I'm half way slogging through my first draft about MCpl Sean Chard and his experiences with the RCD in Shah Wali Kot. It's always a struggle for me to get going on a chapter, but this one is coming together - as long as I can keep up the pace.
Chard was in one of the first chalks to arrive at KAF on D Squadron's tour. He wasn't overly excited about going to Aghanistan since it would be his fourth overseas tour. But as he exited the C-17, the smells from the smoke hanging over KAF immediately reminded him of his last tour in Kabul - - "Aaargh, I'm back!" But this time he was a crew commander in a Coyote and looking forward to the new responsiblity.
In a couple of days he arrived in FOB Frontenac and within a week was on one of his first patrols with a make-up crew, since all his own crew had not yet arrived. It was then, as they were going cross-country to avoid the series of four culverts they called "The Four Bitches," that they got channelled into a ravine before he could correct their course. That's where they hit it.
He recalled that there was no sound - they must have been over the "X" of the IED. The Coyote was hit with a great jolt and came to a dead stop. He later recalled that he had heard on the radio that the UN had declared this to be the International Day of Peace. What irony.! It was also the day for Transfer of Command Authority for D Squadron. Not the way they would have wanted to start their rotation.
T. Robert Fowler, author, Canadian military history