« Jocko Podcast

357: "Remember The Ramrods", With Medal of Honor Recipient, David Bellavia

2022-10-26 | 🔗

David G. Bellavia is a former United States Army soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Second Battle of Fallujah. Bellavia has also received the Bronze Star Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross. In 2005, Bellavia was inducted into the New York Veterans' Hall of Fame.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is jack gas number three. Fifty seven with echo charles and me java, willing good evening echo good evening. Since kept moving- and I stopped him by putting to his back sir any You asked me do I am here: you know that same stopped solely pivoting on the peace tone he walked back to me. I know that staff sergeant bill, I have never once questioned that in you I took a moment. It was cool the silence of this area of open, nothing, was now invaded by giant generators. Humming bird lasting light brighter than a texas high school football stadium. An area that was essentially a path that required night vision. Two weeks ago was now amassed with army heavy equipment, trucks crane.
It connects trailers of work or be contractors and soldiers endlessly moving equipment. Twenty four hours a day for the big you're theatre, move to felicia. What do you got sergeant? I am more worried about losing people now than losing people in ten years and In the disrespect where you were coming from, I just can't think that way. We are going to lose people. We will lose some of these men. The reality of what he just said seem to him act him in real time as if he was unaware of what was coming out of his own mouth. He paused sergeant I don't know if I'm prepared for that either we both looked at each other. all I wanted was the felicia fight. I dream for this test. I was
excited about the prospects of actually impacting this war now, with captain sims the reality of it seemed to hit me at once. He looked at me Bags under his eyes, stress worry. his wet. I seem to read from long hours and late nights. no way around this. I need you, It's going to be really rough. He said. We need you, sir. You got us here and you will get us home. Let's get as many back home as we can. Yes, sir, we were, in two opposite directions that night captains- and toward the glowing lights me into the pitch blackness of the barracks.
When I think of captain sean sims, I see him in his DC use bright and knights glow of the light. with only a home in on his head. had aside arm on his leg, walking into the light and that right there reserve excerpt from above old, remember the ramrods an hour. he brotherhood in war and peace by day, Bolivia. That's a conversation that took place Prior to the second battle of felicia operation, phantom fury the bloodiest battle of the iraq war and the heaviest concentration of urban combat it's the vietnam war, the captain
Captain sims was the commander of alpha company second battalion. Second infantry regiment, known as the ram rods. Who organizing, the third brigade combat team first infantry division, David Bellevue, was a squad leader interpreter of our for company. That's what I was a conversation between officer the offered their company commander. and one of his noncommissioned officers as a prepared for the worst combat that they could imagine. You're a short time. After that conversation, they cross breach into. Where they met the enemy- Prove their metal as soldiers as warriors and as american fighting men
There was great sacrifice during that battle. including over five hundred wounded americans, and five killed. And for his actions during one house fight in that battle, David Bolivia was awarded the medal of honor and he has written about his experiences in two books, the first called house to house and a new. I just came out that I mentioned which is called remember the ramrods and it's an honor to have David Bellevue here with us tonight. To share his experiences and his lessons learned David thanks for coming out man thanks how appreciate that reading that section the book. I remain but when we were getting relieved in romania My task was getting believed and remedy and the new task you,
We take our place and were given a money. In brief and guys that were really as well. They were coming from any diego california seal team, five, and I remember given my brief and I was told them you are going to take casualties, and you could see, even though these guys these guys had been them took. Barclays funeral, they ve been mikey monsters funeral a couple weeks prior, but you know they got on the ground and there me and Tell telling them hey you guys. Are we to take casualties, it's it's a rough thing to to face and conversation that you had with captain sims. You know an end, Look how old were you at that time? I was twenty eight twenty eight years old and you have That attitude like hey. This is what this one has more to do. that's what I've been waiting for,
I want to go find food, these guys from team five. God bless them what they want. Do they wanted to get into it? Of course,. and that reality check of. This is where it's going and This is war and casualties are gonna, come It's a it's a heavy everything to walk into it? It rearing you read that I I it's it's so it's it's strange to me because I, I think of you know the guys that get hurt are the ones who really know what you can get shot at repeatedly. A snap, a hiss. I'm u want when your first in country near his laugh, New guy does not demonstrate incoming and outgoing lay hey. What are you doing? You're running for the bunker right, it's like when a babies born the past
fire falls and you sterilize esteem and autoclave it. You know, then, after like the second third, kid you're, like you know, come on put some more dirt on it. It's good for the immune system. The reality is that, once you have been shot- and you know- and you see your friends that have experienced it. there's it's not real. Until that happens, and we remember the ramrods is a book about how we all are trying to. I used to think that I missed war. That for the my entire remaining adult years after I left the military I missed. I missed adrenalin. I missed they, ultimate, I mean you go into a job interview and it's like. Are you good enough? What's on your resume, may you know what greedy. You have your credit score
civilian life we we we like before we trust you go on to date. Are you worthy of my time? Do I trust you in the military. I trusted before I'd still not like half these guys. You know, but I trust whom you know like that, it's a totally different, and so we look at those days and we think that was the best time of my life, is in also. We know that weird for civilians to hear right do we know that that's odd and I thought those were the best my life and I realized it wasn't the war it was. The relationships are worth. It was the people, it was the sense of validation, and purpose everyday I woke up- I knew I had to do. I knew I was needed and being needed in a fight it rate leading men is an incredible honor, but having a purpose in a fight is the greatest exe
Periods ever when you're being shot at and it's almost like the enemy is only shootin at the guys they want to take out of the battlefield Do you know everyone a bit of not getting shot at? That means their willing to keep you out there for a little while exactly a threat to anyone that damn it a great deal, in two to know that this my generation every reason people are divided today. our generation at war had all the problems people have today. We gay people, we have people definite different, different religions and yet we can't leave each other's vote out every year. So we the same debates and then When the bell rang, we went out there, get our job and and and learned to live with each other and respect each other and love each other, and that to me is something that we
everyone talk was missing? It's our responsibility, to remind our citizens. Why We therefore have a devil play in the world, can make you do what you did honestly seriously as a college. Dairy cows judge that bad that europe go into a vacation and remedy. I mean it's ridiculous, it's absurd to say so. Do You grieve? Do you know you ve ever been able to do something with your career. That to me is I'm I'm tired of people same look what he did. I want people to say, look what I can do. if it's not inspiring to see people like you, then it's a waste if it's just about one individual and that's why this award war to this awards ridiculous, because what do you do or team tall about? but, however, but there's one guy, you know what the only award for the entire living
but the entire war an honour and agent into its disrespectful. I, I could name you seven names from, a foolish alone. They should have the medal of honor. So now you one award? I'm someone what is: are we gonna go and just each rent for the rest of our life is now the time to go and you know go off into any and started to elsie show my medal of honor life. You know what what about what to do with this kid? I know how bout We remember who we are every single day I'm still a soldier are still an average remain. I will always be a knock commission officer and I'm Example of my leadership and end latest compliment alive, you can have is when his subordinates eclipse him and that's tough for There's tough guy is twenties.
run around with people. Stand is about the military, but we can allow. A guys that were division, one studs that brought a gun to bobo brag. This we get a lot of guys screwed up and these are these are guys it could be plain on sunday, any sport they want There are times that you want to professional gold turned a little bit and be like lives hard archer he's smart knees physically fit describe. Destroys careers. Take my job. I don't want to give him a good report, a good counselling statement. I want given a ward and then you start to realise that The reason why our military is elite is because every generation is better than the previous anne and you have to embrace a greatness, that's what a leader is a leader is saying this. What I did look at what my twelve guys did their better. And are better fathers there, better citizens and their better soldiers that I was
That's what you want to be able to say until you say that you know you're, your plane paint ball at with it with a with College fund is now real. This is what it's all about is make. It is making a better for the next group. I think there's a lot in these books that are definitely are gonna help a lot of people to build a move through these things, less given to where you came from a little bit background on you, sir you're born born enough. What nineteenth Many five year end up in western new york, I say your tell name: lyndonville, ville, Yeah value population, eight hundred and thirty. Eight that's right Yes, I two thousand and lenses we're. I gotta get an arena football franchise, Joseph, but it's a real small town apple downright offer farming
merely off of lake ontario and it's about an hour from buffalo and in your dad. What would you do Dennis? Father was a dentist and he chose rural instead of suburban. He could have done anything practiced anywhere. It's where he wanted I raise a family and what about your mom was young. She was working at the practice. She would stay at home. Helped them out was a partner all throughout a great family, great youngest. for an everyone had has a masters double masters phd there. These are my dad. Is all about education be approved? National how'd that work out for well I'll. Tell you what it was weird that he as a dentist. His whole thing was, you know he had great empathy want to always take people out of pain, and I would hang out my granddad was a is still alive, is one hundred and two and he was a normandy that he did.
Sicily, north africa, enormity and get them on the podcast. By the way I'll tell you what that'll be a twelve hour, he won't shut up. Do you just give them olive garden? I usual, but but grandfather would would die my mom it's my mom's dead, any it shit like thirty road sisters, and I would get these stories at an age that you proud Probably shouldn't be talent. I remember there was a time I went target shooting when my data had a twenty two rifle and I was he was like David you're grouping is good, but let's try to get at center and I'm like, because it was low right mps Why you shooting, let's get it in the middle and I'm like that's where the for moral artery as its by the hip bone and grandad says like lives, no more store about where the leaders that will we want, but but
would tell me these stories of of combat that we're almost there were filtered there. Were victorian in the sense that there is no better no nobility, but there was always this contrast of don't ever think the enemy is just nazis are horrible. Imperial japanese were the worst people in the world, but they're human beings and there's something that happens to you. When you go to war, you'll, never ever look at life the same, but it wasn't as if it was a warning of don't do this. It was you can't ever appreciate any. and unless you're in that environment, with other people doing something together against evil so when I went to Kosovo in cave for Bravo, no offense to the Clinton
duration, aren't really find evil you that we didn't interrupt. You know the cleansing we found the ethnic cleansing. We weren't a kinetic for standing up against milosevic's, or you know that the greek orthodox against the ethnic albanians, it was just can like we're here. We're just hang out a rat. Was it all again. It was. I saw evil I saw it. I saw people that wanted to hurt myself. My friends it it's a you know you can be victimized by that trauma or you can be empowered by it and you can say: listen there can't be a bad day ever after that right I mean I can't be there's nothing. You can do some sort your grandfather made that impression on you at the
a pretty young, a cable. The stories were ridiculous, he's I ob sleeping in a cold day and by stone, and it was a dead pig frozen pig at an he would well. These stories of how he would go, into these french areas that were friendly to the nazis, and like my guys, having eaten and weeks you, Has any eggs in their like no eggs, no, nothing! Either you're a liar french civilian here, look they will throw. These are your line you have you been given aims to the nazis. Haven't you? Is we Our barrels, a champagne we found ham salted ham. We feasted on that, and I was like what's message here: the messages in a grip it was pillaging of civilians, the mess the judges salted ham and whatever luxury you could find was the best ill of his life has hidden
of his day was. And to morrow and I'm twelve and I'm thinkin. You know Dad? Could you imagine not knowing what tomorrow is gonna, be like and just having this opportunity for fellowship come robbery and a warm meal. and you will literally do anything just for that moment and he's the time he was in his eighties now dotterine two. He still thinks about their meal, it doesn't matter star four star. He thinks about that meal in a barn you know. Next to a blow. rob eighty eight a dashing credible to me? So you got this on one side. Meanwhile, your dad is all about education. Want you to how you doing in school, I you know I was, but my parents raised me right at a great school, great teachers. Everything was this wasn't I went to college and I I was checking the box and I remember
my senior year. I was in a library and out I was a goofball and I was just trying to be funny in and be popular in And the little tv on the little you roller cart tv they pay a good end. It was october. Ninety three and on watch bill Cleveland, get dragged through the streets of Somalia and I felt like a complete, fraud. It I've never felt like this was in the car, I've come to an out about experience where I thought I'd. I we can't be fun me. We can't laugh This is an american who dedicated his life to protecting us and has been dragged by truck truck and ripped apart by kids in mogadishu and black hawk down and I and I remember, saying a prayer that I didn't what life I would live. I had no idea it's going to be Dennis tomorrow, twelve kids, one kid never married, I'm going to avenge bill cleveland,
that's all I wanted to do was just give me ever was week. Missionary trip I'd, find a way get into the market place in mogadishu, Let's get a stack up adjusting, polaroid incentive, the cleveland family, to say we got em an and in the one thing that I never understood about. Soldiering was how important avenging losses and how what that means for your morale, what that means for a family and again- another disconnect with civilians, but knowing that the person that destroyed your life and took something away from you that we got em when a war became nothing by these nuthin You never saw the enemy listen in music and you disappear in a mist in a war. When you had the chance to see the enemy fix them. and there are now afraid of you- that's why we fought.
And full remedy more to die barkeeper those areas Mosul. They gave us the opportunity actual fight back when so many of the losses in iraq. At that point, were you know, ghosts basically I want to get to the point where you get done with, high school, but there was a part of this book that I promised myself had to be read so that everyone can hear it go when I was seventeen in the summer. my junior year, mice, my dad started a group for teens, whose mission was to wait until marriage to have sex. or for July was the biggest ventnor small town the population of seven hundred fifty, would balloon to three thousand one afternoon. The fireworks parades the chicken barbecue, the mac plant hangers made
This the go to location in order county, inevitably there was going to be a float for his new organization. My other came to mean explained how difficult it was to get older kids to join his group, and this group like, as there is a group for people that are good. Stay virgins until they're married? I, stunned. How richly bazaar was the teenagers didn't wanna ride, downtown, declaring to all appears they were virgins and not open for business with a sigh we're face and piercing eyes. He asked me David. I would if you to be the king of our virgin float having read the bylaws, the group to see if this sort of nepotism was allowed, it was quickly reveal that this was an acceptable policy. There was no disco vacationing being related to an officer of the group in naming me the king of all virgins without a proper boat or at least having a board meeting. I was a good kid shy
not exactly ladies man and, in fact, a real bona fide virgin at seventeen Just really didn't want to be on a float being pulled by a john deere tractor in my home town, declaring to my entire community that my prom night didn't end like I told my friends I was introduced to my queen she was twelve years old. The other kid on the flow range from the ages of now. into a very mature thirteen, but I love my father, I could not let him down people like you and if people like you and if they see were waiting, maybe they will wait to he said to me: had. You are far over my ability to influence my peer group. No one cares. This is humiliating. I rode on the float on a throne of chastity, while girls who had even reach puberty tossed touchy, rose to my laughing peers. I wore that crown war that sash that red I dont until I do
That was the most emasculating twenty five minute tractor right. If my life, when the parade ended, my dad came up to me and said something I never forgotten David. That was a very difficult thing. I asked you to do remember this. If you live your life, doing things that are difficult, but that our right you'll find the strength to do tat. but things when they count the most my hero. S do it and I wouldn't change the thing because it made my father proud I know you're courageous guy, but I was wrong. I can tell you when I was seventeen years old that won't be happening for me. I would have ran away. I think I you know I just it to me. It was always obligation. Was you know your your father was your father and I love my dad and there were times it. You know when you become a father, you think I would have done that. I dunno if that lesson works out well today, but it it it it. You know the I the top,
this thing. I've ever had to do. My life was love my army, when my army, treating me like garbage at and there's nothing more difficult than that, is to love your branch love your chain of command when there is no reason to do it and that relationship with my officers was very much like. My relationship with my father. This is these: are the rules that you grow where you're planted? No one picked their unit. Very few people get a chance to pick the people and when they do it's different, but here I am, these are my people and they're going to tell me what's going and I'm going to I'm going to knock it out, I'm going to find something, because I would fear the enemy can kill you. The enemy can hurt you, the enemy could take. Your eyesight, in your body parts, but the shame of letting down some one. That was an officer
in charge me or senior and seo was far greater than what the enemy I was more afraid of what they can do to me than what the enemy can do and it sound. Stupid to say out loud in your forties, but I felt the same way about my dad. I mean this ban was, he was five foot through He never told me to lie, and yet I'd look at his driver's licence from your estate and, like it says, five nine nine what's going on here, but but that my dad? I loved him in, and that was a ridiculous require every ridiculous request by making him proud was everything to me. Deeply sports nice would you play out somewhere else, Moscow? We didn't have football, so we were soccer which is very difficult in motivation. but we did the basketball soccer baseball. Those are my three. And then you say you end up going to college yeah and
What are you planning when you go to college? What years away years you graduate ninety four? Ninety four went to college start off in new Hampshire and again I went premed. Biochemistry was the major, but it was the pre med and then I had no, you know really sheltered in a really small area, and so I wanted to meet you know. Girls, I wanted to be popular. and so I figured all the guys I met in the theater programme. Just weren't, then interested in women really strange there as well, our hope, if maybe be like a theatre, minor and just canada. Hang on this crowd and I had no real ability to do anything, an endless. shocking. They didn't care where nobody wants to see me dancer, sing or even attempt to act there. Just like you want to be in this group. Go on like this is, like a degree,
Would you need to have some semblance which is a walking around everyone the girl just like go now. a turtleneck on your part of club and you're gonna spend money to get a degree in something and we don't even care if you're, even good at it. Really believe in their sides, guys cared me had at least path, some do well if a damn about you know the fact that I couldn't do anything. So were you in place or something I mean you are- you have to be in everything, but the I mean you're good at should really have to be involved, but it is in then like the wood What's your grated on your effort? like you're graded on how much you smile like how this is confusing to you. Just like this is like I don't. I don't get it, and so you wonder why there's so many delusional people going to l, a and new york, and it's because
For four years, they're, like you are really trying hard all Can I work? Can I get a job we? you have a law, a federal on a credit card. That's it You pay the minimum. In twenty years, is what you're gonna pay, but you walk into a college today Image agree in shakespeare shakespeare stage. And no one has an obligation to be like that. I your job by the way you're never going to make money. What are you going to make it to thirty at nothing? How do you do a profit and loss? There were a lot of guys in theatre departments and film that just you know what is Andy warhol, fifteen hours of a guy sleeping its art. Maybe you could be like Andy warhol, so yeah, I didn't I
So how are we going to use stay in college, for I stated for the remainder was my senior year of college second semester, and I had a professor tell me and I was getting more and more rebellious and in the idea of I felt like it, my friends, were in the army. My friends are doing cool things I just as I doing this. For my father, I'm doing this for my mom, I'm doing this for everyone, and then these professors we're just unlike what have you done in theatre? What have you dive? ever been in a movie or written movie or anything and the guys like You leave this school he'll come back, you tell between your legs and I was like a do. What each driver do like what what am I gonna do. If I leave here, I would have you how are you cheat? You listen I go to the range someone ike it's a guy who really know how to shoot a machine gun teach me how to shoot a machine gun, some guy was like. I have this creed.
