Add this item to your combat savvey: recall the occasional gaps between canals in Iraq, add a crater blast hole made by earlier anti tank mine and now your vehicle has to go further out to get around the hole. This LAR unit was lucky. Very lucky.
"U.S. Marines of the Light Armored Reconnaissance, or LAR, company on patrol Thursday near Fallujah, found a gap between canals. Already at the chokepoint, there was a crater--formed not long ago, when an armored vehicle had rolled through and blew up an anti-tank mine.
Suspicious because the crater forced the convoy along a very narrow dirt path, Marines dismounted from the first armored vehicle and walked it through the breach unharmed.
The second vehicle, however, hit another anti-tank mine, blowing the 14-ton chassis into a muddy fishtail, tearing away a rear tire, and blasting open the armored rear doors, wounding two Marines and an American photographer. It's a pretty good tactic, to force the vehicle to drive around the blast hole," said Cpl. Christopher DeBlanc, a team leader from Spotsylvania County. "There's nothing you can do," said 1st Lt. Paul Webber, an LAR platoon commander, nodding toward the two craters. "Somebody's got to go through here, sometime. It was just a matter of time. They knew." The new crater--4 feet deep and 8 feet wide in dark fertile farming soil--looked precisely like the first one. And there were other strange signs picked up by the Marines as they piled boxes of explosives, rockets, and ammunition from the diesel-soaked vehicle.
The blast destroyed the amphibious propeller and spread camouflage pack material across the waving reeds. A pile of burning ash included 25 mm shell casings.
Every one of those, now rusted, had been taken apart, and their primer taken by insurgents. The primer can act as a blasting cap for improved explosive devices, or IEDs.
The Marines fanned out across the muddy fields, detaining two sheep herders and stopping a car that did not halt with machine-gun fire.
Another man emerged from the reeds with his hands up, claiming to be from Tikrit, with $400 in his pocket.
But the Marines who remained at the blast site marveled at what they saw as their bad luck--this platoon had never been hit before--and at their relative good luck. No Marines died; the wounds to the two were not life-threatening; and Stephanie Kuykendal, an American freelance photographer for Corbis photo agency,had only wounds to her mouth.
Fredericksburg.com - Spotsylvania Marine on Fallujah strike force