Loss of a close friend and a brother-in-arms

Last week I was online working as I always am, and a familiar name popped up on my instant messaging client. It was my old terp, and good buddy Jawed. If you ever read the blog entries that I wrote on here back in 2006-2007 that name should sound familiar. Jawed was one of the terps that spent a lot of time downrange with me. He and I got to know each other through hours of talking in the Humvee.

It had been a while since I had heard from him so I was pleased to see his “hey Top, are you there” comment pop up. Of course I quickly responded and asked how he and all the terps were doing. Once he told me he was fine, me told me that he was just coming back from a 3 week mission so that is why I had not heard from him in a while.

He then proceeded to tell me one of my terps, who I also spent many hours with talking both in the FOB and downrange had been killed. He told me that Fayez was killed about two weeks earlier in an ambush. Ironically Fayez was the terp in a truck with 3 National Guard soldiers that was ambushed a couple of weeks ago. Two of the soldiers were from my brigade in New York. I was very sad to hear that my youngest terp, Fayez, who was only about 20-21 years old, was killed in that attack.

However I was pissed off and angry to hear how he died. Jawed told me that Fayez had survived the initial IED blast and even the subsequent small arms ambush. At some point I assume that all 3 soldiers had been killed and this (for some reason I don’t know) allowed the enemy fighters to make it all the way to the Humvee. I had seen news reports of the enemy fighters holding up an U.S. issued M4 rifle the day after the attack but was not sure it was legitimate from that attack. Well I guess it was true because Jawed told me that the enemy fighters got to the truck, pulled Fayez from the truck and executed him right there in the road. That is what really pisses me off, to think that the last thing he saw was these a**holes standing over him. He was just a boy to me, but he was a patriot, he helped support many Americans (not just me), and he was truly trying to do something good for his country, and there are not many of those over there.

Jawed and I chatted a little bit more. He was very sorry that he had to tell me that, but I thanked him for being the bearer of bad news. I told him to let all the terps know my whole team is constantly thinking of them and praying for their safety too. I miss chatting, BSing and joking around with all of my terps. I would sit for hours in a humvee or in meetings with the ANA and constantly joke with these guys. We ate together, we joked and we shared a lot of information about our cultures.

I had emailed with Fayez regularly since I had come back from Afghanistan and I was glad to see I saved many of those emails. I won’t ever get any more from him, but I will cherish the ones I got, in addition to the photos I have of him also.

I am so sorry Fayez that you died the way that you did. You will be truly missed, not only by your Afghan family and friends, but also by your American brothers-in-arms. May Allah bring you in as a true martyr for your faith. You more than deserve it.

10 thoughts on “Loss of a close friend and a brother-in-arms”

  1. I too am sorry for your loss Troy. He must have been a fine and brave young man. You have said such wonderful words over his passing. I’m sure Fayez would be pleased.

  2. Dude, that really sucks. I feel your pain and frustration. If you ever want to get together a two-man “Taliban Death Squad of Tops”, I’m in. My prayers also go out to Fayez’s and Jawed’s families as they work hard seeking the peace they’ve been denied for so long.

  3. I’m so sorry about Fayed getting killed like that as well as the others. I am praying for their families and you as well and all of their buddies. May God Bless each and every one and all of our troops as well !!

  4. Top, I’m really sorry. Our terps were the greatest guys, and I know that I would cry like a baby to hear that they had been hurt or killed. They are amazing young men. It is truly disturbing to know that he was executed that way.

    Our terp was the type of guy who hated the corruption and poor leadership more than we did. He had a vision for Afghanistan that was infinitely more real than ours. I’ve met a few terps, and most of them were like that. I’m sure that Fayez was, too. I’m sorry that I never met him.

    It’s guys like the terps that are the very hope of Afghanistan. Terps are unsung heroes that we couldn’t do our jobs without, and they turned out to be great friends as well.

    I’m really sorry, Top.

  5. Troy, Our hearts are saddened by the loss of this young man. We do understand your pain and sense your loss. We feel as though we knew him through your blogs and we thank you for that and we thank this wonderful courageous man for serving his country so bravely as you and your son are now doing. May his family be comforted in some way by his devotion to his god and country. The Prophet’s Mom & Dad

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