You dream about an eighty four millimeter rocket. Let me give you a lesson on it. There actually are subjects are expert. I didn't stand by these people were professors and why they would do, and so I, just my last year said. I know I don't want to do this anymore. I want to leave, I want to go in, and You know maybe I'll write a screen player, maybe I'll read a book or maybe I'll do something. To show that I don't need. This degree brother is all had it. My brothers How did it was like a check the box, this I'm serious of? I went, the dead, that's a series of lobbying, an adult I give you know, take your variously. I gotta be the papers is I'm serious. You know this is real. I put money into what I wasted time, I'm a real adult I was like nah, I don't. I don't want to do that. on to something that you don't think it's intellectual, but I think, is intellectual and I can't think of anything every time I watch I'm a big buffalo bills fan
every time watch football in the trenches. I go to war with that guy, it's a war is always a metaphor. I just want a war, so came home from my college one summer and we had a home invasion. These two drug attics broken my parents house, and I was like this- is my time this, my fun. This is what I've lived, my whole life for a grab remedy in shock on and I loaded it up and I was I'm shoot these guys, their shortlist short lived, I was just running around the house. wires off a tvs thrown into the car Moving in and out, I had a rottweiler at the time I put them, yah well in the garage, because I was afraid the rottweiler would buy them and you want like there to be a liability issue like maybe they were my parents, friends. Maybe it was a misunderstanding, but I wish,
I was scared, and I rather shocking I loaded up. I felt it just like I had done previously and I brought it up the stairs- and I saw these guys my mom had had next surgery now take care her. They were on the other side of the house, and I just thought you, your gun. You're gonna murder, these guys, you gonna, kill these guys and we got to move out of the house. No every time I look at you differently and what is really deal was just buying time right by time for them to do something and run away or, and they din and they looked at me- would like zero fear and that hurt. But that was that's in three. A m inventory No one saw that, but then my dad came on after these guys role If they get arrested, they go to jail, hope trial, but ready
do they drove off that day. My dad looked at me and he looked at me in a way that was just thousand masculine have your dad, look at you and say: you're, twenty to twenty three, and you're not ready for the world. That was it down and I'm like, I'm going to summer camp of bad haircuts, I'm going to go. I'm going to get my phd at the university in fort benning, georgia and human studies that I'm going to I'm going to I'm never going to be. if there's a noise. anywhere on that any situation I'm in I'm gonna handle it s, situation. I'm in and you know you be bigger than me stronger than me more skills in me, a terrier eyes out or shoot repeatedly, there's going be a series of escalation. The reality is, I'm gonna handle it I'm gonna handle it. I am ability to control my destiny. I know ability to him.
Let me anything and The army gave me the opportunity to say we're. Gonna teach enough to get. You have good. In a fight, but we're gonna teach enough that you can control your your your destiny and I need that. desperately, but there was no war go and I was ninety nine ended delete nineties and it was just learn how to march and do pity, and that's what I thought I needed so infantry they told me eleven x ray met extra spanish, what I get the word ban, I'm like I'm an x ray they're like I'm a bravo and I'm like. What's that they're, like that's, really infantry, I'm like no, they lie to you but when I I got when I got to forbidden george, the first night, there were kids, I cry and a nervous. I I slept the best. sleep overhead of my life in that Could I knew this is who I was. This is where I be safe, this I'm
there was no stress, you know these kids right nineteen eighteen hours like this nothing, What are you worried about like this? This is this is why we're here were here and this earth. We were born to do this now we don't get a war. That's apart, that's gonna sock is we're just going to end up with a bumper sticker on our car. What does you say, we're a vet and get a free meal at applebee's, but but listen we and we we offered. There was nothing for us to do so. You are that the earth, fired up like day one of bouquet I had no idea was I wore khakis and a button down shirt. I wanted impress your friends, my drill, cited professional. it told me that I was going to be there for like fifteen weeks, and so I didn't I knew I had to shave my head by thought. I was going to grow back brought a hairdresser.
when they shook my bag they're. My bag, like one piece of shit like this, is my first challenge. I do I own it then, unlike yeah, my hair drier, they told me it was a couple months here. I wasn't aware the jews are paid a haircut. You didn't tell me that low, but but honest I had no idea really was get into, but the more I learned- I just I looked at these jewel sergeants and I was like tat. Are amazed. The end ceo became so glad. I didn't go officer honestly because all these ants, yells- and I was just like this- is ever they have always want to be. If I can have a son- and I could see a person shoulders back. Looking you in the eye and not you, not waiting to speak but listening here and what
and if you don't know the answer you say I don't know like aware of what is this magic? If you dont know something, you actually admit that in You make a mistake. You say, as I did that, but you know what it's not going happen again if this was like learning new language. A new way to this was this was true north. nothing else is north, but that this is right. This is wrong and an own it accountable responsible. And and ready for more. to show that you are ready for more you take whatever I'm gonna guarding this little drinking found, but you know What no one is stealing that drinking. I just return. No, fire on my fire guard dishes, This is a great thing for me, so you, reboot camp really, no fact. for your kind of love in it love and a
Is that where you gonna actually did all one one stage, one big for you so ever trees, all whatever you why they they said, I was going to be mechanized, which you know four drum fort hood, it'd matter. I just wanted to do you know. What's up sure I mean I just blew me away and then I thought to myself wait a minute. If a bunker is just this little thing, guys, hang out, they shoot you what's a window. we all know we have a different battle, draw for their prom like, but it's really a bunker, isn't it? And While this is a thinker, we gotta so so now these guys. So it limit, let's explain something to you about idle drill, is like an audible. You see the linebacker come up. You see you're not man coverage now you're, like I think we're just going to react to this. I attacked, but in that reacting to the contact, a million things can happen and you got it aside. So am I didn't even fundamentally understand I want to give you
wanna get close enough to kill you. That's the game right. So in order for media closer, you have to stop shooting at me I can move Wait, wait a minute, this room with a huge firms. Now, All these movies are making sense. So I gotta keep your head down so plunging fire. is different than just shootin over your head right out. I don't wanna hit. You necessarily do what will be granted. take ever went out, and but it's not the way, work they're moving to their get away to provide, Give you something to think about and get closer to and the closer I get the more accurate I get an watch, cover was concealment, pay, the only thing I would give one more class if you're going downrange fighting europe or asia or the middle east, what kind as a in the trunk cars have engines in the front first day you hide behind.
what you think is an engine block and those roles come flying through it. Like lay a knife through butter, you're like oh, those damn germans, they put it in the back. You know that's the one thing I would change, but cover concealment understand this right. Now I gotta get education. We have to be educated. You have to learn and having what the young kids have today what I didn't have all my sardes were: make it up stories about panama. I was at the soccer stadium every you know, bosnia. Let me tell you how bad you know there was not haiti you're right, I almost jumped almost jumped in eighty almost did this almost did that gulf war, these men, women. Today they got stories these wheel. These leaders like, let me tell you why you want your chance to on Let me tell you why that sadly plates important, why we get low? Why,
important to bring the elbows in what control old fire actually is. What do you want? There is no drywall in the Middle east, all concrete. So when you start shooting inside of a close quarters that is coming back to you. tik tok tolling around right, a grenade is great right, grenades throw the grenade and everything's over unless you don't event, ventilation now just through a small grenade in a room and the only people know you're in there is the bad guy cause you don't know where they are you number the house before? Are they all know where the door is where you are so that frank? Let's hope it was a smart Frank got. You know all of these lessons learned that we never had and we learned the actual battle? and the ability to take information at the highest level lois level and share that information. I've never been in an organization on the civilian side that shit
There's lessons learned like our military does and it's it it's a it's a combat multiplier. Without a doubt about that, so you're learning from the from where I was jumped in panama, rich guy blossom. We now they were ready. They want to do the job they were ready answer what what's your first duty station, then, where do you end up? What do you get? Where do you get assigned when you get done with bootcamp a? I t you're now a what are you and he to at this point and he three and he won so basically, but the only advice I got from the drills. The recruiter was your your. You can be a spec. You can be a specialist ii for college. Don't do it oh gotta earn their. I didn't realize. All I do is basically just not get a dui for twelve months and It happens automatically, but that first promotion felt like
I was thor like getting promoted and seen the increase in year. You know in your pain like this, Brady also etude ether, Read a private, I have a rocker on my little private wings? This was I'll tell you. I was poor new especial for me, so I I got duty assignment to afford hood texas. In the process of doing that. My son is born Annie's born with a kidney issue, and so the army. Basically it's like hey, there's, no infantry duty station that has these pediatric nephrologist that you need you've got one at home, we're going to put you on a compassionate the assignment? I know you know what that was and they are like so go. Beer recruiter
you've got a good g t score. We're going to keep you for two years on a compassionate reassignment till your son is old enough to go where you need to be and we'll keep you in buffalo. I was like you know. They made up jobs for me to recruit. Station and I just was miserable- I mean cereals- that's what they did. That's what you did you have. I got rid of the first eight months of my army career. I was in recruiting station I would volunteer to be a pure w at that point I mean it was abs. I there's no dip more difficult job than being an army any recruiter. Deem everyone's disqualified. It. The game should be if you finally find someone else during the phone. You know The more I mean you just disqualified, disqualified. This glass, I mean it's ridiculous. Everyone's disqualified for once I found a guy. He commanded. The army. I brought his pack it in I had
open the door or like I'm like a one those hover boards floating through the office. I go to my stage commander unease. I hate this guy was born on christmas day. yeah people get bored on christmas day, his name's christopher gringo well, like that's a weird kuwait, he's a gear and area an area. You just charges santa claus back again no idea that there were people out there. That would waste your time in that you know just you're in the a corporal recruiting programme where the the end, then they give you an answer, your rank, and so at the time that september left. had the army, obviously the military across the board. Let's move people get on your career. Were you in that in her when certain eleven two yeah, so from ninety nine, until he had also number eleventh. I was in recruiting and they said, look here. Three choices, rico
as vital another job. Go back to hiv, get another job. That's near a place that the army will the care of the kid get out of the army or go on. What's an all others tour, which is thirty six months away from dependence, and I'm like well, which one gets me war and, to be honest with you, I love my country. I love my army infantry, but recruiting also will make you want to go to war to hold the hell out of that oven, they're like germany, And I'm like germany, what is in the big red one? I'm like I've seen the movie like, I love the big. I want to be in the big red one afghanistan and there are they going to Afghanistan, Well, no, no, no big red one has done anything. Sanitizing that'd be six. We will we're only in charge of the very dangerous battleground of Kosovo I was a close. Was a war right now
the glare glimpse of war. I mean you're, not gonna, get combat pay, but you get like combat almost pay. It could be that was our big fight. We are peacekeepers for deployed, germany peacekeepers and the big red one? Really has been the big red one for along time since the gulf and even the gulf war, we were there. We were kind of like the the egg barn door that saddam chased? You know in the gulf war, so it wasn't the vietnam big red water, the The war were too big rainwater, obviously the first world war. It was the peace time peacekeeper, yeah stuff, and so I said sign me up. I want to do. I want to do anything that is in recruiting and ass. He did so you go over there and how did you enjoy your time in Kosovo, we'll get a six month toward the became a nine month, tour and north
as to the minnesota national guard? But I don't think you gotta relieved by the dinosaur national guards. Do you know if ever listen. National guard units are credible their awesome, but when you know a group that it ever ever we got relieved by a national guard unit that was calling like their sergeant major phil and, like I was like what it was a totally different world. I never experienced it before so we were, we just felt like we were in the backwater. Everyone whose getting afghanistan, but my units, in the second every tree to to- the tree, the ramrods. I am first idee an alpha company capped walter cap, sims together colonel newell sermons, Falkenberg, so major bond. These guys all decided to take that nine months ago, swore three months extended and make it the practice for cook for Iraq
and I'll tell you what that save somebody lives begin now. Where were we to gather for two years right it with fifteen our patrols of watching d ogs mate in Kosovo. Nothing happening begging. For someone I mean that the net thing was going on, but after the fifteen hours, you're in the snow and your training for the debt for the desert. You knock it aware that box of inaccurate, where those boots get in or desert uniform, out there in the snow and legit mean for rack. In Kosovo we all the rounds we wanted. whatever we wanted, claymore, never seen a clay. Morrison's basic. You know, whatever we want and we had access to and we blew up palestine, grenades, pals C4! We were right. for combat, because it had close, will not happen. We would have got that training. So we graduated to a level that on day one we could. We can fight and that's why we were six
and then you guys end up getting word that you're gonna go to Iraq. Finally, in Kosovo were told worth in that in the shoe, so it got we'll serious. We lit we would wish when our nine months. I think we re fitted for sixty days, but that's like leave and require vine and right back to work to the fight so by the fall we're in germany, and then we were three months maybe I think, is what we had we when radically and get ready for iraq, how many seconds the book here when the army deployed the ramrod to Iraq in February two thousand and four we had a basic idea of where it'd be going inside the country. We ended up but father normandy, which, by the way, directed via when my vietnam, veteran friend the basic his its efforts, be so I don't know I said the the whole time, so there when the transition to an aw guys from vietnam. We
We say fob now so far: normandy, diallo province. Section of Iraq between baghdad and the iranian border. Our area of operations, including luke, always was it muqdadiyah, looked at the move to deal. a size amidst nicety of about a hundred fifty thousand fits when you, your guys, was wounded in urban firefight in April to thousand for only a couple months after we arrived in theatre, north of the city, lay open rugged terrain when americans think of iraq war. The images conjured up are the street scenes in Baghdad where the fat expanse of open desert in the western. a country but our aol more like vietnam and nineteen sixty eight thick. palm groves grew in low spaces between gentle sloping hills. There were canals and rivers that local farmers and harnessed to turn the land so bountiful that they had become known as the bread basket of iraq. Among the heavy visit vegetation and Eric It feels small community straddled, the roads leading out they were,
ramshackle impact. Risk places but see it among them were wealthy sunni connected to saddam hussein's once ascendant bath party, blow these elites, the vast majority, the population, were she muslims with strong ties to neighbouring. I ran after the marriage an invasion in two thousand. The colonel of resistance formed to them. turkish occupation in one of these world towns called since ill. In the early stages of the insurgency. They were actually only a few locals involved who forge ties within. I ran to secure important weapons, explosives and ammunition the pie. I'm groves around sincere and its sister village became ideal places to cash. Those applies when the ramrods first arrived at normandy, the fourth infantry division of been battling, this growing threat there I five six men as the leaders in the insurgency, known as the sincere six before I
he's intelligence, guys, put their faces up on a wall map and then connected them to various known hideouts and accomplices, with different colored yarn this time I saw their bad guy map. It reminded me of a hollywood stalkers layer. With, since it being the nexus of the insurgencies leadership. It became one of them, important sectors in Oreo captains frequently took us out there to meet the locals drink tea with their leaders and disk. the needs of their communities classic counter insurgency. When there, arts in mind stuff. They came straight from the vietnam playbook within three days of our arrival: the since six had grown too sincere. Ten we tracked down and Here too, the original members when they, intel learned, there were three brothers moving between syria and central to arrange another flow of weapons. That area, then upon a young crossed wall map to one of our special operation, seemed located trapped and killed one of the brothers, the other two escaped each time. We thought we deal with this. We dealt with the sin cell.
