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July 20, 2008

"Give me a second. I gotta go kill these guys first."

Last Sunday word came in about a large scale attack on a small and remote US base in Afghanistan. 9 soldiers were killed in that battle.

In the few cases like this where the enemy decides to fight toe to toe the news seems to follow a familiar pattern...initial reports of US casualties, then a few days later news of how badly out numbered our troops were but still held off the larger force.

Today the next phase gets underway...tales of heroism of American soldiers.
Stars and Stripes has details on last week's fight in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

Immediately, a grenade exploded by Stafford, blowing him down to a lower terrace at the observation post and knocking his helmet off. Stafford put his helmet back on and noticed how badly he was bleeding.

Cpl. Matthew Phillips was close by, so Stafford called to him for help. Phillips was preparing to throw a grenade and shot a look at Stafford that said, "Give me a second. I gotta go kill these guys first."

This was only about 30 to 60 seconds into the attack.

...Two hours after the first shots were fired, Stafford made his way — with help — to the medevac helicopter that arrived.

"It was some of the bravest stuff I’ve ever seen in my life, and I will never see it again because those guys," Stafford said, then paused. "Normal humans wouldn’t do that. You’re not supposed to do that — getting up and firing back when everything around you is popping and whizzing and trees, branches coming down and sandbags exploding and RPGs coming in over your head … It was a fistfight then, and those guys held ’ em off."

Stafford offered a guess as to why his fellow soldiers fought so hard.

"Just hardcoreness I guess," he said. "Just guys kicking ass, basically. Just making sure that we look scary enough that you don’t want to come in and try to get us."

There's more, much more, about the fight and the bravery of the men who fought and died there at the link. Read it all.

h/t BlackFive


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posted by DrewM. at 01:22 PM

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