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Kasal’s Weapons Company was part of the Marine force that made the stop-and-start attacks on insurgent positions in Fallujah for months. “We did limited operations through August and September and all through the whole summer and fall,” Kasal said. As the months passed, the Marines were getting antsy: the fight was going to happen, and they wanted to put it behind them. On November 8, the Marines assaulted Fallujah and Kasal’s company led the way.
Kasal’s company breached the enemy defenses, assaulting and capturing a critically located train station to pave the way for the rest of the assault force. The Army’s 7th Cav swept through the breach and began the street-to-street fight for, Kasal recalled, about the first 13 blocks. Kasal’s company followed by the second day, and again took a lead position.
They didn’t sleep, just catching naps when they could. They ate when they could, and only dreamed of getting a shower and a good night’s sleep. They were in combat, day after day and night after night, but the Marines stuck to it. Kasal said his men, “Were exhausted but with as busy as we were and with the danger the way it was and the adrenaline kicking in everybody was holding up pretty well.” They suffered casualties every day, on almost every street. They were searching the one and two-story houses for insurgents, avoiding booby traps and improvised explosive devices as best they could. Kasal and his men got their first real night’s sleep on November 12.
Kasal said, “It was their first good rest,” since the attack began on the 8th. “On the 12th we hit the north part — what we called ‘the Queens’ — which [was]… the most dangerous part [of the city].” It was the most dangerous because the Marines’ feinting attacks in the months before — all from the south — had drawn the terrorists in that direction. They had fortified houses in anticipation of an attack from the south, but the Marines came in from the north. Kasal, with two of his Marines — Private First Class Nicholl and Corporal Mitchell — had been in heavy room-to-room fights on the 12th, and they expected more of the same on the 13th. It was a cool November day, about 60 degrees and — as on every Fallujah street — a sewer-like odor hung in the air.
They started the house-to-house fight again at about 7 a.m. Brad Kasal’s war ended about four hours later…
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