Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
UNSUNG HEROES: This Soldier Killed 11 Insurgents While Bleeding From A Severed Artery
On Aug. 8, 2007, then-Spc. Jeremiah Church was assigned as a reconnaissance platoon machine gunner with the 82d Airborne Division.
The group’s mission was to restore the flow of water to a village near Baqubah, Iraq; however, they were met by an insurgent ambush.
Church told journalist Tim Holbert, “It might sound a little crazy, but the hair on the back of my neck was standing up, and something didn’t feel right in my stomach.”
As his 11-truck convoy moved out, Church was manning the .50-caliber machine gun on the second truck, following an Iraqi police pick-up truck.
The vehicle was carrying the local village mayor and his armed escort.
As they drove down a small canal road, Church spotted a machine gun nest between two buildings. The convoy was then attacked by heavy fire from a Soviet-era Russian machine gun mounted in a technical vehicle 200 meters away.
Rounds impacted on and around his vehicle, destroyed the pick-up truck and killed one of the Iraqi police instantly. Because of the terrain, Church was the only gunner in position to accurately fire at the insurgent forces. But soon after, a barrage of fire came from the trenches surrounding the convoy.
More than 30 insurgents were firing around the platoon.
As bullets flew in all directions, one went right through Church’s wrist and severed his artery.
“I had never been shot before,” Church added. “When I got shot I looked at my arm, and some pretty colorful language came out of my mouth. I guess the thought I had going through my head was, ‘You [son of a bitch]! I shoot you, you don’t shoot me!’”
He quickly tourniqueted the wound and fired an entire magazine at insurgents holding positions around the convey’s escape route.
Church continued to shoot, even leaving the Humvee to gather more ammunition. He put his hand inside the turret so the forward observer could apply pressure to his to the hole in his wrist, according to his citation.
He began firing at the mounted machine gun, which allowed the convoy to turn around on the canal road.
The citation reads, “Now reloaded, with rounds bouncing inside of his turret, Specialist Church began again engaging the [machine gun] that now had his platoon pinned down.”
What he didn’t realize, however, was that while the tourniquet and pressure helped with his wrist, it didn’t take care of the artery that had now severed up to his elbow.
Eventually, Church hemorrhaged and passed out, but not before he took out 11 enemy fighters.
When he came to, he immediately began handing the new gunner ammunition.
Church's efforts were directly responsible for destroying an enemy machine gun, in addition to killing 11 insurgents and helping to free up an escape route for his unit.
For his efforts, he was awarded the Silver Star in December 2007.
Church told Holbert that he was surprised to receive the award for his actions that day, “until I realized just how much it actually meant to the people around me.“
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.
Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.
ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.
That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.