when blow they emerge stronger with even more support from the local population. It was like fighting a country just virus for every patient. We treated threem. Infectious, would crop up the sincere ten greatest sincere twenty than thirty. After that we just lost track as a wave of recruits, organizers and well trained iranians operatives flooded into the bread basket that spring. The insurgency erupted all over the country between the first. your uprising that displaced the sunni ruling class rebellion newly recalling unit, was inundated with insurgents planted ideas, planning, ideas nor operational area executing. And bushes and launching attacks are key targets as the weeks war on our trips to sincere trick turned into netteke version of ground hot day. We'd go out. captain since could contain You did try to develop relationships with the local iraqi power base, while he was talking to them drinking tea. The insertion
would be alerted to our presence and establish ambushes for us that is caught up paints a picture of what you guys rolled into yeah fourthly of treaty division in at the also. Started to see the extensions vienna stopped ass. Those going on when Iraq kicked off in a lot of people, thought there out of the military and they were kept in or then you have the floor. first, real extensions ethic was karbala, was first armor division that did die response to nine months. Everyone's gonna do nine months, and then it became a year and then a year became fifteen. and there were years they do in eighteen, and so we really have with with the kinetic ten oh that was going on afghanistan rack. How are we going to replace these units? Are they doing statement? You know stabilization operations, or these still kinetic you know I didn't we didn't. We were told, don't you get to see I'd, be you're, not gonna, get a common instruments badge and united
combat. Pay told you that when you got to national laws for the mission accomplished the war was over. You had to be engaged by the enemy, the kept changing. What engagement was slackness out, so you got there in February. Why I was there as well. I was rapid my first deployment, so I got There are two thousand three thousand baghdad and in April of two thousand afore suggest after you arrived, we win, my task unit. My is actually just there is michael tune, we went and we captured one of saddam's top lieutenants rule down in a job, we were there ok, so when we did that it ignited everything, in April of all foreign april of office, of the big fight was supposed to be in April of all four five duke just the big five that we created in April of all four was it outside of the jha fucker that is,
after my brigade the where the dupe forget third brigade. First idea, the that was the g I've. Never so you but the terrain. You know a lot vegetation humanity, no jobs was straight up, the oil bubbling, I mean it is just now then, but sand and damage the biggest cemetery in the world is in a job and after august of all four the added a couple hours, those horrible muqtada solder- was this toothless self defined, cleric. You didn't have the street credit to be a real cleric, but his dad ray and that my hearty militia- I sought or city in Baghdad. These my hearty militia. Guess it was weird to see the gestation of the insurgency. Demonic militia knew enough to get killed, they really were. Not they were their uniforms that were a gold and black.
They didn't really have a whole lot of tactics. when the iranians started to bring the coots forces in a rainy revolutionary guard got a whole different that their their indirect five. much more accurate that they are peachy. Seven, as opposed to the five the way they were trying to go after vehicles and tracks in the you have peace on the ideas, but do you The thing was when we started make a rack the insurgent all starting. Bring it in these boys from chechnya. I mean when you go through felicia and pick up passports, appealing france, ITALY, chechnya. You know, bosnia, There was a guy in dearborn michigan. Can you imagine that you are so hell bent that you decided go to a rack I may want to, but everyone from all over the world, not just those two first time our universe,
It will show. What will I should their unit armoured first cab. Fourth idee before us third idea before us. but the first ever division in that away. I've wondered to showed that tanks and move we find it? Vehicles belonged in an urban fight, No one was using the abrams in the city. No one thought once a bradley fighting vehicle. The thing about a good and and again all fishermen, think the mechanized or lazy and fat, and they just want it. Watch tv and we hate the attackers and garrison were beaten up the tankers. More than war, training every you know every tree tankers you're rack infantry attackers are the best of friends, because if you can support that again so many units that they take their platform. support by fire base its it's five tonne truck with fifty cow
drop you off a goes home, you carry that support by fire base with you. You work in concert with the browsers on providing security for you, you're blown. peace in the fun sized pieces for the other. That too the five millimeter high explosive otto cannon is one of the greatest gifts. The penny god gods have ever given us and when you wanna, I don't need a clear house. If I can have a goner put, two eighty rounds in a room it's over with you pretty good about it. When we were worried, we like that draft kings has us as the favourite do. What made me think it out. As I could see, your leadership telling you in what would it be in february or maybe even january two thousand for like hell, you're not going get combat action right, you know, you're gonna go is weak, but I guarantee,
by April when that, when, when they, when this with the mighty malicious will militia, went berserk right, you're you're, but to get that combat actual, whether you like it or not, its common rose, they went. I he was like a one. Lady degree turn we were, I mean the I was up I gotta. We went down in the job to grab this guy jacobi, who was one of his lieutenant and we brought him back action by the time we got back, you are always a signal for us. It was another mission now we'd been targeting solder for a long time, but then wouldn't let us do it and they finally said you know what let's see what'll happen. Let's see, what'll happen, we grab one of his guys. So they send us to go. Do that it was total. may have not actually fell back the horrible, because the conventional forces got caught off guard they weren't ready for it and, like insider city, went totally insane the lot of cash he's there, and I remember the the baghdad. Where I was we, we will get an occasional mortar.
They're, all of a sudden, the front gates getting attacked. I mean he was on. It was a radical change that happened when when, after that mission and it really fueled the insertion there's a couple of videos we're getting ready, go to new chaff. We saw, I think, the poles the polish army, was at like a camp kilo which was right, it outside of the city, so the eu, you're uprising in April, for was the insurgents attempted baghdad off and yet highway five which went from the east, india Allah all the way across baghdad You had the full loser, which was always considered to be like the wild west of iraq. Even when surround was in power and end, they built their homes, elect the ship population, vast majority of iraqis worshipper said made the bath is party which was sunni but was weird about a racks culture as opposed to any other middle eastern countries. It, since I was able to make pan airbus him in the
war against IRAN. He convinced have the country to die for rack, the flu ag, and so when he puts inshallah on the flag, this is like every One was pro a rack in that war with IRAN, which was very bloody and costly, the people over there, and so by the time your building real estate. If you're innocent area, you are very insecure. and you're building your homes. Very thick walls you got guns slits on all I mean you're ready for any minute the government's gonna roll up and take your house so you're. It's like see. Warfare in a man neighbourhood, Everyone is ready for. What's going on, I mean: did the glass there was embedded in the car? the crete when he crawled over the walls. I mean it was a very insecure culture, but no job was that easter uprisen, If you go to Arlington cemetery in section sixty April, eighth and ninth,
you will see casualties from remedy, felicia dollar province, backyard. solder city mosul, that's really when everything started was in that and that one week in April from the marines dealing with don't resolve it and what they What to do when ramadi and fallujah they had to be? Basically, I mean they were why they were successful. They they took the, but you had lg, era and l arabia tv in any idea, civilians every became a pr war and it started with fortunately, with Abu and and that horrific story. Where you had a national guard unit using prisoners and it just fuel on the fire. What a water, freakin horrible I yo loss for america with these knuckle heads right now, you you
You remember the contractors, the black water contractor large, that happens where you, and that happens soil. brewster of traditions first brigade was brought in April of one four for the felicia fight with the marines and again I am bar, was you in airborne hands off. By province in April of all four. and the marines Take over amber There is really no or I'm the army. Debt is allowed, their their blocking positions, support It's not a it's, not an army mission anymore. When an bar is run by the marine corps we ve got. The wrong to the country and there's a whole lot to do by the way. But all the tension, is on the I used to love, then l, six. When I went to remedy when you were out there, it was it you couldn't say amber, prompted, say, restive and bar problem. the restive and by crowded everything's, I ever province like their aid,
goliath their different people there, so tough, amber are really is the first domino to fall with with the pacification of you know when the insurgency starts to really fall, back it's the sons of an bar That area, though, in all four of the first ids first brigade, comes in to help in visual resolve which is April, and then they basically lose that felicia brigade they pull out of the city, and that was a policy to like just catapult, the dead cow over the wall. Let him get sick, I will wait until April, but because we had a job and we were able to pick up and move that guy fits counterfeits? Was my pirie? Was the first one later he got shot in April eighth level for and moved to die. The king, I shall, by three different web assistance and what I
still love is when a new guy would show up. I'd, be like that, Eighteen, seventy four different ballistic. Let me show you on his elbow and he got and by the seven sixty by three nine, the p km, which is the bigger of some six to buy what five one fifty five before fit for and what the seventy four is, what a five four or five attic show yeah. So that was the baby korea, but all three, so we were getting popped with and we we took out. I think I over two day period we took a hundred sixty and end. They saw that that bradley fighting vehicle, not to play with their was not to play with, and co acts. Twenty five got into job, show that we can work well, marines that puts a pin on a board where someone says hey, I want to take felicia.
How are we going to do it? Give me those army to seven from our first cavern, two two and one six, three from our first id, and so we were just there to help out the marines and a block in a one wing and ended up being. You know something a little bit bigger than that, but that's how we got our our street craig. You got an interesting exchange, and here in the book that I was very very stoked I say this: the map board hung on otherwise jailhouse bear walls right beside my caught, the homemade crucifix that held my helmet and body armor no photos of home near my space, just the board, with three maps of our area of operations, one depicting the road net, one to taking the political the graphics and one topographic. surrounding them with the latest satellite overhead images that lieutenant colonel noodles intel shop and pushed down to us, course says we need to our moves the moose, the hell. Does that mean we're
ardor stay out longer be ferocious. Never let them out workers dig in sometimes take the high ground when possible grab, if, without turning the lights on in a house, never do the same thing twice. had. Never given you that damn book lieutenant David hack worth had been a staff guy. Vietnam writing counterinsurgency manuals in the pentagon when he was ordered to put his theory. into practice. He was sent to south east asian, given commanded the worst battalion in theatre. He transformed into a viet threshing machine, known as the hard core were condos. They damage the enemy every time they left. The wire fits given me hack words, member memoir steal my soldiers hearts before we left veal sec, which is where you are in germany. I read and absorbed its lessons. Then one day at normandy, I sent him a random fan. Boy email through is pub we sure an agent for use email to hack words, euro publisher here,
bonded. He was in mexico dying of bladder cancer without violating operational security. I sketched out our situation and asked what he would do. He offered excellent advice. Like a tactical, dear abbe We corresponded often and this is what he wrote you never let them out work you and you will never be ambushed again. Your men will bitch, there will hate you, buddy, twenty years, when you are all older, they will realise how much they appreciated the attention you paid to the details. Of war work harder. Do you best to leave enemy where you killed him. If you come, and makes you police up the dead, make him bleed enough for his buddies to know what happened there. Send the message mess with us and get wrecked they EL fear are ferocity I if you know, but this book right here
about face, brightened afford for the new release of that book. It's classic glass, our huge as the fact that he responded the valid I caused today. What I wanted. I was a bit of a smart enough to email by law and and and and his ability to cause his whole thing in vietnam and again, vietnam. We didn't invent counterinsurgency avenue the password Vienna out moves, the mood is what he would say cause. He was always talking about I'll call? You know our enemy and out the algae, the g out. Yet exactly and I was now guerrilla the gorilla, and so there disciplined were more disciplined. But if you again. We were doing this thing where I would dismount out of abroad. and I would see- and I d and unlike Bobby dismounted, because they saw the tracks there so we're not just like they do with the blackhawks fake land Vague land weren't you the bread. You know just my left
I'm goes down. No one gets out, we drive romford, undercover kilometers dismount, more, no one gets out. Sometimes we stay in the bradley so as we leave on the first third, the fourth, whatever never ever, eager Ass, the the you know, leave the battlefield, the same spot, the dismounted and you'd. walk up on these guys and in the future, when you get after you know, you're cold, I mean people die, it's fifty degrees. What was one hundred twenty during the day magic would drop in temperature and you're cold in your miserable and even the smokers couldn't smoke, we wouldn't let the dipper dip you know, everyone's gonna sock together, but when you get, you know you when you get enemy in you knock em cold and they don't even see you come. There is christmas day is a beautiful day that we all love and get it. About, but when you can shoot a terrorist that doesn't know you're there, it is the greatest feeling in the universe, tat, papa guy.
Like loading a fuse on an hour p that is greatest experience in the world. You but try to hurt us kill us and you never know where their dad was die took. I took the counter, I d counter ambush missions. They were the more the porn part of my life, and I was just apps Literally, almost to a point where you, I was a little bit of obsessive compulsive about hey the tankers guy got hit over here. there were using propane and bound, tina propane. Take up to hit these guys at chef, chest escalate, there there would be mobility he kills, but they would wait. You would see a van, and with a bunch of camera equipment? I were doing A wedding I want to see the video, You're doing a wedding, a casket. You are talking about the bigger, I remember the day that I pulled my my testicles out metaphorically.
