This is the life over here. This is an email from my nephews over here. I had a bad night the other night. One of my friends died. I work in Iraq so it happens. I guess. That doesn't take away the sting of it or the sadness or the anger, I'll tell you that. When I heard the explosion that ultimately ignited a very intense fire that engulfed my friend and gave him an impossible chance of getting out, I didn't know what it was or where exactly it came from. I was the guy in charge of the men working on the job site so I made a few calls to the Nepalese and Sri Lankan guys who were working the gates and got nowhere. I was interrupted by the guy in charge of the overall night operations and told that whatever happened, happened out on the road and may have involved one our teams out there. There are teams of guys who travel up and down the main road we use to get to and from the work site to the livng quarters. I was doing this job until a couple months ago when I was promoted out of the job and moved into my newer "safer one. The calls for a guy named Rob kept coming but his answer never did. I quickly made my way out to the front gate and waited to see what would happen over the next minute or so. Would Rob finally call in that he was okay? There was some confusion as there always is and so I decided to grab one of the Nepalese guys and go out there and try to find Rob and see what had actually taken place. We loaded up and drove quickly down the road to find the site of the accident or whatever it turned out to be. I saw one of the guys from Rob's truck on the side of the road getting treated for what looked like an eye injury. I didn't see Rob. I then saw a burning vehicle. Not the kind from the movies that explodes and the hero narrowly escapes without harm. This was intense heat that kept you from getting close enough to really see what was in the vehicle or who for that matter. It took two showers to get the smoke out of my hair and I don't have much hair. I looked around the bushes and kept looking hoping to find Rob laying down unconscious and grab him up and take him to the medic for treatment. But then, there it was. The visual of a human skull that seemed to be peering out of the flames. It seemed to be a skull but we really couldnt tell right away. There were a couple of other guys who had shown up, some from the work site and some from the compound where we sleep and eat a few miles away. We all tried to get close enough to see what was in the front seat but the fire kept us at bay. Although I think we all knew much sooner than we wanted to admit. Rob was right in front of us, burning into the front seat and there was nothing we could do and nothing he could have done to change this gruesome scene before us. The fire trucks showed up and sprayed all the water they had on the truck but still the flames were intense and the fuel in the truck was burning along with the the other oils and fluids and the incendiary device that was used to ingnite the explosion, so we kept our distance. The medic on site told me that what I was viewing was his fat cells burning like little capsules of oil. His torso and skull were the only parts of his body left. Over the next several hours and the next day I kept spontaneously tearing up. I went from sadness to anger and back several times that night while we waited for sunlight to shed something, only it could, on the surroundings. It's been three days, his memorial is tomorrow. I bet there will be more tears. Rob had run over a freshly placed I.E.D. along a road we all travel everyday. He was killed by men he never saw and who probably never saw him.