: Another Brave / Lucky Marine ! Whoa ...

10-16-06, 09:38 AM
Follow up story is here. But you have to be registered on the site to read the full article :mad2:

Omaha.com (http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=1638&u_sid=2047637)

This Marine is back to combat duty one month after this story below !

Leading the fight in Ramadi, Iraq is Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt, known as "Iron Mike" or just "Gunny" He is on his third tour in Iraq. He had become a legend in the bomb disposal world after winning the Bronze Star for disabling 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance during his second tour. Then, on September 19, he got blown up....

He had arrived at a chaotic scene after a bomb had killed four US soldiers. He chose not to wear the bulky bomb protection suit. "You can't react to any sniper fire and you get tunnel-vision," he explains. So, protected by just a helmet and standard-issue flak jacket, he began what bomb disposal officers term "the longest walk", stepping gingerly into a 5ft deep and 8ft wide crater.
The earth shifted slightly and he saw a Senao base station with a wire leading from it. He cut the wire and used his 7in knife to probe the ground. "I found a piece of red detonating cord between my legs," he says. "That's when I knew I was screwed."

Realizing he had been sucked into a trap, Sgt. Burghardt, 35, yelled at everyone to stay back. At that moment, an insurgent, probably watching through binoculars, pressed a button on his mobile phone to detonate the secondary device below the sergeant's feet. "A chill went up the back of my neck and then the bomb exploded," he recalls. "As I was in the air I remember thinking, 'I don't believe they got me.' I was just ticked off they were able to do it. Then I was lying on the road, not able to feel anything from the waist down."
His colleagues cut off his trousers to see how badly he was hurt. None could believe his legs were still there. "My dad's a Vietnam vet who's paralyzed from the waist down," says Sgt. Burghardt. "I was lying there thinking I didn't want to be in a wheelchair next to my dad and for him to see me like that. They started to cut away my pants and I felt a real sharp pain and blood trickling down. Then I wiggled my toes and I thought, 'Good, I'm in business.' "As a stretcher was brought over, adrenaline and anger kicked in. "I decided to walk to the helicopter. I wasn't going to let my team-mates see me being carried away on a stretcher." He stood and gave the insurgents who had blown him up a one-fingered salute. "I flipped them one. It was like, 'OK, I lost that round but I'll be back next week'."


Sgt. Burghardt's injuries - burns and wounds to his legs and buttocks - kept him off duty for nearly a month and could have earned him a ticket home. But, like his father - who was awarded a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for being wounded in action in Vietnam - he stayed in Ramadi to engage in the battle.

:eek: :eek: :worship:


10-16-06, 11:52 AM
That guy is "THE MAN!"
Great post.

10-16-06, 02:32 PM
If that isn't an argument for cloning, I don't know what is.

Great story!

B Hoth
10-16-06, 02:33 PM
I am humbled by this story :worship: . Hope his Guardian Angel has powerfull stuff to keep him safe!!

10-17-06, 08:57 AM
Wow. That is a man, more than I wil ever be.

10-17-06, 09:24 AM
I wonder what went through that insurgent's mind when he saw the Gunny "wave" to him!

Semper Fi !!

10-17-06, 09:28 AM
Tough SOB. The terrorists, blow themselves up on their way to tear you down. Our soldiers give you the finger when you blow them up, and come on back to fight some more.

10-17-06, 11:04 AM
that's crazy!! I can't imagine being blown up and then going back to fight but then again I am not a marine! Im sure the trigger man shat himself when the marine threw him the bird!

10-17-06, 11:34 AM
DAMN! He's one lucky guy... I bet the insurgent killed himself after that one

Lord Cadillac
10-17-06, 11:43 AM
Wow. I hope he gets his revenge but you can't stay in there an expect to come out alive forever. He's done his duty.

10-17-06, 06:25 PM
Wow. I hope he gets his revenge but you can't stay in there an expect to come out alive forever. He's done his duty.

It's a feeling that's hard to explain. You know it's dangerous, but at the same time those folks are your brothers and sisters and you hate the feeling of leaving them when you have knowledge and experience that can help keep them safe. At least as safe as possible.

Look at the choice of this guy's job field, he disarms explosives......

However no one likes to think about the law of averages. In March we (Patriot Guard) did a service for another Marine who did the same job, Gunnery Sgt Fry. He was on his 2nd tour in country and had been wounded previously. But kept at it trying to save lives. He was killed disarming an explosive just two weeks before his tour ended. Also awarded the Bronze Star.

"Family remembers selfless Marine killed in Iraq as a humble patriot

By Katy Moore Tribune-Herald staff writer

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry was due to return home from Iraq to his wife and three children on March 15, just days before the three-year anniversary of the start of the war. But the diligent Marine who specialized in defusing explosive devices was killed Wednesday after he volunteered to disarm a bomb in Iraq's war-torn Al Anbar province.

The shy 28-year-old Lorena native planned to return to his family at the Marine base in Lejeune, N.C., for six months before another tour of duty in Iraq in September. The unit to replace his group had already arrived in Al Anbar, while Fry's unit awaited return flights home.

"He believed in what he was doing," Malia Fry said of her husband. "He was protecting his country, and he was doing his job because he didn't want his children to grow up with people blowing up buildings . . . How he felt about the conflict was that he was doing his job."

As an explosive ordinance disposal technician, Fry disarmed hundreds of bombs during his stint in Iraq.

Although his hitch in Iraq was almost over, Fry volunteered Wednesday to defuse one more bomb, family members said.

Relatives said that despite his best efforts to disarm the device, he was killed in an ensuing explosion.

"He laid down his life so other Marines would be safe, and he did it willingly," Malia Fry said. "Every EOD tech that is over there does the same thing a hundred times a day, and they don't think about themselves. They think about the Marines . . . They think about the children that are over there

Both his wife and his mother, Beth Fry of Lorena, described an incident in which the Marine answered a call to disarm a bomb and played a game of hide-and-seek with a young Iraqi boy before sending the youngster away from the site and out of danger.

On another occasion, John Fry arrived at an Iraq home to find a bomb strapped to a young mentally retarded Iraqi boy. The Marine disarmed the bomb and saved the child's life.
Family members said he had no second thoughts about returning to Iraq in September and served with the thought of his children's freedom in mind. The Marine left behind three children: Kathryn, 9; Gideon, 7; and C.L., 2.

"He was a person who knew exactly what he wanted to do and was willing to make the sacrifice to do it," Beth Fry said. "And he realized the cost."


10-17-06, 06:41 PM
not quite the same...but its an ok anaolgy
think of surgeons...they work at least 18+ hour days for 5 years in training, and as staff it gets no easier. this includes every other or every third night spent in the hospital. and dont think they make 400K working 40 hour weeks either. they may clear 100 with a normal week. so they have to bust ass basically forever to get and stay ahead.

i couldnt do that. but i'm glad there are men and women who willingly sacrifice like this. we need them

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10-17-06, 06:47 PM
i couldnt do that. but i'm glad there are men and women who willingly sacrifice like this. we need them

It makes one proud to see their willingness to sacrifice. (does me anyway) God Bless-em.