Was the most bridging thing. I've ever done, my life dating. ever want us to interact with you know: you're when a funeral, a wedding women are respected, respect to culture, there was coming ass on open up a casket and that took as because I'm telling you that could have been the end right there, but it it didn't seem right, it didn't seem rival, wasn't it oh body, a guest wrong under one boy, replied I wish I was. I was thinking this is where I carry munitions. I would I would do a fake funeral, I do it. Could they show up at the grave in the job you saw? Thus in the cemetery all the time. You know are you bearing a body you know, but you had to think like that and you're gonna be wrong and you're gonna, You're gonna make a mistake, but
Your guys are not thinking like that, and- and we had to think outside of the box, to be able to to to fight the enemy. The way we had to, but I I guess another one, but there wasn't a wedding another. Where you want rapid there were, there were filming checkpoint. I got there You mentioned fits you talk about future. I remember watching fits get hit over and over again being dragged himself to cover still shooting, as he moved when he went down I thought he was dying. It was like a tectonic, shift seeing him like that. My world rocked when fits, was gone back at hospital somewhere safe I'd, never felt more alone. one gave us status reports on our wounded, healthy in guys you got evacuated died. Men like tyler, prove a tanker medic, whose foot was mangled by rocket that struck his home. These dore, we as to the scene cleared the elsie for a dust off they loaded among the matter back. There is no sense of sudden urgency. He was
Had it been treated his own wound, the morphine undue smile and day go kill a piece of shit thumbs up. He was fine with wars over my squad, The plastic chair, the insurgent used to ambush them must squad with you held a track. This guy murder when its giant order orange wasp native to that region stunt Joey Swanton more than eight times in the face ass, he was clearing out a cash. This guy I had on standby, we stayed well past nighttime in a dense palm grove soaked to the bone head. pounding from dehydration, just to maintain the promise of shooting this guy for prove it agitation was too thick. The trail dried up. Two days later, a drinking a cup of coffee in the chow hall, when his platoon sergeant told me that he died of a blood clots. is made no sense. I wouldn't we have given up for the night. If I knew hours tracking proves killer, I would alive out there for weeks I was shocked and felt selfish for quitting
it fits returned to us. It was a lazarus moment. For me, the lazarus moment for me, just assumed you'd be the same. He was before he got hit, but that pipeline was hospitals, the physical debilitation, changes a person. I couldn't. We stand what he was going through. I could see his physical pain also. He knew the sound a bullet made when it smacked into bone, Every round that Iraq nearby reminded him of that possibility. He knew the agony of lead mushrooming into your muscle fibre. He boeing with every shot. Expecting impact fits was right. He'd seen that side of war that I had missed. The combat Support hospitals, the emergency surgeries as men, blot out in the operating room tables heed what and up surrounded by burned. Limbless men and women cling into life, as the nurses and doctors struggled to patch them together, his will who is different.
that was the route of his caution. When he came back to us, it wasn't that he feared that for himself feared it for us fits feared it for me. so there's a next level bad ass right. He gets freakin shot with three different types of ammunition. cause of act out of the country and he's still wounded me still messed up. And when they say you know hey. Where do you want to go back to in america? What are you wanna do for the you know for the rest of your recovery. He says I'll. Send me back to Iraq on the beat my boys yeah and an honestly this point in my life, I'm twenty eight- these kids are eighteen. Nineteen have this huge cycle of life that you go through at that asian. You know with a family and responsibilities
kids fits was in the army much longer than I had been done, more newt, his tactical proficiency. You know watching him. It was always decided when you have to dismount squads. It's always a race to the objective who gets there first, you know you don't want to be the support element. It's the worst, you know your local support and in training. He date. You know he was the guy, the big personality, the senior squad leader and every every you know, rotation we did his unit was the always the assault unit. I second there and then I'd be in the back of it. I'd move my position in the bradley in the combo. I want to be in the back they're going to hit the back. They hit the front, I never we're, never gonna, agile I'd, so when, when I learned from him, though, was his ability to Did the elevation on an urban battlefield in oh, we talk about
round and gettysburg that you're not gonna, get that in the desert. Scape we're to get that in Middle EAST. Some we're gonna use our buildings, but were also be careful not to just go through the front door. Every time right. we go roof to rueful, try that, but we can also We find ways that, if I've got the outer court on in accord on in and I'm around a building. If I Have some from the outside is clear to corners. I can tell a guy went to the door, worry about corner three and four wanted to use good What's it going to be, right knows, can be your lap focused and what's important, also I was obsessed with booby traps. Platter charges, doors blow up grenades and a handle any like, listen, in no time for that it's either gonna happen or it's not gonna happen, It's here are we just heard about special force unit just had a building contained idea, they lost everyone. He's, like you tell these age here. Ok,
it's that there are wires out there that they're gonna trip over there. I think- Are those wires? This our gunners arm. Could it be look forward, we're not gonna. I would I go to the classes. The delta force and special forces were train. They kick like to end ceos per company and I'd guy like you they're just hockey, helmets and they're talking about and and they'd they built a little less talk about and rationally enjoys havoc, one intellect and one just like giant. You know he is like eight heads on his bicycle just there and the intellect I would be like think about this one. This way to move through a building and they put the flyers up right that they would send someone forward. That's what elite people do: small unit elite, folks that have the training will do that. We're, not only right we're, not go and you go into a house and find a cookbook.
I believe one guy a bullet is head, there's a family of seven, they don't even know dead dead and the cookbook is missing. That's what you do. We don't do that were high intensity. No, your role know your lane know you're skill level and master it just master. What you do we have to strong law. We have One firewall keep all of our fire contained, and you know what, if it takes a break a twenty Well, I remember the first time I got in a house fight away before god are crescendo to violence, was graduating because We were gonna gone, it would have an over we had engaged at close quarters. We had taken targets out and buildings and every single time new twist and we learn from those twists and allowed to mature. So by the end of a rotation, influenza happened. We were ready, but I remember what by a team leader took a shot. Saw gonna took a shot and
I was saying I was still giving the handlebars rarely clear clear. Clearly, bro, you just dropped a guy. You know they know you're here you know after you shot the guy in the living room, the guy upstairs stairs aware. Maybe the americans are here there is no point in a whisper. It has no point, and you know the old days with a rolling t in a hallway or you'd, see a couch or refrigerator and it'd be like okay, I'm going to open one. One two or door like that. This is what the trade talk is all horse shit and put a round through it put a round through the couch put a round through the curtain. don't even bother with the crazy in dealing with was I, I was in a minefield. They were stallion topers. I never even seen on land mine in my life. In fact, I thought there are regions. I really thought
but what a bare like lay a bunch of cigarettes at an ashtray wages, put our produce fins and there's wires connecting them, and I'm like. Oh my god! Oh my god. What do I do? What I do you know answered some going through a guy at the range. everyone turn off their electronic. Prove their way back, and I look and everyone's gone. I really got out the danger. I was still there and I'm trending git, underneath one the minds and put some C4 down there and I look over and there's fits It wasn't even near me. He got to me the guy that wants to be in a minefield with me. Only They tell me as tubes and ceos that electronic bullshit you're man. I love you. I love you, don't you by the book but but list If it were not given me I'll, be here no expert. He always watching us who gives a shit
Would you do a minefield avoiding get the hell out of it, avoid it and then he sammy down he's like obstacles. Why do you put nostril out there like well you're watching it is like yes I know put an article down examined over wash the ask. So what does that tell us till some ones here: some want just to go through that. Now now let's start a box around these open objectives, us think an end use. What were learning that's what he did He gave me like that right see, ride every day, and when he left are obviously now I'm the guy. What do I mean you know? didn't. I I was learning a lot to and how What was he gone for He's so yet heard in a brutal came back in august. Sets a you know of a pretty law. I mean that was a big shot but when he came back. I thought we were going to be the you know
and eagles again. I thought we were getting real ago that the road warrior tag team and it was noticeably different It wasn't that he was afraid he was in the fight all the time, but it was like, let's be smarter about this You know, there's no need to you but I love taken the bradley and bashing through building as well. My fair thanks to a real worker and he's like what happens if we lose our bradley like we fix it is like ok, in three weeks when you get the parts I just lost a bradley guess what at one less six guys and have another firepower we treat treating with respect. You know I should add, through anything, has broken over tabloid will work. What am I supposed to do like were so so we started to realize that the guy lane lean. These didn't know that, people Panem, and the guy's wire- and it didn't know the people laying down so why Don't we start digging holes? Why
we start putting ideas down. Why don't we intercept this machine? The only difference? What I wanted to kill the bad guy and captain sims wanted into for colonel newell and the s to shops, and that's the part that broke my brain, because I thought we were gonna win the war by killing that's, not necessarily the way you win insurgency. Youngest son of appointment. Booker you talk about is yours. Differences with capital. How you guys reconciling those differences well, he was of the mind, hey. We need to form relationships with the local populace. We need to learn from them. We need to support them. We need to keep them safe who like hey, we need a killer, is how this bad guys and do you guys got some tension over that I mean if you could randomly go through a marketplace and every one of these days
guys is on our bolo last. Why is it that something could be that we, that was totally like, while two percent population does the assholes. The restroom are good people it's a city of five hundred cerebral yeah. It's a lot of asshole hot ass, two percent of of dad's, a crazy disproportionate amount of assholes living in zip code. So he was right and- and I think history prove that I think that the the counter insurgency model. The surge argued that the fog is one thing, but the cab was very successful way to say: look we're not just gonna engaging fight and leave we're gonna live here, We must stay here, we're in our own the violence? only use the violence when it's when its necessary. I didn't grasp that I was still think an old testament. I an end, so all the iraq war and our year in iraq, cowards or do a huge part of what we
doing it, was very early in the beginning of implementing that pollution was not a counter. There's? U R. Romani was not that type of fight now You had some incidents that ray leave. Gotta brought this to add a couple, and since it really brought this to head with captain, since one was this giant guy, that comes walking down the street. You guys are in a position and this guy I comes work, it's my iraqi! He comes. Walk down the street he's got a freak and sword and talk through talkers. Do what happened there look out would always be shocked that I would see a twelve year old iraqi and he looked like a six year old back in the united states that they wasn't a well fed population, and you don't see giant. This guy was like six. Eight three thirty and he was a big. The corn fed big dude and he was just acting crazy? No, we knew people were doing drugs. We gone. You know
you deal with all that you got the drugs weather. Alcohol policies or liberal or conservative people are still drinking percent people still doing drugs, but disk I was at an end of it. We were getting some? There was his weird schizophrenia going on a military at that time at least and in the army, where we wanted to kill the enemy to get out of a report but you also wanted to win hearts and minds and have a quiet area. So you're gonna have allowed a fight that show, upon some generals radar. You want to be a fight where a marrow These were killing bad guys and not getting killed. you never wanted the report of Oh, you lost ten guys and you killed. Maybe twenty once we over overwhelming, so that if you got on a generals desk, it was because you guys were were bad ass, an increase one side was you wanted nothing on the report. Bigger that meant you doing your job and there were I'll be happening. So
we found that the first year of true division was, you know, do in a pretty the job of a oil. Two was one really start to see the enemy in a treated through special forces in- and other units marines and amber and everyone else and there was this weird attaboy you making us proud. Current We're gonna get stars based on that. But then you had the guys on the ground in the shops in the intel and their alike and the isaf guys we're, like you, know, we're just going to stir the hornets nest I mean our green braes were like I'm gonna go piss off about five and our people, and then we're gonna call you boys in she. Just you know, today. Did there go into an area we took up guy out, we surgically remove someone, but they have like forty friends hey, you guys go handle that and this was the relationship. This,
I, and it was a day when we had a bigwig fly in, and was in the area and there like no contact just this is gonna be one night where you're just gonna new testament, in your orders are go out there and just no. No, I don't think it gunfight, dont give me I'm gonna. Do me favourable? Don't don't tonight if you get to enter- and it was legit- and it was all the way down- and I had no intention to get in a gunfight- but the guy guys- six foot- eight- I'm not you- know great see trained. You know what I'm saying. I don't have the cauliflower ears and I dont have, but I learned enough to know if I hit a guy- and I I pop them good or I use my helmet and you know a buttstock something I could. I could subdue someone, and I got enough guys to zip time this guy was like he was huge. I mean he was huge and
got to the point where I had no choice? I slung moss bird and I m for and when he was he had, a mosque and it was slung on my eye ba so one you know he had. He had pasok control over overshot gun, and and we had to put him down in and it was just ass. He was really angry and the guy had a mental issue. tradesmen. Is a community local. that everyone loves and adores. Big gentle giant You know whether he was drunk or higher, bolster who knows, but it destroyed the commit it destroyed our relationships with the community and ended we're jugs position to combat where soldier could be honourable and protect its people, and
and guy could be beloved and a really good guy too, but when those paths cross It will come as why wars, wars hell what all of this arms. I learned from account from my army counterparts and in remedy was good shot. Bad result running like hey this guy I whatever was wrought way. We was drunk or whatever we acting crazy and you where she could go different way. But here's this guy you try and subdue him. He fights now he's fighting you. Now you find a guy that six foot, eight, whatever two hundred pounds, now all of a sudden. He has your shot gun. and there's yes like this. This is just what's going to happen. You have to kill this guy. If I walked away from it now he's I mean how many times I've had we had kids. That would give you no numbers in four vehicles. I've pack come in this way.
You know we had leaders that we're like. Under no circumstances will you gave children at all, pay I don't want that on my conscience. No one does but there are also giving away our position. So if I'm not, engage him. You know, leave we're gonna, take this kid down and get a motto: If you let a guy and a battlefield, you know point out where everyone is in a year giving away everything. So he has to be confronted. Weather What the means you confront him are the other the way but when you're thrown a sword around and your cut and soldiers and swing in it. You know again I got myself in that situation. I should love. I did. I found myself in that spot. I had to get myself out of it. We did I learned a lot lessons and lessons are dead. You know the orders are no shooting, you'd avoided you not in the open.
You go when you take a house down to get on a rooftop you're, not standing in the street you're, not pulling security. The way we did had fits been there. I don't think that would happen, but it wasn't- and you know it happen- and again there's look I'm reading little excerpts in this book. This book is of is an incredible book just there. So much in here there's there's entire story lines in this book that we're not even touching on in order to talk about today. So if you listen just get the book, It really help you this part. is one of the stories. One of story lines about this sort of differences in between you and captain sims, and just just given some more about then sims here just to give some background on him you say, the sims walk like a man who had a bolder on his back, but was too proud and stubborn to admit. The weight was crushing him upright
older square. He made his way to us in some ways I suppose, taking alpha company into felicia was his destiny. All along. He was the son of an army officer who survive to tours in vietnam. His uncle we also fought in vietnam, completed to tours and was disabled by wounds received there grandfather- was a thirty six year to war veteran of our beloved service. Sean in born in taiwan. Went to high school in korea came home for college to the country his family had given their lives to defend, seems been a high achiever, never type a but rather a devoted studious, an introspective officer with plenty of grit. He checked all the boxes. I find or an airborne school ranger school are, the officer school at it. at infantry officers basic. He had been the petitions top graduate along with The weight of leading a company into
worst urban hell escape. U s forces had experienced since way: city, vietnam and nineteen sixty eight, I've been shown, sims carry them. I of his family's heritage on his shoulders as well so lot, A lot for this guy to be, you know, do yeah yeah, I I love west point and annapolis are great institutions, but so many of these rotc guys, you know they've officers or officers and and the good one, You know you learn a lot from bad leaders without doubt you you learned. What's what you don't want to but the good ones. Sometimes that seed gets planted and a grows and bears fruit twenty years later, and I guess having someone that so intellectual and forward thinking that he's like there's a way that we can fight wars and not lose our soul.
