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  • Writer's pictureEdward Riederich

Trapped in Fallujah

I wrote this poem a couple years ago. This is probably one of my favorite stories I have written about.

I read a true story about a team of Marines in Iraq that were overtaken by a sandstorm called "The Churning". These marines found themselves pinned against a small cinder block wall braving the worst storm in a century. For three days they were pinned down motionless and pelted by hot sand. They had to fight for every breath as they choked down sandpaper air. They felt like they were being burned alive.

Finally, on the third day the storm subsided. Some were angry and bewildered at God that He would allow them to suffer this way. God was silent as they cried to Him in the storm but after the storm they saw He worked the bad for good. The storm had misplaced so much sand and it exposed a minefield they would have walked right into. You and I may not understand why we are going through the storm but we must believe that God is working all for good even in the times when we can't hear or see Him. 

Back in the year 2004 

West of Baghdad 40 miles 

Marines on this desert floor 

Withstood hardship and trials 

In the battle of Fallujah 

Stood a man named Sergeant Tim 

There came forth a Hallelujah 

When poor conditions looked grim 

An advancing ominous sky 

Threatening to engulf these men 

They could not outrun if they tried 

In quite a predicament then 

The sandstorm called "The Churning" 

Soldiers trapped against the wall 

Their bodies felt the burning 

Prayer to God, a desperate call


Three days pelted by sand and wind 

Lying motionless on the ground 

Three horrific days they were pinned 

A horrendous roaring sound 

Furious sandstorm persisted 

Survival was appearing bleak 

Air particulates resisted 

Sand and stones scalded their cheeks 

Struggling for each short breath 

Battling against their fears 

Now they were facing certain death 

Storm of every one hundred years 

Prepared to be buried alive 

Burned in the suffocating storm 

Fighting for breath they would strive 

As the blinding sand did swarm 

Three long days of The Churning 

Now it gradually subsided 

Three days of intense burning 

It became clear God had guided 

At last they were able to stand 

Assistance the storm would yield 

This dust storm misplaced the sand 

Uncovering a minefield 

At this miracle these men gasped 

As they saw this explosive trap 

They soon realized and grasped 

God watched over them on the map 

Underneath the desert sky 

Where those fortunate heroes stood 

God had heard their desperate cry 

He replaced the bad for good

Trials in your life work for good

He redeems what has been wrecked

Your struggles He has understood

He is the master architect

In life we will go through storms

Sometimes for days and days

We may lose sight of His form

But perfect are His ways

Storms of life must be endured

Even if they go on longer

But by faith rest assured

Storms will make you stronger

In trials if you feel unseen

And can't raise a Hallelujah

Remember God and those Marines

How they were trapped in Fallujah

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