From there it jumps backwards to before the deployment. It goes back to Colonel Todd Ebel taking over 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. He was tasked with taking over a particularly rough area of Iraq, to do so he sent the 502nd or as they were known, the Black Hearts. They were identified by the black patch that each would where on the side of their helmets. There initial task was to replace the guard unit that was currently in the area of operations and to continue the mission from there, this would prove to be very challenging. He divided up his work by giving Lieutenant Colonel Tom Kunk the eastern more urban area of the “triangle of death”. LTC Kunk is described as a straightforward and engaging leader. He was harsh and did not get along very well with his subordinate leaders constantly putting them down and butting heads with them.
The area in which LTC Kunk was taking over had been going downhill for some time. Since the fall of Saddam the situation had been getting worse and worse with the civilians in the area. The relationship between the Sunni’s and the Shi’ites was getting even more tense and crime was rising. Insurgency groups such as the ...
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... began to slip as well. With the amount of respect that the men had for him, he could easily have corrected the situation when it started. Sgt. Yribe failed to do his duty as a junior NCO when things began to fail, so they only got worse. This is what lead, alcohol use, drug use, and disregard for the army standards and operating procedures. It grew to a point where the soldiers had gone past the point of caring anymore. With nothing holding them back the soldiers fell into a state of apathy that allowed them to rape a young girl and murder her along with her family. Sgt. Yribe was then made aware that his own soldier was responsible for the crime and lacked the Personal Courage to do what should have been done as soon as he was given the information. His lack of duty and personal courage directly contributed to the rape and murder of an innocent Iraqi family.
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