I would have mortgage my soul, I mean honestly, if you were to tell me this- is going, be the future, but you can control the present save lives to bring everyone home and be successful. What would you be willing to give? I would have given you everything everything I don't care about. Being forty I don't think I'm gonna make it to twenty nine at you. No one's thinking about. You know no buying a thirty year mortgage when their deployed to remedy unit you're not looking at the future. You look at it now and have these people that we're like listen, there's a way to do this as a way to do it. When a new soldier came in, I wanted them to see the enemy. especially if we killed the enemy. That done is that something that If you're not a custom to you, no more
when body off the battlefield, wives unimportant its there's a reference it we're we're not out there cowboys we're, not disrespecting the enemy. We respect the enemy. Will we, It's it's it there's a wholly relationship between combatants on the battlefield and you have to respect the enemy, but also have to acknowledge that there is something special about what is going to be needed for you to be able to go home, walk off. More importantly, win the abyss, active that were there to win right so. I can have a guy brand, new and country who see a body and completely, you know Unglued this. This is a part of the business, so here's the deal, I don't need you to be on point for the first two weeks but I need you to follow up, I need. You know what it's like them of a rifle crack. Next to your ear. I need to know what it's like, to be near a fire fight, even if, don't do anything cause your brand new
but when that, when the after math. We go through that limit of advance and we cross out battlefield. I want you to pick him up. I want to put him in the back. I want you to own this, because this is all of our actions and- and this is something you are have to get accustomed to- and the red prince. You show the rebel to show, because I'd nothing would a we as much as I would want up punk, At the end, your life, if you disrespected one of our fallen, I mean that's, there's that's unforgivable but I also was highly defensive over the way the enemy was treated as well. We're not savages were not. Russians were not chinese were not motion dean were american soldiers will conduct ourselves. That way were professionals. and you will show respect the enemy, we're gonna, kill him and, in others, One have to raise kids, my boy he's? Gonna kill your boy too. That's this too, we are but there's
way that you respect the enemy on the battlefield and and you're standing that decide their meat there, just you know, leave him out there to rot. Leave him out there to be. You know whatever that there's a time when that's on accepting civilians have to know where the good guys were always to be the good guys in any circumstances? So now we're vans and through this deployment, and now you guys find out you're, gonna felicia That take place as far as are used prepare in any particular way, and what the timeframe between you guys getting tasked with going to florida and actually getting there and in like what what timeframe so particular task we're supposed to go to muzzle. That was the first rumour mail and Charlie company ends up, go and instead of us, but no that were could be used again to understand April
for a job that was supposed to be the fight. The fighting happened until august, so The army command is realising that this is the year we gotta start doing something or we're just gonna be. can the canned on the road. Felicia was really depending on the presidential election between pushing carry the virus will tat. in october. You know the gates puppets politics, the elect, when I can a major battle before an election. Look bad wait until after the presidential elections, so that was november eighth, that year and so we knew that we had our orders. You know what happening the army by how good your food automatic become an you know how some shit he's common because, like a less redo, their chow hall, nevertheless, poison toilets you now they deserve cable there. It's all this and we start getting brown a route, people and electricity, in power have water
and all that all these things are happening, we're late. Logan. Problems with vehicles for a very long time and all of a sudden, like a g s, fifteen master. Car bulgaria's like, I could fix your rooms and you know, you want to new gun tube for that abrams. I've got four in the truck and they were fixed in everything every and then I I was like hey. Can I we were one point on a bullet count right. At one point we have to be like how we you gotta every day, come up with a certain amount of bullets so that we're not you know, we know who shooting what when, as all that the reporting, and then there was a when they were just like hey. What do you want? You want claymores do. I want clear earlier- gimmick powers C4. I know you know what I did I was away and engineers the new task force in the arm,
platoon engineers, protruded tigers, Fortuna infantry. Let's go fight, you know the global gnp. What we These engineers are brute there, the intellect of combat arms, gotta. Try they have the prescription. ass that are fashionable. Their super smart and our eighty second engineers are great. Their shown me like a gator aid bottle and they're like eyes. So we're put the sea for the bottom puts a cardboard, and would he got links but I shall casey's whatever you have. That's the metal, we're gonna put timing. Now, listen dad cord timing, views different right, it is their own. You know, writing all this down, no idea what the hell I'm doing, I'm like well, these I said I can you shall casings and links. I just throw bullets in these days, That would be a carbon multiplier. Slow little comes up
wow? That is a horrible idea. That is a horrible idea. So now you're alive around, like grocer, are thrown on a bonfire jewel outta here just mindlessness, but at this meantime, I remember these claymores. I had these cleaned, unlike located Cord is way too short for claymore and so like, I wanted to start hundred mile an taping claymores. Two ideas we found reich, I figured beat you're, getting a ditch clicking clack, a blue. up the ideas I e o d was like I mean we heard it existed. No one's actually see the easter bunny. It was like a sasquatch when I saw the hurt locker, I'm like shut up. Where were those dudes? I've never seen an e o d, a robot, a guy in a suit and they're. Amazing god bless them. But
They were always eu here. You waited for two days for your data show up and and on my own got time for this. Let me just show me enough I'll blow But myself I got my C4, I got my blasting can and they'll get a crimped, the blasting cap and unlike crimp, when you say crimp, do you mean what now is tell you? primitive too hard. Unlike I cringe too hard. Isn't it crippled enough. I'm worried about how many texts do I need you know how many should I and no I'm get myself. Some really really stupid. I'm getting nervous over. A dam is so dumb and ujiji. It's like you to give them but he hang greedy, and so we got to the point where I had these claymores and I thought you know. I've got all these alleyways amateur spray paint the backs orange so I could see them, I'm a take a motel.
harm on our cord and I'm a time to the top of buildings. So if I is coming through an alleyway way. I'm going away our security in every alley on a building, we're here like the alamo. We gonna defend ourselves out, just get it why you're claymore wanna guys run and underneath it right, not realising that the little prongs on the claymore actually supposed to be in the ground for stability, like claymore, dying, do it I'm cord, it's like You know tat. We like the, which way is it first time, man, it happened and its that's like you're not going to the zoo, and you got that to our window with a line is awake You don't owe me you're, like super excited language, a gathering, the kids like so much when you hear that, like that,
The windbreaker pan and you just year on every year, like spidey such evidence to article three of this is happening here. They cup did the bad guys common and come to the ilo and the alleyway way on my computer. Oh it's like! Do I hit it immediately? Do I wait once you know now you're nervous in you, but you're the ansi, oh you're, trying to build guys, let's I get nervous about my command, but it just everyone. Ok, I won't drinking everyone's good home. Did you talk among mom ways to die? I? Finally, the point like: I'm ready go, and this thing just I mean there are seven hundred of those thirty two caliber in that thing, seven hundred, and that thing
I just went flying in the air I mean flying in the air like it was a critical to satellite out. It was the dumbest thing in the world and it was like throwing a bomb just like launch. Like spin came forty millimeters right over your head and they were like what did you think was going to happen, thought it would just like you know like competent artillery round her, but I'll tell you what Not only was that alarming for us that guy was just shit, his pants that dude, I'm sure that guys in dental school, chases labour and he got out of there- went back to the philippines and is a productive member. But now that you you, you want to think outside the box. Sometimes you get a little too much knowledge and it could burn you alright what's got into were let's get into fusion a little bit. Now serves over there's gonna book houses.
Out and I'll, tell you what the arc of the writing and the far process between these two boxes, amazing to see so you you had written this one came out two thousand seven, the right right. So you'd written it may be two thousand and five two thousand It's something that so you Fresh off the battlefield and you're in this book, and it is as an unbelievable account is really it's. It's just an unbelievable account of you and your guys and then you know just to finish what I'm talking about the the way that arc goes into. Remember: ramrods, your new book You can see how much you've thought about it, how much just the perspective of getting older and time and the everything's impacted and when you look back what it looks like now, but to be able to sit. For me, anne and read these two books.
I just see that arc is is incredible. Finally, as a lesson in both books, They're both incredible books get em This is going to the book its house to house an epic memoir of war. And you say this I meet with since a wanted fit for a final briefing. We walnut will roll out in the morning, and our mission is now to find sims details the assault plan and explains our jobs with step by step. Precision each platoon will play different part in the initial attack. Falluja is a city designed for siege warfare and you talk to not that earlier on That's your aside. The insurgents have had months to prepare for this battle. They dug fighting positions, mine the street, booby trap the houses built bunkers and cleared fields of fire, every road into the city is strong, pointed mind and blocked with captured texas barry flus you're, shaping up to be the very of the war on terror we face.
The battle of attrition fought within a maze of interlocking fortresses, attrition is such a sterile word. Will we trading our lives for theirs. this makes it clear that our initial objectives will be heavily defended the inside agents have deployed foreign fighters on the cities, approaches they form the outer crust of their defence in depth. So wilson, it's them. First intelligence reports tell us that will face syrians iranians, saudis, filipinos. Even italians and chechens. They well trained, ideologically motivated and armed with ample ammunition and equipment they ve rain for years to kill us infidels sum of cut their. peace in chechnya, afghanistan and somalia. They are veterans, just like us are regular, is lost all star team? We can expect pop we thirty percent attrition at an urban breach like this seems, tells us.
I've been writing down. Everything seems said now I pause and stare at the initial casualty. S estimate thirty percent. just to get into the city there's no way we can keep everyone alive once inside, the city obviously we will issue. We will not use the main roads. They are all heavily. I e deed. Our lead tracks must create their own pass. With help from the engineers look over the maps, have to improvise most of these routes. I'm not! going to rattle off with the acceptable attrition is, according to command, gentlemen, will seize highway. Ten and pushed into the industrial district expects of the heaviest fighting in this area. For when g will use hit and run tactics, but there are enough fighters and the sea for them to have a mobile reserve. We could face com, our attack during the first day, the enemy has the forces to mass against us you know calling in met chap choppers, once you're in the city it'll be too high for blackhawks will have
the ground of back our casualties to this cloverleaf east to the cities. each of the city end quote the bad use continues. As captain sims closes his laptop and turns to us. We expect Surgeons have stockpiled drugs. be facing drooped fighters hopped up on dope. Again I look up the fits, and I know what he's thinking if this is true, these guys, you're going to be hard to kill so that is a friggin that That is a bout as a heart of a brief to sit there listen to bonkers, I these booby traps interlocking field to fire. Strong indeed buildings- and this is just for anybody? That's an hasn't been in the military that doesn't understand the the litany of enemy
power that I just went through. You can't make it any worse, not gonna, get me harder than what what I just read why Gaza was that day was the first day that we realise were actually going in. May we thought that the marines were Why do we had iraqi intervention forces and marines? And we were just on the flanks providing you. It was the the the fane that the face invasion. Seals had gone in on the day that we, take it down. Pollution took the hospital out and what's a hospital was isolated there was a one road that connects intersects felicia highway. Ten right, and so you ve got a northern side which is These homes are all economy comes on top of each other south of way. Tat is all industrial so as to completely never ways to do mount, and in industrial as dangerous as as a living room. Because- wide open, anything can happen but was, so crazy that then
he was giving us an attrition number and then he was I I'm not going to tell you a command is expecting so we're star I think this is a normandy, beach landy. This is that the Higgins boats doors the other ramp is very similar or bradley. They higgins boats coming down and you just gonna get one hour. you can get to a foothold, hold it and let them. It's come through within its it's on them right. That's that's pretty much the way looking at this and I thought to myself. Do I share that with my guys, do I take them back in the do those a time early in the deployment, platoon sergeant- is a guy from Missouri who'd is she I mean if you went to central casting defined platoon sergeant, I read the book housed how's that he learned to kill any.
They can shed outdoors and life for me. If I give you your view to dump outside this guy, you never gave an. He would send these dear videos. His mom would send a deer hunting, videos and the format? I started watching them and there was a moment when a deer honour will will will be like and the dear really and and they'll take the shot I was doing that to insurgents. Were you you couldn't get the shot you wanted and use billy hey and the guy who like war and you just you'd pop them, and I'm like this. This works. This is incredible, you know, so he was. He was always cool. All the it's like. I was. I was a meatball. I thought my first name was Jesus and my last day with cries, because that's what he said before my name, there was no rag used. Is Jesus Christ relevant? There was no doubt who was the running the show it was him.
I remember there, the day that he looked call me over his bradley new smoking, a cigarette, and he said, hey, look at me and his face was white and he was like. I just got. I've confirmed it three times no time for bulls. we ve got two hundred to three hundred white hearts come through this. On growth and their expecting to be in about twenty MIKE's and I was like impossible- is its oral platform this not a ground surrounds radar. This orbital plan from the track at him right now. We ve got three guys cure f, twenty minutes fast movers, twenty five! That's how much time you ve got sustain this area for two five minutes- and I'm like this- is gonna, be like a candid camera. You know what am I do. How am I going to react- and I remember thinking the guys always know when the spare barrels came out shit with every breath they when this
when you in time to set up a teeny and have a spare barrel. It was gonna, be a bad one, but I thought not going to tell them. I'm not going to tell him I'm gonna prepare, like the bat, when team is gonna break out, but weren't words, can ever mags ready. We're gonna have our prime minister This position up and you know or knock down with there- was a guy stack flower up. There was, I got for rose a flower bags and, unlike well married, dash, dash vision, one night, you'll get elevation low, high ditches, whatever action. Find a culvert here a and and we waited and we waited. And finally, the thing was like a: I got the wrong twelve digit or the you know that this is a guy relayed from a share of network in life. So someone else's his saluted messed up right now, but it's you and I thought to myself. I an incredible lesson cause you either
and your guys and you're ready or you're not do More importantly, drama and every drama major. I can tell you another good at it, but I can tell you that you're doing it for the effect Some leaders need that this is good and to be the worst day of a gentleman prepared and offend yourselves right. That is, does the line you wanna have a john wayne moment? Is that weakness? is that strength? Do you If you really doing your job, let three hundred guys come I'll, each other you give me honor. If the meter stand off distance and thirty seconds warning, my guys can eat a burrito. and we're gonna. We're gonna hold this ground. That's what I want out of my forces, while one of my guys, so I thought to myself it takes an information back and do I tell them
look around the root cause. You know that talk. You probably sat through a brief. You look around the room to your left and right Not all of you will make it out of this meeting. You really want everyone this dramatic everything's life and death, the time it erodes trust, it erodes fidelity and it erodes swagger. So the one thing I wanted to be careful as with families Will the family running this group depend and what unit urine family they're all about. You know gossip and you got so wives are going to the range and, like you know, they know whose deploying who's dead it could be You don't have a command unit at home, willing to take these casualties? and handling themselves as prose you have some real problems at a unit which is gossip in whatever I hated the people that were colony, I hated the distractions of bills and kids
and I tried as much as I could just to get them away. This burger king at the other, five, don't eat, it, don't need it. No there's a pizza hot at war horse, and I know they have really good food and blue cheese- don't need it. I want to be as miserable as possible knock. As I hate you now, because I'm in secure- and I want to show you my alpha- I will us all that when we blew cheese to have it we have a whopper, it's gonna because there's no more fight, You earned the whopper, Oh, your wife in your girlfriend want updates and It's a rhine, bikes and retreating. Otto. Damn about any of that, going on and if you are thinking about your girlfriend or your wife, or what's going on, is Joe becoming over what's happening. You are not in this game and you're, no good to me you're, no good to me. I got you on you, your focus is on that move that clean in his body of hair put in,
bag insane his prayer because he knows he's gonna die here. well she's gonna die. When I came from Iraq, and leave I met a vietnam guy was a tall rat. That's a shit said the horse job the, and I was plainly to him about how I was mad that the? U p s man was, celine and happy and we are going through all this mess like. I could see these kids grocery stores guys in their girlfriends at the mall get no latte and, unlike these freaking, you. Have no respect you will you do have a limp? are you stuttering? Why are you gonna, hair cut one are you too good for europe? country who the hell did he and I had a very or inferiority complex, and vienna. That looks at me and he says you I'm back in a week and you
you promise and I'm like what is it, you think you'll come back and I was like What do I? I have spent my mom. I know if I should cross the feed. Commissioner, would you I'm not coming back he's not in your head you're, not coming back. If you fight like europe, back you're going to not not make the choices. Is you need to make you're gonna always think about some one else. He's right now close your eyes. Casually notification came is talking to your little boy. Your mom and dad just changed, star from blue gold. Do you see it all right? It's over it's happening. That's your reality! Now, fight fight now get out there and realize it's going to happen. You don't know when it's going to happen. It's gonna happen. Sixty two or heart attack an hour on a you know: jungle gym the granted. It's can happen tomorrow with a bullet through your face.
You dont control it giving do it you're not coming back fight like you're, not my back and you will never lose an inch ground, and you'll never lose a soldier because you were afraid to not given the fight. You want the changed my life, I'm a gazelle, what you did how are you guys are all insane with long hair in your we'd yearned woodstock ease that's how we fought. That's how we survived, and The only way you can you can make it through and when I thought about them I started to live that I was like all of these things are distractions. I want you to have a wonderful marriage. I want you to a wonderful family, but you're not gonna have any of those things if you're thinking about halloween and about that bike ride. we gotta go take care of people that our goal- so what we would watch nicholas burg to beheading video every second of that guy in his head cut off by our colleague influenza
Let's watch beheading videos, let's watch the people. At the towers jumped out the windows. The heat it was too much they jumped that's what we're avenging. That's, who were found in every one of these guys cut off nick Berg head? every one of these guys is raping and destroying, and they killed our citizens on september? Eleventh, that's the mindset. I want to hear about your family and I want to do but your wife- and I want to but shit pay, bills. If you don't, have a relationship that you can trust someone to pay the cable bill. make this really easy for you re list. real last gives you're gonna need the income right. We are here to do a job. This is our focus, any thing else is is sedition you. Are committing a crime to me your committee, a crime to the country, because you're here for a purpose, and I'll, give a shit about what your ambition or hope is right. Now, it's us, I know
my dad didn't, I didn't know my dad you have to do. I don't give a damn we are all these different walks of life and socio economic issues focus, and that did it that did it. And as the best possible thing you can do for your troops. I think so help so top so fast forward a little bit. ramrods taken me. He calls send a grave lie in his grave and gravity. Gravel the southern draw. There are times I think, he's speaking of foreign languages. Southern action is so indiscernible. It's like across between John wayne and ross pierrot, our task What is known as the ramrods, those of us in our alpha company are the terminator saw alpha company. Forms a horse. You around Our major falkenberg. We get down on one day in weight at first He says nothing. He's It's a water, redman chewing tobacco ended the dirt as I or as the eyeballs us with a squint
it's time to look each of us in the eyes I stay Back at him to me, he's always been. It seemed a bit Is a grizzly bear twice a scary, but now, as I study him, I realize he's wiring short. It's the way. if his character it makes him seem so large men. I cannot be more proud of you. If you my own kids, we wait for him to continue. He hesitate he's struggling with his emotions and we see his eyes messed up. That's it sends a surge of emotion through me. Part love part despair. blind loyalty. I couldn't, the more proud looking at for you all, have come and what you are about to do He paused again and lowers his head his eye. in itself, discipline fighting a losing battle with his heart. That's all go get em.
