If They Are Willing to Die – LIMA Chapter | The UNAFRAID Podcast – Episode 33

Ill-meaning fathers, hidden assailants, IED’s – everything is out to get you in Afghanistan. Eddie recalls a harrowing series of ops that came full of the worst kind of dangers – and the innocent victims and fellow brothers we lost along the way – in this look back at LIMA Chapter from his UNAFRAID memoir.

In this profoundly moving podcast episode, we delve into the harrowing experiences of Eddie Penney, who faced the brutal realities of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The emotional toll of witnessing the loss of comrades, encountering relentless enemies, and navigating the thin line between life and death is laid bare in this raw and candid conversation. As we explore the trauma and aftermath of a fateful mission, the podcast takes us on a journey through the soldier’s struggle with survivor’s guilt and the haunting memories that linger long after the battlefield falls silent.

The podcast starts somberly as Eddie discusses the challenges of their deployment in Iraq. The once-perceived invincibility bubble is shattered, and the grim reality of facing formidable foes becomes all too apparent. Eddie recounts the multiple deployments, the changing nature of the enemy, and the exceptional danger posed by a group of particularly ruthless adversaries.

Eddie and his team confront a different breed of enemy in Iraq. The enemy, now wearing suicide vests and showing no fear in deploying them, takes the soldiers by surprise. These adversaries, remnants of a regime’s special forces, operate with a level of brutality that transcends the team’s previous encounters. This podcast reflects on Eddie’s’ realization that these enemies are willing to sacrifice their own lives and the lives of innocent children.

Eddie recounts a pivotal operation where the enemy’s tactics escalate to a devastating level. Eddie’s SEAL team, divided into two teams, approach separate compounds. The atmosphere is tense as they navigate the darkness, aware that danger lurks around every corner. Eddie vividly describes the heart-wrenching moment when an individual, seemingly unarmed, detonates a suicide vest, taking innocent children’s lives and leaving an indelible mark on Eddie’s psyches.

In a compelling twist, Eddie shares a moral dilemma faced during a different operation. A captured enemy responsible for heinous crimes against civilians prompts introspection on the thin line between justified killing and the darker realms of torture and murder. Eddie further grapples with the internal conflict of witnessing acts that challenge the very essence of humanity.

This podcast takes a devastating turn as the soldiers recount the loss of comrades, Mike and Nate. The soldier provides a poignant and detailed account of the night that forever changed their team dynamics. The emotions run high as they relive the somber moments after the explosion, the chaos, and the heart-wrenching realization that their brothers-in-arms are no more.

Survivor’s guilt takes center stage as Eddie navigates the aftermath of the tragic loss. He shares the internal struggle of questioning decisions made on the battlefield and the haunting possibility that a different choice might have altered the course of events. Eddie continues to grapple with the emotional toll, the somber ceremonies, and the challenges of filling the void left by fallen comrades.

In a heartfelt tribute, Eddie reveals an annual tradition that honors a fallen comrade, Louie. Eddie embarks on a pilgrimage to Louie’s favorite spearfishing spot, creating a lasting memorial and a living tribute in the form of an artificial reef. He reflects on the healing power of remembering and celebrating the life of a lost brother.

As this podcast concludes, Eddie’s story serves as a stark reminder of the unseen costs of war. The emotional scars, moral dilemmas, and profound losses shape the soldiers in ways unimaginable to those who haven’t experienced the brutality of combat. The conversation sheds light on the resilience of the human spirit, the bonds forged in the crucible of war, and the enduring need to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Related Articles

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up to stay informed with the UNAFRAID newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!