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August 11, 2015
Posted at 1:43 pm

Chapter 43

In the last chapter I heard from a couple of artillerymen and had to edit the radio calls. I used some improper terminology. Also, I can't call the fire mission Excalibur, since there was a brand new 'Excalibur' round being issued to the artillery at the time of the story. I changed it to Alamo. Thanks for the assistance!

This is the end of Book 2. I am nowhere near the end of Book 3. I am up to about Chapter 61 and it almost feels like I am just getting started. This story is not going to be anywhere near as long as A Fresh Start, but I can definitely see a chapter count in the 70-80 range.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog note, in the 2003-2007 period Anbar Province was probably the most dangerous place on the planet, for both Americans and Iraqis alike. Far more Iraqis died than Americans, and far more died at the hands of other Iraqis than were killed by Americans. An excellent source for this portion of the story can be found in None Left Behind: The 10th Mountain Division and the Triangle of Death, by Charles W. Sasser. Much as the Fourth of the Fourth, Grim's fictional battalion, was an extension of the very real Tenth Mountain Division, so the fictional Route Indigo was an extension of the very real Route Malibu.

I would definitely like to thank my military editors for this section of the story. Thank you n12614, bumbyb, tangotulsa, and abac2856. I couldn't have done it without you. Also, many thanks to the other uncredited readers who would often point out small pieces of trivia that needed to be examined or edited. That's what makes this so fascinating to me.

To those who purchased Books 1 and 2. I am waiting a few days for any final typos and edits to filter in, then I will send you a final updated version. Your support was quite heartening. Thank you.

- rlfj