The mechanics and support I start to cheer. Somebody shout gave him how other shout as well. For a moment, I can't move sergeant major sergeant. Major Falkenberg is our father figure he's the man I've most wanted to impress. I've wanted and needed to believe he was proud of me and what I done with my squad. I never felt I did anything to be worthy of my own fathers pride. My father was the first person in the history of this of the state of new york to go from junior college dental school, starting with absolutely nothing in accomplishing so much on his own. sought his affirmation, but always seemingly in vain. I always They never quite measured up to his eyes. to me. It was my fault for squandering so many chances here now I want more than anything to stand with sergeant major falcon. As we head into the fight and measure up at last.
this time. I am determined not to fail. His few words have had a more profound effect on me than any of the pet talks of the past week. A great Each is only partly about what is said, often What matters more is who says it and how it is delivered. sergeant, majors, vulnerability and love for us spoke volumes, as everyone else gets up. Head for their Brady's. I stay a heartbeat longer, or can bird turns his steel blue eyes to me? No words spoken, but in his eyes- see something of feeling coming. My way respects
I'm going to get you to read these books on audio man. That's it I it just. It sounds so much cooler air- and you said Falkenberg is a guy who is first of all, he was forty five when he died. He was the first american to be killed in the battle of felicia and you want to talk about like your watch, a movie and the hero of the movie is the first got a drop and there is no explanation. It's the most morale, killing thing in the universe right, I remember hearing that he was forty five and I'll. Stick it out for you at the time. I was the same age. He seemed like a dinosaur the oldest person in the world. You know an end any his body on the stretcher. He was even big enough to cover the entire pole later, when I would add the guy just was a giant in every
You always had the worst rifle aid. In a way, in a four. With nothing on it. He's like let the fancy guys have the fancy shit, I don't need it, you don't need nothing. Iron sights and I just absolutely adored him an end I I always hate. I only liked me not really, I can tell you with with authority- that he did not like me, but I loved him, and I and I in the end. Had you liked me, I don't think I would have He was such a a guy who's been in the military for twenty five thirty, they ve been every armpit every bottle the world they seen at all. There's nothing you're going to tell them that they don't know The day we shall have to farm normandy forth, you're divisions on one side. First, I he's on the other are to be challenged to wait two to every which way
the way is the order march at normandy beach, Ironically, it took the floor. Steering through division of the battle that. did you know their baggage normandy, but their first enormity. First, that's their unit, this. Fourth ideas are major steps up and he is the most eloquent guy. The whirl he's a gentleman. On the other side that where there is an enemy, that enemy will take your life. We are here, learn from us Do you not? I mean like it, it was. They were dirty their uniforms were rat, ripped it and we rejoice with he actually may noise. I start by deasey ears I made Lord jointly combat ridiculous. You don't ever need that right and an falconry gets up after this eloquent speech about you know. The world is a date you're a place where the beacon of light and freedom and Falkenberg just turns to us doesn't talk to them. It says: don't
trust? A single one of those sandra burgers they're, going to steal your non vision and go deer on with them and he's like. Don't put your night vision, they'll put in your gas tank they're gonna lie. They're gonna steal squad leaders. I want a green green, every five hours one single for thirty guy in your living quarters, I've seen this shit- they, your friends, steal all your gear. Go home to clean and they go dear on with your night vision, and we all know, and the guy was everyone was. I would that guy wrote that's who he was He didn't give a shit if he was an elementary school principle, you'd be the worst ever he was in french remain any all he cared about was these are, I kids, these are my boys and the idea that he would be the first to go down and out that you want to talk about, you know losing
officers losing senior ngos and these young kids saying? Ok, I'm not opportune, saw no more. Now, I'm a first sergeant natalia in our or to see who can run the company, I mean there too, you're pulls away, but that that to me was Sign of you know this is real ike you we'd lost forty plus guys. the point, the deployment every one of them stings every one of them hurts but he's much more than a leader here, They become your mass, the become your empathy there there there. more than leaders there there, the identity of who you are there you're validated every single day. not a good day unless he says it's a good day. You're not you know ready until he tells you you're ready and when that's gone, it is a father figure. It's it was dead. stating it was devastating now you're, not even in fight. Yet let you really
you're going to the normal beach and the guy gets hit in the Higgins boat and now you're The ramps are dropping and everyone's like what just and you're like forget it forget it everything's, ok, everything's cool or keep going, and in you the report that there's an angel dried that was the radio chatter an angel, We got a ramp ramrod, seven angel seven year like yellow disk. Well, you know what let's go work. Our mission is to get the guy the killer Falkenberg. That's we're doing right now you serious were yes, I got the mission. The guys in this block killed some major. Let's go get em It doesn't matter where we were in bosnia, we're getting the guy's a guess. Somebody falkenberg doo doo,
I'll be the one to come home to a ceremony and see his widow and his daughters and say that you didn't have something to do with getting the person that got him. That's the only thing we can control right now. This is last one. We're gonna take right, but it was a fake. You don't know when to you. You can only compartmentalize so much, and so these two books are deal with twenty years. After that and do we maintain our promises to our friends. Did we sit? with the kids. We all talk about it when you old enough unsaddled gonna tell you you dad was How many of us have actually done that how many of us have actually still stood with a widow. I would a story of a woman, the law, asked her husband in the war and she got married again, and I thought to myself that way too soon. That's disrespectful like how do you do that? You, your husband, you loved him, he loved you.
you talked about you all the time and you're just gonna marry another guy, it's so until music Bellevue. There was twelve years ago, man, twelve years years ago. Let this woman move on with her life you're. Holding on this you have no idea what she's been through you have no idea what this guy is you. You can't think like that this is these families have gone through so much and we promised that we would be there. Have we been there can lives? Have we lived we said we're, gonna live for them, it'd be twice as good, because there, here. We have to do more with our lives. How many have done that instead, we're talking about suicide and addiction and how people of quit you know what you're thinking about your body, the died in a war. If you're thinking about you know killing yourself getting high or or
or giving up you. we're, betraying all of that. We ve been far too soft with this generation. I have seen all aids except to let a choice. You make it a choice. It's a valid choice is bullshit there's, not a valid choice, you made a promise in our view, would have killed yourself as well. Thank you. Not a house how would that have been received. Oh yeah, you decide you can do it at home when it's over now now we have a purpose and we have to honour our word, and this book is how I didn't I didn't, and it took a step, but oh this award, the guy oh, my guys together again and we realized we don't need any the stories we don't the glory we don't need the attention we need each other,
That's why we did it. We need each other. We need to be present in each other's lives and validate and acknowledge that there's purpose and then and that we all have. We all have a journey, and some of us are struggling. Some we're doing great we gotta honour those promises we made each other when it when we thought the world was going to end in twenty four hours. At this point. I'm going fast forward little bit. It's basically go time and is theirs I gonna have to read this park as we get a new character gets involved introduced into the scenario here. You say as throughout alpha company digital cameras appear, and soon the men are posing for one another nearby are embedded reporters. they called. You call this in their cost.
stir together, like new kids and second rate watching the scene is awkward outsiders. These photos are crucially important form of insurance against our own mortality. A few months We lost a man and realized to our unending dismay that no one had a single photo of him to display at his memorial service is it's graceful. Surely this is in the back of anyone's mind now this time we will have a record of every soul who goes through the breach. Michael, where breaks ranks from the buster of journalists with yuri in tow they come over. her platoon and offered to take our picture. The platoon. ends up and they go to work the their embed, see this and promptly stream to their assigned units taken cameras and snapping pictures them as they click away. They are no longer awkward, outsiders now found a way to help us they circulate among the soldiers and start to fit in. They show MR human and the company, upon sheets that, after
I call on you refinish finally, finish up. I led a smoke and stretch out on the ground. Next, the track. It's almost zero. Nine hundred the morning is chris, old and punctuated by distant artillery barrages. Every few minutes and apache funders overhead fast, moving fighter jets, crisscross above them in the sky. Is where I belong First time in my life tat, I found my place. It reassuring thought that easy some of the butterflies fluttering around in my gut? I want if it was like this for the soldiers of the union army during the civil war. Counting on the old camp ground and all quiet on the potomac have been replaced by percussion heavy metal, Modern rifts of mud, vain and dope, but we're still be sickly the same. details vary from war, the war, but no matter what epoch. The camaraderie remains is a close, miss that no civilian will ever really understand a brad.
he swings out of the column and starts towards us lieutenant colonel riding shot gun in the turret yells The troops as he passes he looks like pat, must have looked as he raised alongside one of his flying columns and a jeep dress like he was ready for a parade patent sometimes stood on the passenger. She said Two shouted to his g eyes. Newell can't do that in a modern day, bradley fighting vehicle, but the similarities and striking. Nonetheless, our task force is a hundred vehicles, long strong, was track, runs the length of our column. Like a steel, sheep, dog shit. bringing us forward ass. He passed is by. I hear him. Bello, let's go go, go. Cigar, Michael, where whose is australian journalist, a year is the other guy that I mentioned where's. He from russia got here and these guys are embeds and
How much did you know about Michael where this that, when you first met him so Michael? Where was, in my opinion, Michael, where was public enemy number one? because he was the face of western journalism to the terrorists. So all these beheading videos they were trying to basically circulate threw him. He was embedding with balls I do, and so I didn't know what a journalist did and I didn't really give a damn, but when he showed up- and we really mean what am I- He showed up and he was time magazine cnn. All these things were going to work through him, any the respect of being the guy that has gone to every horrible place in the world, and so I I didn't see him. I farmers a partisan. I saw that he has an agenda. What I learned in full, one the reasons why I came in a better report when I got out was because I had such a mean. I grew so close to respecting this guy because at a certain point,
Our radios are only as good as what there you know. I can't get on the horn at my rank and level and talk to a general in the marine corps. It's on the flank five kilometers way. He would pick up a say, phone and call the embedded journalist with brains, and if you like, listen, we need our killer. We we need it now. I'd be like they're, like that. welcome welcome to team america where he was doing things and and he sat down and gave us his own briefing and and that that change the that changed. The way we faultless you know you get command, they tell you dispositions, and you know I always grossness but when you saw an enemy deprecate you, learn a whole lot about what you're fighting you know. Diarrhoea is good good sign. These guys are nervous they're, not healthy they're, not the tired, they're they're, not you can
see the mucous thou want that. What'll, I mean I want from nice. I want to see that right. Dear me, more diary, I want, I want to see the enemy, suffering and scared and not healthy right, Michael. Where gave us a briefing on what type of any we were fighting and in a way that these guys, you know their rocket. teams he's a you're gonna look for little designations. One buildings can have number rockets in it then building another medical supplies. The next building. Just bullets, if you start I out like you're doing you're really get the wrong building. The whole thing is gonna. Go up he's a look they read your your books; they know how you like to add our buildings. We would go into a building on the top floor, all the stairs were removed, all of em you would jump from a roof to another roof and they took normally the roof, but the sex The story is well you're, following all the way down the first floor and they got you know these rod
in glass and constitute a wire you you, you get, there's gotta the way that you, you acknowledge knowledge that if you're coming from the road and you're going through front door, they know you're gonna, take that door right down. The door they want you to take. You would find or preteen like also a maze of just really crudely put together, cinder blocks, maybe eight feet tall and they just work here in turn in a turn, and then you look up and that the overhead? Where that p, I is mounted and he's going to fire at you. Why you're like a rat in amaze, he's like this? it had way too much time to prepare he's like tunnel networks They know they have to protect their wires and ended. they leave their wires in the open. There's too much artillery and bombs out there they're going to cut those wives, all of those wires going to be dug. All of them so
you see a hole in a wire coming out as leading to a house. I've seen it. I knew what these guys are doing. I like this is this: is it this is really good stuff and This is a guy who did not care about being famous. He didn't care about being a camera. He was he was just about wherever you go and ongoing, and I want to the stories like and I can tell the truth- and that's why you was hanging out with the enemy one another. truth. Who are these people where they come from I love that guy. I dont think if you didn't film that house fight there is no way that diesel this award? What happened? I don't think it. It was fifty years they, the video and his documentary and circulating, gave our youth.
credibility, gave that award credibility. We hear a lot of stories in all. Unless you see it or hear it, you know you have. I mean that the chairmen story is so unbelievable that had. I not seen a drone footage myself, That is one of the most incredible things any Can I dont know Is your warfare. Roberts rigid and there what they knew that the birds shot down the seals working with air force and again a sometimes you know those things help just kind of the picture little bit better, but mike aware had no business goin in any I was, he had no business to any that and he did it, and I just I'll he's like family to me now. I love him. I
just I don't know I've never had a relationship with a personal sought, a uniform that I could actually say. I tell him now you're You were born in the wrong job. You you do, you should have had a rifle, not a cannon. There was a part in fallujah. What I thought about get my rifle and the only three to my didn't was. I could imagine what their report would look like if my guy got shot, because he you know nodded up I don't know I had to go to survive that in that document It's called only only the dead rear, the IRA We're gonna came out. Leaving your forwarded to me like hey this dude friggin, with the moose amos. Due to doing this, it's with moves in remedy. Unlike what of side like what're you talking about and when watched it it is crazy to watch it created crazy to watch it crazy to he's he's yeah
at some point, is embedded with. Americans some points he is embedded with moose and its great It is due to watch and see and and then you know, there's a story behind it, but yeah it's it's a it's! A crazy documentary he's a he's, a lunatic yeah. I know I love them. I know not. I I valor that we show people fight cancer, show valor people stand up to. Police show valor soldier, cops firemen, and I I never thought journalists could do that. Ever in time, your journalists being so brave, you know you had deed, you know, you run a teller, prompter, you know, I'm saying you went to make up a get your hair done. Excuse me, if I don't celebrate the holiday might just go to work today, instead of heavy wolf blitzer day but is there are guys out there and girls that we want from CNN the afghanistan. What's her name,
don't know, though the lady there was, I bet, adult cheese. The cheese the the I know: I've had a woman on the spot, gas holly, mackay and she's gone over and done all kinds of free and, unlike what she's ike social media like messaging, I'm sending you know like messages get out of there we have to say, was falling. I was trying to pass measures like you need to get out of there now, but you know she's committed to doing her job yeah, it's weird man, the video of this house know what to tell people read the book for this is my this in mind: vice don't watch video, yet read the book house to house. spend a few hours pride. Take you seven or eight hours to read this book. Read this book. Kind of like it seemed crazy. But you know but it has really happened like that you're you're, you can have questions in your mind and then you go watch the video near like holy shit. So there
my advice read the book and then go watch the because a video that just giving you the a documentary for sure, but it's crazy that he was there to capitalism. Video is created a point in the village he doesn't mentions, but there's a pole. I took a shot at him and he's got the camera and act at young people. Think that eu you, the close quarter. Fight you lose. Your hearing hid hear anything anymore, more, straining gunfire for you you totally death and this duties you're in the middle of a dark hours, you, the gay, with a brush trillion access, he asked The journalist and I'm like dude, I'm going to pull the f, is I'm going to blow your head off. You know my you speak in English and I I took a shot and he led the round like hits the side and he used to say he's right back,
for years. I thought he just put the camera down. I voted put the camera down the house and laughed and he- and I was doing it- do not radio show, and I said that, and he at the first time we contact Waves, the military, are you son of a bitch. I was in the house with you the whole time I have the entire video and I watch his documentary and the first reaction you have is, I was way cooler you don't really get your road ahead. You you hear yourself screaming and it's like? I, I can't believe how scared I sounded and then you alive I was the only way I like you, seriously, you hear a story. The army loves to you. Now they will they want their guys. This is the version. This is what happened very clinical verse sterile. It all happened within two seconds: videos, twenty nine minutes long and in totality
would have told you that that entire fight was two minutes long. That's way too much of just an end. Maybe we block when go through? Something you forget about it or you don't think about it or you can't remember it or you don't want to remember it, but I can remember. Is these so dark that you just think. It's the same guy, you know, and you you just you're, not you're, bleeding you're, not bleeding the five five six, almost cauterizes, you don't get the the that you can't draw if you're not hitting pelvis or someone in the face. They're moving You know, and so you you you're, not getting stopping power and and and the other thing that that was so strange. Is that, like you don't know where you're guys are and so you're kastl you. You know thinking, then you're gonna get to a spot and these guys gonna frog out.
you start juice, getting you trained him to do you trained him to err on the side of area, have wire at all. Dives they're gonna go through a spend decks in here with two fortys and empty four, nine saws and forty millimetres and want to be on the receiving end of that. So how do I just get out? But and then it gets personal, and the moment it becomes personal- is the moment where you go through so many in a cold quarter battle? It's well. You know its strength, its will its euro spirit, it's what you're fighting for your country, your friends, your family, it all it's. The most gets a frantic experience that anything can turn that battle, and I ve never been in an god. I've never been. You know, But there's something you can do that can intimidate me in
thirty second window or however long it is, and in am a match. I at least dominated you enough. Why do something and got you thinking cycle actually I've got you thinking, and sometimes it registering that the guy that you're fighting against is scared, you right and there was a moment so that house fight is really three different fights right. You got the we walk in, we get ambushed and then the tough the thing that caused me, the most thinking was just a scandal. Doorway with a saw there was the naughtiest dad. Could you that's? You go with unknown other too, whether one is or what is it all unknown you ve, never seen the house before and I I hope my finger second knock on. We were butterflies. You know this is the training that in the military, it's just the teeth.
