A new book reveals Iraqi insurgents were paid to take out U.S. Army Capt. David Rozelle in June, 2003. In Back in Action Rozelle details the conversations he had with friendly Iraqis alerting him to the sinister plot.
“Captain, there are men in town who are planning missions in our mosques, under the command of clerics here and from Ar Ramadi.” Rozelle, at the time, was the de facto sheriff of the region, which included a Ba’ath Party headquarters called Hit (pronounced “heat.”).
“These men I do not know,” continued his trusted Iraqi translator, “but they are dangerous. Some are from Iran, and some are from Syria. It’s rumored that they have offered $1,000 to any man who can kill you–the one who rides in the vehicle with the symbols K6 on the side??¢â???¬ ¦ the one who always wears sunglasses. They recognize you as the leader??¢â???¬ ¦. Please do not go out tonight.”
Rozelle ignored the warning, and in fact made a point of leading the patrol that night, as he usually did. Rozelle’s armored Humvee was badly damaged that night by recently placed land mines. The resulting injury sent Rozelle home, after having his right leg amputated below the knee.
Some might assume Rozelle’s military career would end there. But it didn’t. Rozelle overcame the seemingly impossible, by becoming certified as “fit for duty.” (This after training hard enough to compete in marathons, including the grueling New York Marathon.) Not just light, behind-the-desk duty, but full-fledged, in-command-of-battlefield-troops duty.
Rozelle will be back in action, in full command of his Cavalry unit within a month. He will be the first battlefield soldier in U.S. history to have been injured, become an amputee, and then return to the same battlefield to resume his command.