Friday, August 23, 2013

Fullbore Friday

Via Jake Tapper at CNN who has done so much to bring to the attention a part of a war most have chose to ignore:
The first shots rang out just a few minutes before 6 a.m. The rumors that the soldiers had heard for months were coming true. Carter said he had often imagined that day.

"I was like, 'Well, if it's my time to go, how am I going out?' " he said.

The Taliban had studied how the Americans responded to previous attacks, and they knew the outpost relied heavily on its mortars.

So they made the big guns their first target.

"When the enemy weren't shooting at us, they were shooting at the weapons," Carter said. "So they were disabling the weapons."

The insurgent fire killed Pfc. Kevin Thomson as he raced to his post. Sgt. Josh Kirk was killed while returning fire.

"You could hear the rounds coming in from every direction," said platoon Sgt. Jon Hill.

Troops begin running much-needed ammunition to the men on guard duty. Sgt. Michael Scusa was gunned down 10 feet outside one of the outpost's doors. In the midst of the gunfire, Sgt. Christopher Griffin "immediately ran out the door without hesitation," Hill said.

"He didn't make it back"

Ammunition was starting to run out, so Ty Carter and other members of his Black Knight troop volunteered to deliver more -- a hundred yards away across the heaviest of gunfire.

Carter didn't think twice about the danger. All he knew was there were three fellow soldiers -- Sgt. Bradley Larson, Spc. Stephan Mace and Sgt. Justin Gallegos -- trapped in a Humvee and they needed more supplies to return fire.

"Carter's kinda like .. for lack of a better word, a robot," Hill said. "You tell him to do something, he's gonna do it and he's gonna do it to the best of his ability."

He would return through that deadly gauntlet three times to get supplies to the men.

When the firefight was over, the death toll would include Mace, Gallegos, Sgt. Josh Hardt, and Staff Sgt. Vernon Martin.

The names of all eight men who died on that day are engraved on a steel band that Carter wears on his wrist, not that he needs the reminder.
You really need to read it all - and consider learning about the larger battle via Tapper's book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.

In his own words:

He will join a rare group on Monday.

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