I was second and I I hooked it cause. I'm like deep. If I go down estate is going to keep firing right and then I have a runaway. And the another challenge had a runaway is on the range and you point them. You point, the machine guns rage break a leg, but to do that, and I think when it is actually this is actually will take a good look, but that thing fires a lot around and Now I'm in this unenviable position of helping the people, the design the saw fn. What was it the advent of the event. People have fixed that magazine issue where you could put up four magazine head and there lose so so I'm trying to feed a magazine to get a magazine get all thirty rounds. Do whatever, And- realize it. Now you these guys, talk and it so
they had a room that I've stairwell go up at a jersey barrier come out and I there were two machine guns the army has there own version, I guess, was a peak amateur. Ok, excuse me Thinking that pig he understood ways out a link to the pomp on god, my my mind, but the Jews in that door and tune gets on one side and the other guy either side. What I mean I on the stairwell now I'm looking over and I got often left, and I just amber them talking to each other, and I did not even a wounded and for two under round and like three feet that just took everything I had my mojo was done. So I star beaten tale. And as I'm running out, I just feel the heat and the tracers behind me
and I'm like I'm running out. I felt like I was in that house with those two guys again like I'm running under broke. I take my life and I break contact and so is grass my age harnesses. I leave the courtyard just pull me like a rag doll out just like that. And then we're taken fire from the roof, so so limited through this house just just to clarify for everybody. So you guys enter this house year and users. I mean, think about what you just said. There's a jersey barrier me in that they move had brought freaking concrete barriers like a jersey barely on the highway. They were, they had it up the stairs night it was under the stairwell honor me this. There will they have a jersey barrier to like they built a bunker inside this house, does what you guys are up against. They ve got so you're your your teams in there and while they're engaging and your your team is
pretty much stock right. There pin down they can't get out of this house and you're standing there and you realize that somebody's gotta put down so cover fires ever get the hell out of their right. So you got? Our machine donors are outside and their firing a guys in the kitchen, and these are two young kid just wants jameson, dangled. They have two forty bravoes, which is the m16 version today and their firing there, Jeanne guns into the house, the bad guys are shooting from this. Everyone who are living room, and the walls are fallen apart at so you ve got Then it's like thrown a log out a fire. You got the rounds just going everywhere. You can't get up you're out your literally hugging ground and you can't get up and so on he's gonna rolled the left side of the room and the entire poultry. and was on the right.
And I remember trying to squeeze my rifle and adjust it. There was something in the trigger well around it hit the the maggots. meanwhile and pop the magazine open with the spring, and the bolt was, I thought, was a double feed, but it I, the rifle was in up there's no way I could. I could do it. So I just said: throw me a machine gun. Gimme a saw and someone slit a sovereign and that's what I disagree asked for. Like you know I'll help you lift the couch and then the couch is vital need over the the saw came over and it was. It was ready to go and I just needed time. I needed time like I my legs were like vienna lacked a gas it and just concrete they would move, and it s just like you just like this is it.
this is gonna ass. A mile afar process was get low, sucker as many robs you can, the sap replaiting helmet and if they're gonna hit you hit your leg, though hitter you know your your arms, but just bringing bring those arms doc walk in as low as you can add, just try to get well aimed fire to keep their heads down and just kill these guys walk right into the bunker. They'll never expect that you walk right in and ran away sousa, pull the trigger nails just for clarity. What is that I when he had a runaway so open bolt weapons. Close bolt. You know the like a machine gun a week. We train people for three. Second, bursts right so just as long as you pull that trigger down an automatic weapon is going to fire rounds as long as that triggers depressed and semi you gotta squeeze every time when I pulled it and I chewed up so many rounds that the autumn
attic machine gun just was seared and was just firing. The roused, regardless of where my finger was, so you pull the trigger and it keeps you too it's just going to stop so in a training situation when he was about breaking or or it could be to combat situation, but once it's running away, meaning you'd, let you off the trigger and it's just bullets- are still flying one of the things you can do. Is you take the you grab the bell of the machine gun, the ball, the bullets and you break it off, and and it will only ship shoot how real left in that it stops. you know he had to make the decision well. Should I break this off? Oh no, wait. A second. This is working here is basically the same thing happened. Alec Baldwin here too, I would know nobody, but once it's over, it's really weird feel a bit you think in. In you know, in a car that situation use it ragists point but the problem is that there are two hundred round, it's a drum hard plastic
drum and there's turn around and you don't realize how far ass. Those rounds are gone because once the rounds are gone, I don't have any more link. Damn. Oh I'm not a saw gunnar, I'm hoping that These guys are just gonna get out of. We have a these guys, of the australian peel many drivers puzzle harvard of trades a grunt. You can things, you don't know, so I learned australian peel could but I'm never going to learn. I'm not really use it cause, I'm an elite mary. Never woman. I break contact right dry as first we did it and it basically look. I'm gonna go forward. You're gonna get out, so I the gun ominous move in you're just and I just need to know last man, though I've got you says the last man, so I know everyone's out and then I'd, go with him, I'm in a fire everything I have and and run away our brain contact and,
I don't hear last mammy the guns going crazy and I'm way I can on the stairs above them. little bunker and I'm just kind of trying to bend It gives a leaf blower. I just tried to like get it in there. If nothing's have it was a disaster, it was pretty bad. but I don t like it was a curious. Could you have not put their part it late? It would be great if only the cool parts wherein there but Fortunately, the arrogant, you say in it the rash you're right about this. It's crazy to read about it. Ah, the trigger did still the press, my mind, races suppress the enemy. Now I should kill them. My heart urged me forward against the stairwell get out of there
clear. The room rum adduced these guys. I try to step forward, but my fee wont. Let me my legs feel actor chained to the floor. I can't advanced the ten feet needed to end the fight, don't be a bitch move forward. I strain against my own body. I cannot move the sauce bulk, lacks back and forth as choose through my ammo supply. Probably have about a hundred and ten rounds left. What, if I make a plea to get on the stairs? No, my body still refuses my heart rageous I see the saw along the barriers, more foam explodes out the basket state on the floor. It looks like snow fall in hell in the firelight gloom, hey. I've got progress and a hundred rounds left this time. The move get fort finish. This finish this now I push I swear my legs won't budge. The enemy remains on her hiding behind the ripped up barriers. I can't do it my our seas with contempt? Then my saw runs away from me. Sometimes that weapon. Once you go cyclic, you can't stop it stop it. I e
the trigger, but it remains locked back. The bolt charges on its own the gun, it's at least fifty more rounds. Think clocks on an empty chamber amount of ammunition I'm still in the stairwell room, any second, fuckers under the stairs, will pop their heads backup see that I'm an open target finish me. My Suddenly, free up I've gotta get out run. I spent right and both through the doorway thinking Mcdaniel has to forty will be there in a four year to compromise if I dont see misa anywhere but but of the living room in a four year are completely empty. I charge you both and out the front door, as I fly into the courtyard and autumn, weapon clatter, sir give me another automatic weapons scream? Still standing in the courtyard yo pull back fifty else. I need to These gimme secure, free fire bullets, crime over my left shoulder hit the outer wall in front of me. I keep my legs pumping furiously and then on. Through the gate and with my
and miss appears at the gate, throw me the side outside the street. I you, man, you're good, we're safe, so you get out of the house. honestly. That was pretty, I think, was the angle of the other house. You're. The guy on the stairwell can only hit you when you're in the house and the gas from the window had do either moved away from that vanished. because if they were hidden miguel swans and we're right outside with a couple of guys and they were exe changing machine gun fire at point, blank range, if those guys were they with the ammo that they had. I mean it would have been too easy. There were pillar in front as well, but for some reason, What I was an efficient, a barrel form, but I can feel it
and what was so crazy is that you know I'm just thinking to myself. My mai drain only when you're at that two mile more point in IRAN and you ve had the wall and your legs just Breathing is you're? U run so are that you can't feel anything the adrenaline just going nuts but you're like eventually have to stop, and when you have to start at that moment. It's a little. You can't just stop, a dime you, gotta least walk it out after you hit the wall May I went from zero to sixty and I was I felt by bud cheeks I thought I gotta hit in the end, the in the ass and I I think it was my heels Like I'm a kicking, my own ass, I had muscle spasms. You know me, like I a charlie horse. Just from nothing to full sprint and a fighter flight and I had soreness like on the back of my hand,
string and, and my quads and and my glued now just like in my hit what happened and the and they re the realisation that I did nothing to the enemy, at least If I got two of our one, let's get the bomb. and the problem of pollution is that the bombs became like a butcher shop. You know you got a big set play yet three fixed wing- and I'm like, I need a bomb, ok Here's what's gonna happen for your bomb, mister in a bomb all artillery stops, The aviation assets, are, god you're, getting your bomb and better be important, and your number fifteen because forty other guys need a bomb. Mister. damn we you know I need my life is done now And you are on a list and if you do have a radio you don't have rank you're, not gonna bomb, so we asked for the bomb. I wanted the bomb
didn't get the bomb, but now I'm on the street with platoon and everyone is Dokken for cover and it was just such a horrific feeling of I can't I'm it would have told you that that moment of my life was the moment I I was born to have an It never, in my mind, ended with me running screaming with nothing, no dent in in July the armor just it was crazy. I can't really nothing up now. That being said, yeah a normal human being would be like. Well. Thank god. I got out there and every one of my people, too, is ok cool. later what happened? I know what you mean, what would happen. If you were in front of your men, that you care, for love and everything else and then
you start given orders and there like? No sir, I'm listened him right, that's what they did. Ok and that- just piss me off. I lost it. I went from cabotage is happening to ass. This Do you guys want elicited fits you guys? Well, listen, lawson what we get we couldn't get accountability. Is someone in the house? Is anyone then give all your quick? I couldn't get any Everyone was scattered from still get shot, it so fits and law. Us indeed, what we are trained to do, which is bright, contract to another building set up five, superiority, get elevation eyes on, suppress and consolidate, come up with a new plan, that's a normal plant at platelets northwestern. I had Michael, where an eye he claims I'm pacing the streets like a lunatic. I don't remember that, but
Do you remember looking to MIKE aware and I just looked at him and he looked at me. He looked exhausted sweaty and he was just like I felt like he was telling me you could do this absolutely there's two guys in the house go you're good for two year out. There You know thinking yourself: we write a book like what what the hell kind of example that I just exactly then start with giving my fuckin rifle, who, as my fucking life choices, which is clear. Ethnic right, you'd argued. You know from your rifle to somebody else. You took the saw, and you're like eating more pissed off by the minute Like my referred in my head, I was telling my guys what to do and they were not listening. I was turn lies in that is
bolivia shook big sarge is at the same. Guy he's scared. He ran like a little bitch. I Look a lot and fitch these guys are cool com collected They are all the time right and I was just like you- are right- our I like this. I would you think I wasn't. There is no rational, you're, not you're, emotional and and and and reynolds going crazy and the only guy that idea get any. You know my my doktor phil. strain from time magazine and here, am I going to end. The bullets are: listen I don't know, what's happening to me. I can't see me. I could see him and there bought all round him just bring pumping and he was just like standing there. Some like this gaiters and death wish, or he really believes that I can do this
and if we believe that you do as I need and so I was like- let's go over the plan. and by plane was a bar. I need a bomb right now. You get some brad these up there charles bat bradley lumber up the street, the polluter scatters as the brad arrived, some some get behind it for cover the we're traverses his gun, barks, the shell slowed. The shells explode hind the side into the kitchen and living room onto sheer is that right, or is say one to sheer walks his fire back and forth see sawing between the two rooms he pauses his cantrell sweeps the track free of the shell casings, which tumble hot The smoking street control axe, the brat up to up the street, to where he can lay down a current of fire on the rooftops. Most the shells go high, but the incoming shots cease for the moment. Anyways. What else you got you think we got em control asks, Michael, where here's the question
over the din of the brad's engine shots he shut, out. There is no way he's gotta sergeant bell there's no way where, had been in the courtyard when the shit hit the fan he had to dodge the machine gun fire from the kitchen. In my heart I know he's right, but at this in time. There's point and wasting any more ammunition. The brad just can't get a kill shot into the house. At best the barrage drove the insurgents away from the front windows overlooking the courtyard I think, we're good. I tell the brad crew we're back to square one. I start to pace again. Walking back and forth my inner monologues spills out of my mouth, ok, myself and foreign, where in front of the men on live it. The whole situation is taken. My dignity I to find the strength to get it back on What an over used ward! It's an abstraction who can define it all year in iraq of students, my men, if they fill sandbags until three in the morning, I'd be out there in the dirt mud with them
would never given order then go relaxes. They worked. My example is all I have is a noncommissioned officer. I take pride in that that is my honour. Always told my men not be afraid and combat when the bullet our flying. They demand up and dish it back ten fold how at times it by drilled this into them, perhaps telling them to be on afraid is unrealistic. We're all human fear walks with us in every battle. We cannot allow fear to dictate us who we are and how we act. We cannot let it control us. We must master it that is another essential element of honour. As I say storm around in the street. Struggling with myself, where regards me curiously, the last thing I want right now is a journalist watch me grapple with my own demons. I turn away and paste back up the street slipping on a couple of twenty five millimeter shell casings in the process and other spray of sport. flares around me, do I have the balls Why have the nuts to do what my fucking heart wants me to do? If I,
go in veil of one many times have we heard that american soldiers rely on fire power and technology because they lack courage. How times. Has our enemy said that man for man they can beat us? That's nothing new the germans and the japanese said the same thing during world war two side. That house I surrendered my honour and my manhood. Now I have to take both back or live with the fact that they are right about me, that is acceptable. I ran and swear with abandon down the street. I see sergeant nap, taken care of my men like there is little brothers. I want to cry, I'm so proud. I love. these kids in a way. I will never be able to express. I see their faces one by one John Ruiz luke, abernathy peter socialists alex stocker, victor santos, bread pudding, trust in max field. They deserve more from me. I start
pacing and let out a deep rattling sigh only where room remains by me on the street. Everyone else has moved away. Perhaps my display is convinced them off gone mad, but what there are still here the journalist our position. Unofficial intel officer, we stare intently at each other, fuck it I say fuck. It agrees where that settles. It I'm going back in. It seemed very rational at the time again. I really thought there were two bad guys in that house. I know I'm good for two. I figured even though their talk I had two of hit them with something ricochet peace, a concrete, maybe there I went through their ammo, but the clock is ticking and
biggest fear the reason one of bradley the streets are very narrow and there's high walls, the bread the currently traverse of certain elevation, so it was only getting the upper stories and the gate was only so wide right. The my fear was just give him some think about so the little run out, because the last thing I want to do this was really retentive. Twelve bad guys which everyone's local potential, vegas and it was in a structure of homes that was blocked off by for tax. So we had thermals I couldn't believe this block therein here somewhere- and this is More has to go. This is all of em. we think we hope it's all. I don't want to get back in the house that we are too cleared in our plane. The wax all again and we're gonna get someone killed or or her hurt, and but but again talking of someone these, I her thought. Someone said we're gonna die and so
the video, I'm yelling we're not going to die and all the guys today will tell me no one said that there was in my head just unrest, but but they thought do you have a full blown conversation and then was no one. You were tied to the end during question you you're too he'd food orders like give lost your friggin mind an end I think we're sense that I think I think, where sense that I was coming unglued okey days. I beg you, will use basically like this guy. I think we ve got it. We ve got some all pierre look. What are you thinking? without saying it is I who do you think I'm thinkin I want to do this, and I was I was right, I saw, gave me an m16, a four with the two or three I had one grenade. I had one forty millimeter and I made the mistake. of giving magazines away because I saw the end
he was wearing our uniform effluvia brigade had oliver uniforms. I saw a guy runnin around with a with a marines rifle and this guy, the bandoliers the idea and just thought someone died and they got all of his ammo. and there's no way, I'm going to go in here and get waxed and then gibbs cause. I was we were carrying. I dunno how many magazines the combat load as it sounds, so you know I don't want the guy to have everything. So I carried five magazines. One of them was empty, which was my mistake. So I had four full magazines and I probably should have taken much more than you don't know that there was a huge mistake, but I was thinking I don't want these guys here too much, but then so, the plan is Annie. Many saw gunners, as I can now. True doctrine is wanting. You ve got your own stack, our military victory, seven dash! Eight, you know non special,
forces doctrine. Is you got a point? Man rifle and You go with your raw grena dear than you got your automatic weapon, and then you got a leader team leader, squalid awareness What we learned very quickly influenza is, I need machine guns automatic for I'll, give a damn what it is shot, guns and machine, and so we incredible our battalion and our brigade and our division to just find brand new saw Most of these saws word older than our saw gunners, whether time we deplore we got everything was new and they at the combat saw the smaller rifle the collateral bus that this was. This is good step, so we all carried jaws as many saws and get so. We have I said I wanted. Four guys around the building I was gonna run in there like a lunatic try to push him out of the house, and then I saw gunners would shoot em up. That was that was
That was what we drew on other dirt rights law Washington is a buddy of mine. Lawson died in two thousand and thirteen great kid great guy. He was our weapons squad leader. He had an m fourteen only for felicia no night optics on it, so when they have, Fourteen goes away beyond these guys. Pereira and You know this, but next to like gold, a nine millimeter magazine with hearts. Five. You would do anything to find an extra nine millimeter magazine. They were just you. Could not every poke you know sitting around whether traffic they all have the nine millimeter magazine we couldn't find I'm. So we only had to magazines of nine mail. and he had his nine millimeter and that was it and night vision with no optics, obviously to hang on so we set up our guys. as soon as I walk into the house, the third time right. So we were in the house
Leave the house, the bradley fights. That's like the second fight, and then I get in the house the second time that the real fighting everything is different. That bradley fighting vehicle rearranged. Everything in that place, First thing I noticed is that, Four plumbing system they have is all over the ground and it smells like a menstruating anchovy right. It is horrific. It is her riddick I mean just fowl was smashed, is dirty water in the world. It slick I ate in and I durst fires. everywhere, so the areas and wet have five is going on. And I'm seeing these, I thought they were at it at the time that the law and I had was I'd vision and the blink you of the shots were fired. The traces. And now I'm seeing that what I thought were bricks are just blocks of that plastic p for
the shitty C4, though this out and there's one like most on the ground and unlike this, entire freaky floor is wired, and I think I gave you Drugs are not very well today, dodo, they know as much about explosions as I do and there's like these really long. You know popsicle stick size, blasting caps and there out there's some were hanging. Like other speakers, I just really poor. they do not in the brad, just rattled everything, so your water and then there's broken meares everywhere and you good luck. Look up in the corner and you could see a broken mere through the fire in the night vision, and you can see the core so they saw us common when we walked in that work two ways: clay see them the seven eleven that they built with their little meares and not, and then I could hear
one of the guys like doing his prayer. Are you saying saving over and over again, and that's when he started to la he put he you screw and views on a rocket and his body. under the stairwell was holding the rocket and he was basically fixing the rocket to fire. The arpeggio he's got an open door behind him and I was like ok game's over lawson's inside the gasser outside he fires our p d at the bill, I'm not Macgyver What issued a rocket at a bunch of classics? Was it's gonna blow up ray? I don't know what else going on. I mean was right: invoke these. You know so I explosives and all that work he's got there. rocket he's going shoot it we're all done so the plan was now everywhere walking with a water. It still awake a little.
