On the Road with the 'Iraqi Express' Convoy

Feliciano

hide captionSgt. Cesar Feliciano holds the crucifix he carries with him in the cab of his military transport truck.

Eric Westervelt, NPR
Trucks

hide captionThis U.S. military convoy is comprised of 28 trucks.

The 'Iraqi Express' convoy makes daily supply runs from northern Kuwait into a base north of Baghdad, delivering just about everything U.S. soldiers in Iraq need, from spare parts to ammunition.

Eric Westervelt talks with soldiers assigned to the convoy about their hazardous journey, which stretches 1,200 miles and takes four days round-trip. As insurgents find ways to find bigger, more potent roadside bombs, soldiers working on the convoys recognize the need to be alert at all times.

"You've gotta stay aware, it's a mental challenge," says Staff Sgt. Jeff Drushel, who is winding up a year-long deployment with the Ohio National Guard's 1486 Transportation Company. Though the convoy's vehicles have additional armoring, the soldiers know that protection from attacks is limited.

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