Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
UNSUNG HEROES: The Recon Marine Who Killed 18 Enemy Fighters In A Single Battle
On Aug. 8, 2008, in Farah province, Afghanistan, Cpl. Franklin Simmons was part of a small Marine force tasked with clearing the city of Shewan of Taliban fighters.
More than 30 Marines from 2nd, Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and 1st Force Reconnaissance Company were ordered to route the enemy, which outnumbered the Marines eight to one, according to a 2011 report by the San Diego Union-Tribune. Roughly 250 enemy fighters, many of them highly trained, were dug in along a treeline near Shewan.
Under the searing heat of the Afghan summer, the Marines faced brutal resistance from the city’s defenders as they advanced on foot and in Humvees. Enemy rockets and small arms stopped one of the Humvees in its tracks, leaving the Marines inside trapped and exposed.
With Marines stuck in the kill zone, Simmons, a team leader and designated marksman, moved to an exposed position on top of a berm where he had a better view of the enemy. As rounds impacted within a foot of his position, Simmons returned fire at the enemy.
“I thought that would be the spot to make my final stand,” said Simmons, in an interview with the Union-Tribune. “I started shooting as many as I could. By some miracle I didn’t get shot … I guess the big man upstairs had other plans.”
Simmons was deadly accurate, even under intense enemy fire. By the end of the eight-hour long battle, he had killed 18 enemy fighters, and wounded at least two others.
In recognition of his courage and extraordinary marksmanship, on July 4, 2011, while attached to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Simmons was awarded the Silver Star Medal during a ceremony aboard the USS Boxer.
It sure would be nice to know what the hell is going on in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently claimed the U.S. military had killed more than 1,000 Taliban fighters in little more than a week – because body counts worked so well in Vietnam – and President Donald Trump said during his speech commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that the United States had gone on the offensive against the Taliban.
"The last four days, we have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before, and that will continue," Trump said, without elaborating further.
It's clear that Afghanistan is the new hotness, but the only people who aren't talking about how the strategic situation has changed since Trump abruptly ended peace talks with the Taliban via tweet are the U.S. military leaders in charge of actually fighting the war.
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.
The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
We salute the foul-mouthed Navy vet remembered as 'the most inappropriate guy with the biggest heart'
Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.
"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.
The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.
Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.
A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.
William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.
He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.