ripples everywhere, so they know the someone's in here so nor have any choices, decide its we're doing. It so loss and, as you know like what's the plan was what are? We were with reason: we're just if he's just in there with his nine mil nine mil a year, do I go there with a camera and michael? Where were they trying to get your night? What do you see through your night vision that cause the yacht the fires in there that screws it up? You know ambient lighters that ambient light working for you like what do you seen through your night vision? So I wasn't an airborne guy, but I was told that the airborne infantry changed the way the night vision works. So when you make a sudden jerk of your head, the night vision shuts off and whether it was just running or just The motion of whatever I was doing. My peers fourteenth were cut off and turn it back on,
was the worst time. The only reason I got their rifle got a peak to alpha, which is in force Add flashlight an infant red laser now you're annie oakley. Without thing I don't have the aim it. I I'm I'm pop and do from the hip with a peak to elf. I've got a line rachel again. You know your soul, but without the peer fourteen Its crap, then these things are just on and off their just go on in it never happened before I had great knife. I was proud of the work the care. My night began to break their knives. Isabella Q, dear responses or here ravine yoda marine would do to have that get a seven. Bravo for the rest of your life. You don't deserve the plans, for that was cool thing to add the p for teens While we took great care of em, I never in an issue and all of a sudden like you need it, you need to make that flight adds delayed in your
crude and my my vision start coming on and off, and so I just said I turned it off. turn it right back on em like I just need just get through that door. Again, I'm thinking there's two guys in this house. The only two people have seen are under that stairwell, and that's it and nobody's communicating their. We don't know what the Platoon is doing there on the other side of the street. They know where I am the bradley. The a lot of confusion, but I walked in at door and I saw his eyes and I was like oh yeah like you have no idea of all the things you thought back door tat thought they think it backed or to write I put the guy's. There are super loud there get around the house now we're gonna come through the back door and keep the front door again, and I see this guy's teeth and their beautiful teeth. like veneer teeth like my dad's deniston, dentist, good, tease
this guy smiles- and I just I just start shooting and and then my vision dies again, but a guy, quality aimed shots were the peak to alpha. And I figured I got them both and One guy ran and the other. we got trapped between the jersey barrier and the stairwell he he could move out of that area, so he was pretty much done and but the other guy ran to the kitchen affront was like. Ok one guy. That's it one guy laughed and he's wounded him couple times. And then, as I'm doing, that I'm walking backwards away from the stairwell, and I'm like this is a room and I'm just standing in the doorway of a room. and then, if sues unthinking, I'm thinking cleared this room yet gaff the kitchen start, shooting back and then lawson,
Nine mill is just you know, gagged. You're from the side just pop and this guy and this guy so shooting lawson out from the kitchen and as he's doing, that lost it just kind of pops back into the water and whether he had hit through the wall or got I dunno, I dunno was dark. I dunno what's happening, he's not saying anything which is smart guy. You don't want to the tough guy he's been hurt before and he has never cried or screamed or anything. So you just kind of went back and he just his whole arm. Just drops and he's got his hand on his shoulder and he's. too for his neck and he's like is this blood or water? And, unlike us now,
as not the choice I can't see either it feels slick. I'm like put the water slick. You know the one sitting exams. If he's doing this, like with his handy nam, he can't move his fingers so he's like he just points to his weapon and with one finger says I have one mag left doesn't just one and I'm like okay, and so I should switch out mags and I back into this room and it's a master bedroom and I have there's like a bed a wardrobe. And I got a clear it right and as I'm doing that these guys come running through the door. Ass an hour changing fire but I'm noticing that there are tracers going horizontally in the room. I'm thinkin it my zero off like him. I am I just you know like june from the hip and appears for You d up
and unlike my shooting side, you know peek a two: did it get damage? Did it get jostled what's happening where these rounded on horizontal and my platoon sergeant screaming and my radio and would that noise from my ear, everyone- and I hear a cavalcade of foots steps upstairs next room over and I'm like this radio it's gonna, be the death of me. So I take, I told him, I said, to efforts down one hour php- I'm really stressed out I'm really stressed out right now and I just through the radio in the water and In that that's when I realized that I could start to cheat a little bit and use the gap of me, now visions solid for a little bit and I have at peak too, and I can use the gap between the frame of the of the door. The conakry
mental frame as a whole, and that dad did was to site like trying to creep up on the door Now my I gotcha yo and I just put the rounds through that gap, and I couldn't have done it without a laser, obviously, and he buckled and but the weirdest Davis guys would fall. Look over there weren't there. And so I'm like it is this which obviously for crap, but I mean, is this the same guy or It is a different guy, eighty run up down the stairs. What's going on. And just as that happens and another guy, comes tearing down the stairs and I could hear his pants and and he hits the water again that ripple. Gave him away in the water and he just started firing and I popped him and then the guy you,
the kitchen, the original guy. That was what came out of the kitchen, and then all of a sudden color, relaxed and everything's cool and I hear some guy screamin from the stairwell enemies. I think british, a british accent and he's just like talk in. I don't know if it's, boston at all. If it's microwave microwaves, australian is he. I can do me, but this guy's, like talking about like their you'd, do mommy. I find your dog tags and, like his base with my my you know what I dunno he trying to intimidate me: so I'm speaking broken arabic first provision manual, stop or I'll shoot you. I resist first american aid per tree, all that crap and then I hear like dog or something save kelp whatever, and as I'm going through all that another
the target appears in the door and opportune that target. And I see a long stream of of rifle fire that is from my left out of a wardrobe straight into the wall and I'm like, I did not. I didn't you shoot at there was on me here. I mean economic, like, oh, my god, there's a dude in this room and as soon as I even process that the door is complying open and he runs out and he's gotta stop was a k under his armpit. So he's running this way in the rifles point of behind him and he just squeeze in it like behind ah worker rights or he's planning to try and get out of the religious life trying to get a priest. It's dark and I can't see anything and the, wardrobe falls on its doors, which again there's a lot of miracles, but that, Probably the most miraculous thing is Entire wardrobe, like a foot locker
you know, like a wall, augur that only on its doors, because of that thing would have fallen flat. He shot right into that wall locker and that wardrobe and had that thing been fed At their we're, gonna write into me and this at the wall as well and it just absorbed through the the wall I took. I I I thought I hit the elbow and it just instantly it's it's wet but I'm went to so it's like. What's going on, but burma gravel, my arm and I've doing this inventory of, like you did it you gotta and something bad as other bet it hurts. You can't see it, but you are now a bullet shot the victim of a bullet wounds at all, these guys. It acted tough. You now know what they went through you're, just as tough as they are. You not get it
you'd iconic, scream manic, you're not going to leave. You got breathe yeah shot in the arm and you're gonna go you're lucky stay in the fight any good. and then I'm like did really hurt me like a really hurt and, unlike ok down like I'm, I'm psycho myself up right, dude is at, the court is leaning against the metal, the doors weren't like real doors there, like metallic tin doors and easily against it, and I hit em now get. I thought I hit him six or seven times the video it's like three shots, but again what I'm thinking what actually happened. I thought and repeatedly by governmental, lower back and It was the first time are so unlike actually scream, really loud. And he moved his way out the door, but I hear him up the stairs.
and this is the time I get to do my little field, a medic, I'm on a treat, my own arm wound, put a tourniquet on yeah. I know it like it's below it's right here in the little joint near my elbow and I'm like. Oh my god, I feel a bullet like the bullet is actually in my arm, and this is crazy because there's no kevlar and it would make no sense that a bullet would lodge and just kind of stay there. So I'm like, oh, I feel dizzy, but as the smell isn't my nerves, I can't pass out now and I just kind of flick it out and I feel it it's a. it's. A piece of work is a splinter like do you want from almost being shot by a bullet to us, splendor and you're gonna take yourself out of this fight. You write a relay call of matter back for a splinter. I went from thing I'm just like every other, tough guy saw get shot being like you, don't even it kid
His blood argue we're gonna, Pa Javert, splinter man you're lives, like my head, is gone from like super covenant too. but when he left any turn- and I saw his face- unlike he's scared, like the fact that I hit him repeatedly. he's wounded any scared and he wants to run away from me. So I figured ok lawson good I'm your loss of I need saw And shot guns and fits and first squat get it we're gonna get the whole paternity and he's like I'm not leaving, and I like how you go eve because we need to get everyone in IRAN. so I don't want to be on that floor because I'm thinkin bradley fire or the guys just come. Mr spraying, I know where to get cover and the best place I want.
We have at least on sang afforded, tell them a you know: small grenade flare, I'm here right but I know that guy's there and I look up, stairs and I could see his wet feet. But then there's blood like a lot of blood on the stairs. and I make my way up and between my wet shoes, my wet boots and the blood. I take a step on the puddle of blood and both feet just go completely out like like I lost my footing completely and- lost my footing at that moment, around just went off from the second lit the level of the stairs, and it was right in our but our bullets when they hit like brick or concrete ricochet, that some six to just it just worked. It just went right through it, but I could see it and I was like that's where my head was.
Right and so I went from. I got this guy too. I just slipped in avoiding stand up. I would have been done, and I got the second level my peers for teens went out when did when I went to flick em on they went to I r. At the light, my yeah that charge and I saw his face- and he was just all kinds stressed- and he was very stress that allows like disguise mine a more more that's it. Some do my head like one two three or that one, two, three four, I am just trying to do an inventory of how many others too, people live downstairs. And I just leave lawson and where would alive guys or is this just two guys and I'm just lose. You know if lawson went to get the rest of the squad, yeah, I'm a keener anything. My hearings gone and Now that I can't do that,
The building is so big and thick dead, with a water if it was empty in dry. Maybe you could hear. echoes of whatever, but the The good really here was what was coming at you. What you want something went from. the water? The water was to give away that there was someone coming. Could you could hear the split ash and you could see the signature of it, but upstairs is dry. It was super dry up there and now I'm I'm back to. I got my rifle and I charged a magazine, and I think I this was the last. What felt it felt like twenty then had maybe just one of those I recharged and didn't have full thirty, but I took out my grenade and- and this is where I was going to practice my cook and off. I was so proud of how I cooked grenades I- was cooking- grenades off the twelve grade level.
I was really good at that point and that sizzle you now so many guys would tape there spoons And then they just throw the grenade with this tape off, but the spoon would stick to the casing right. It pull your pen and you through, and remember- never went off because a spoon stuck to the they had been tape for so long. So I would say, as I have said to me, and I and I brought my ear, you gonna be evoke. As you know, the feds contractors five seconds to say this, but I couldn't here the sizzle. My ears are so shot that I was like one too, and I just was like. Oh no, you feel like that's how this story, one be blowing my own head off with a grenade in my ear. Like he's a call me massage bolivia for data.
As I turn to look at them. I, the room was an l shape right, so I had to look a like a perpendicular. I threw the great I hit him with a grenade, but went into a big pilar. These foam mattresses and I heard a canoe, and I heard him you yellow hurt and a bit by something shrapnel, headed somewhere, but When I came into the room, I instantly tripped over mine, my shin scraped off the top. Just at mess appropriate tax, I mean the entire room was forever propane I fired one around and I just smelled dislike, billy oily facts about. That was like plastic, foam, burning and natural gas. And I just like, I can't I can't shoot again because I'm gonna blow the tanks upper do whatever,
so I just gotta use my rifle to find him in the room of smoke and waved the smoke around and just try to find where he Is an wakeham as hard as I could, and that's where you know I we just started well and each other. I the dark in the smoke just come If, where is he? Where is he at? And I didn't want to bend the barrel that the m four is a rifle that you know I but stroked people with that plastic, but and it's it doesn't really do what you want