running up that hill
- Jan 3, 2007
- in Wonderland, with my Alice
Got it from "you know where":
I was recently reminded of a recent OIF SEAL operation that left one SEAL KIA and 2 others injured – 1 very severely. We always hear the sad stories about fatalities in the war, so I thought it would be nice to share one focused about the survivor.
For obvious OPSEC and PERSEC reasons, I won’t state the Team nor the full names of the men in this particular operation. I will state that the injured man’s name is Doug and we will leave it at that.
The Team was tracking a targeted insurgent who had apparently fired an RPG at a US helicopter. The Team was clearing a house when Doug and his buddy kicked in a door and ran right in on 4 hadji’s with AK-47’s who immediately opened fire on the 2 men.
Doug’s partner was KIA almost instantly. It happened so quickly they did not even have time to react to the 4 awaiting bad guys. It is amazing Doug was able to survive. In the initial hail of gunfire, Doug had his M4 shot out of his hands and lost part of his finger. This happened before he was even able to fire a shot. Since it happened so quickly, there was no opportunity to take cover and Doug played this one by the book. Instead of running and ducking for cover, realizing he lost his M4, he drew his 9mm sidearm. Doug was shot 17 times with AK47 fire!! 3 shots hit the SAPI plate on his body armor in the chest and they were deflected. 12 rounds went through his body (entered and exited soft tissue areas)! 1 round went in between his 2 testicles (talk about someone looking out for you) – due to this round he cannot have kids anymore, but his “boys” are safe. The final round hit the bottom of his SAPI plate and entered and lodged into his lower abdomen. He has a temporary colostomy bag while healing but no permanent damage thank God.
Now in the midst of this barrage of gunfire sustained by Doug, he still managed to draw his sidearm and with 18 rounds of 9mm ammunition he managed to eliminate ALL 4 bad guys. That shows what a determined SEAL is capable of doing with proper training. Keep in mind – 18 rounds he needed to take them all out and the magazine holds 14. That means he had to do a magazine exchange during the fight! And this all happened with Doug in the middle of an ambush with a KIA teammate, himself trapped inside a doorway getting sprayed with automatic gunfire and returning fire with a pistol. With the 9mm pistol he said it took numerous shots to take down each bad guy. One fucker he had to finally take down with a headshot. And this all went down before the rest of the Team closed in on this exact position. They were in other areas of the clearing area and courtyard searching for bad guys as well.
Doug was evacuated and spent 2 days at Walter Reed. He then took convalescent leave to spend some time with his wife and family after this very close call. Before he was discharged from Walter Reed and sent on his leave, Admiral Olsen wanted to meet with him and to pin his awards on him.
While speaking with Admiral Olsen and the Teams Senior Chief, Doug tells them that he wants to get back to the Team as soon as possible or at least do something at Little Creek as an advanced instructor. Admiral Olsen thought for a moment and then told Senior Chief to schedule Doug as soon as possible to attend firearms training. Doug was confused and immediately pointed out that he had already attended all the basic and advanced firearms training and was even an instructor for advanced handgun training for some of the East Coast Teams. So Admiral Olsen replied, "well young man, I guess you're gonna have to go back as a student because I understand you killed 4 bad guys during the firefight but you had to do a magazine exchange...aren't there 14 rounds in the magazine and why if you had so many rounds in the weapon did it take you that many rounds to put down the bad guys? Obviously, you need to go back for some refresher training." Doug was (needless to say) stunned and it took everyone in the room a few minutes before they realized Admiral Olsen was just fucking with him. Admiral Olsen does have a sense of humor.
Doug has been nominated for the Navy Cross. He is recovering very well and expects to return to limited duty sometime very soon (this month). This is a great lesson on keeping your calm under fire. Doug fought with the heart of a lion and is alive today because of it. Hoo-Yah Doug. We are very glad you made it! You are a true warrior of the highest caliber.