An extraordinary piece of war reporting today in The New York Times offers a first-hand account of a platoon of American soldiers pinned down in a ravine by Taliban gunfire. Before opening fire, the hidden insurgents detonate a bomb under a footbridge as one private is crossing, killing him and sending his body into a tree. The young soldiers are patrolling their usual route when they stumble into the ambush. The sounds of the chaotic shootout are captured by Times reporters fleeing from the bullets along with the platoon. Eventually, with their overwhelming firepower and the aid of reinforcements, the soldiers escape, but not before losing their fourth brother in arms in nine months in the violent valley.