Kit Up!

Recalling Operation Red Sand


There is no way to memorialize or properly give respect to every engagement that occurs in Afghanistan, or anywhere else. Once in a while it's important to make the attempt, if for no other reason than to serve as a representation of all the others. Though those involved in the fight would no doubt beg to differ, this isn't a particularly extraordinary firefight, but that's exactly the point. This isn't Veteran's Day or Memorial Day, and that is also the point. It's mundane, it's commonplace and it's still going on. It's good to remember what's happening even on days not inked in red on the calendar. As a collection of stills, this doesn't afford us the opportunity to dissect the engagement as an AAR but we can still get something out of it - or share with those of our friends and family (and ourselves) who, caught up in the immediacy of their lives at home, lose focus on the boys and girls still over there.

Video courtesy of DVIDS:


Before he had the chance to do so, the insurgents shot an RPG straight through the makeshift doorway in the front of our ruins, and I watched, as if in slow motion, as the grenade went straight over Bradley's head, skimmed within inches of my face and impacted the ground a few feet behind me.

When the grenade exploded I was thrown into the front wall and saw nothing but sharp white light. I couldn't smell, feel, see, and couldn't comprehend what was going on for moments ... then I heard clear as day, Sheppard screaming, "God damn it! Medic ... Medic ... Medic!"

I stumbled and regained my footing and found that I had all extremities and knowing Lee was dead, shuttered to look back. When I did, I learned he was alive, but Valdo was in really bad shape.

The RPG struck right behind Valdo and the heroic dog took most of the blast. Lee seemed extremely concerned for Valdo. Sheppard had shrapnel to the front of his arm, Bradley had shrapnel in his leg, and I caught some in my upper back and also had a concussion.

Read the entire story here:

Operation Red Sand destroys insurgent compounds in Bala Murghab

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