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.
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.