fighters got to the truck, pulled Fayez from the truck and executed him right there in the road. That is what really pisses me off, to think that the last thing he saw was these a**holes standing over him.

He was just a boy to me, but he was a patriot, he helped support many Americans (not just me), and he was truly trying to do something good for his country, and there are not many of those over there.

Jawed and I chatted a little bit more. He was very sorry that he had to tell me that, but I thanked him for being the bearer of bad news. I told him to let all the terps know my whole team is constantly thinking of them and praying for their safety too. I miss chatting, BSing and joking around with all of my terps. I would sit for hours in a humvee or in meetings with the ANA and constantly joke with these guys. We ate together, we joked and we shared a lot of information about our cultures.

I had emailed with Fayez regularly since I came back from Afghanistan and I was glad to see I saved many of those emails. I won't ever get any more from him, but I will cherish the ones I got, in addition to the photos I have of him.

I am so sorry, Fayez, that you died the way that you did. You will be truly missed, not only by your Afghan family and friends, but also by your American brothers-in-arms. May Allah bring you in as a true martyr for your faith. You more than deserve it.


Nice blog I love it. Did you every think about posting it to the forms on
I know a lot of people would enjoy it

A heart-breaking photo, so young, so determined! I am so glad that you told us about Fayez. To the "regular" media he was nameless & so did not really count. He and his family deserve much more.

faiz was my frinde we worked at the same provice pakika.we were on mission ,came from a small fob called kkc on our way to Ghazni . but for some reasone we stayed in fob Rushmor .and he was ready to go home on leavethat day. we had a breakfast togather in chowhall.and we said good bye to him he left with the PMT and thiere HMMWV was hit by IED ans abush in logar. the same day we were order to go to logar because we were the only unit outside when we got there we found the pieces of his body along others and were badly burned.
at night i got a call from his brother that Faiz was coming home today but his phone does not answer.
and i had no answer for him becaue faiz was not with us anymore . i truned off my phone and cry..........

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