first published on September 13, 2015 by Will
A huge salute to the flight medics and dustoff teams that are willing to MEDEVAC our wounded brothers anytime and from anywhere on the battlefield.
The attack came right when we expected it, in “Ambush Alley,” between Orgun and Zerok. One ANA pickup was struck with multiple RPGs and the other was chewed up by a Dshk heavy machine gun. All but a few of our indigenous fighters were wounded or dead. One of our own vehicles was also disabled, so we had to stay in the kill zone and duke it out.
About a half hour into the firefight that was still raging, a Blackhawk helicopter came down between the wreckage of the two Afghan Army pickups. The road was so narrow, and the mountain so steep, that the bird could not land. It hovered while enemy fire zipped in as we threw as many ANA casualties on as we could, and the bird flew off.
At that point I realized two things. One, this wasn’t Iraq, where you’re normally fighting against less than a dozen guys who are doing drivebys and sniper harassment on you. This was Afghanistan where you’re fighting anywhere between 20 and 200 enemy at a time, and there isn’t another platoon or company to come to the rescue in the next neighborhood like back in Iraq. You’re on your own.
However, the second thing I realized was that these MEDEVAC bird crews were absolutely nuts, and were willing to put themselves at extreme risk to save dudes they didn’t even know. Based on that I decided, I just might make it back.