Michael Kelly got the chance to speak with some of 3rd Infantry Division’s senior staff:
[Division Commander Maj. Gen. Buford] Blount mentioned the danger of accidents in a force of about 9,000 vehicles that would try to move faster than any invasion in history. [Assistant Commander Brig. Gen. Lloyd] Austin mentions fratricidal casualties in an environment characterized by massive and varied American firepower. But while no commander expects serious organized resistance from most Iraqi forces, [division Chief of Staff Colonel-designate] John Sterling predicts fighting from elite forces and Baath Party apparatchiks “who are less worried about what Americans will do to them than what their fellow Iraqis will do.”
All real worries, but in the terms of war, worries are luxuries. The overall view is expressed by Austin: “We can see them. And what we can see, we can hit, and what we can hit, we can kill, and the kill will be catastrophic.” And by Sterling: “A thousand things can happen to make life absolutely miserable for us. There is not one thing that can happen to stop us.”
The fighting may take hours — or days or weeks. But feel confident with men like these running 3rd ID, which will be the tip of the spear. Feel even more confident with men like my hometown favorite, PFC Colin Wilson, who says, “I’m happy now. I’m going to war before my 20th birthday. It’s a beautiful thing. It beats sitting here, and it’s the fastest way home.”
Come home safe, Colin.