We continued taking building after building. In the afternoon we moved on after tossing a few smoke grenades to cover our advance. Resistance was still minimal. But now we ran into a different problem.

Booby traps.

We had taken control of a small apartment building. While I continued with Sgt. Obama and Axel to clear out each floor, Captain America advanced with his squad to clear out a neighboring building. Intel had told us that there was a very large mine buried in the road. Sure enough, there it was. Captain America placed about a kilogram cube of C4 explosives on the mine itself, lit the fuse, and ran. He and his squad returned to the apartment complex that I had just finished clearing.

"Get inside! Now!" Captain America started yelling at us. I was currently unaware that he had placed the charge, but was smart enough not to ask questions. I dropped what I was doing and dove into one of the small apartments.

A blinding, hot, white and pink flash seared the alley and shattered all of the windows. It was obvious that if the mine had not been discovered ahead of time it would have easily taken out the entire platoon.

Once again we settled in for the night, now in the newly conquered apartment building. I stood in the corner of a bedroom, gazing out of the window from an angle that I knew to minimize exposure to snipers.

I looked over my shoulder and saw Shaft, our American MAG machine gunner from Rhode Island, praying the evening prayers in the living room of the apartment. The unique thing, though, was how he was praying. In the IDF we have a tradition of making "tuna soufflé" by placing squares of toilet paper into the oil of a tuna can and then igniting them. The toilet paper burns like the wick of an oil lamp and thusly cooks the tuna. It actually tastes a lot better than it sounds. Anyway that was the only source of light we were provided. So there he sat, huddled next to a flaming can of tuna and praying. I smiled.

Hey, whatever works!