February 12, 2010 |
The Marines of Charlie Company had just landed outside Marja and were itching for the fight with the Taliban when they learned that a group of Afghans with shovels and wheelbarrows were digging holes in the road nearby. Were they planting explosives? You could never be certain, but the reconnaissance drones overhead thought so. Approval was given to fire a rocket at the men. The rocket strike caused a thunderous explosion. The men dug their holes no more. "It was pretty motivating," said Cpl. Jonathan Lee, 30, of Orange Park, Fla. -- Before the Marines from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Regiment moved to take over a key westbound route to Marja called Five Points, they were given a lecture by a combat lawyer about the rules of engagement, the strictures that determine when it's lawful for a Marine to fire a weapon.