March 28th, 2007 08:38 EST
Coalition forces reunite kidnapped victims with families
BAGHDAD — Iraqi and Coalition forces aided three Iraqi civilians, who were held hostage by terrorists near Karmah, Iraq, Thursday, and were returned to their homes Sunday.
It’s hard to fathom what these men had been through over the past few days, said U.S. Army Pfc. January Schectman, a combat medic for Medical Company C, 115th Brigade Support Battalion.
The 115th BSB treated injuries three men received during their captivity.
Afterward, the men were turned over to a Coalition force unit tasked to help transport them home.
The freed men smiled when they were greeted by the U.S. Soldiers from 1st Ironhorse and Co. E, 2nd Bn., 5th Cavalry Regiment who offered them a meal.
“They’re a little traumatized so it’s been hard for them to eat,” said Schectman. The hostages were rescued by Coalition forces hours before terrorists planned to execute them.
It was important to show the men compassion – something the insurgents who kidnapped them lacked, said Schectman.
U.S. Soldiers from the Ironhorse Brigade escorted the men to a link-up point near Fallujah, Iraq, where U.S. Marines from the 6th Regimental Combat Team transferred them to a Fallujah Iraqi police station.
“The Iraqi people are just like us,” said Sgt. Justin Harris, a combat engineer for Co. E. “They just want to work, support their families and then come home without having to worry about being abducted. We’re more than happy to continue assisting [the Iraqi security forces] in getting rid of the bad guys.”
From Fallujah, the Iraqi Police reunited the tired and battered men with their awaiting loved ones.
“I’m all about doing this,” said U.S. Army Capt. Jay Wisham, commander of Co. E, 2nd Bn., 5th Cav. Regt. “We’re here to support the Iraqi people.”
Harris also drew comparisons between Iraqis and Americans in their desire to live free of violence.
“We’re not just here to shoot bad guys and get rid of insurgents, we’re here to help the country and its people,” he said.
(By Spc. Carl N. Hudson, Combined Press Information Center)