‘We’d Be The First People They Ran Into,’ Says Soldier Who Stood Guard During OSU Attack

news
Associated Press photo by John Minchillo

Dan D., an active-duty soldier in the U.S. Army and Ohio State University graduate student, was exiting class when he and his fellow students heard sirens and saw emergency response vehicles.


Across the Columbus, Ohio campus students received alerts from the school’s text service warning of an active shooter.

It was Monday, and Abdul Razak Ali Artan had just driven his car into a group of people, before exiting the vehicle and attacking others with a butcher knife.

That’s when Dan’s military experience kicked in.

“A group of veterans and a couple people not even affiliated with the military just started taking an active approach to keeping people consolidated in one classroom,” Dan told Task & Purpose in an interview. Because he did not want to be singled out from the other service members or veterans and recognized as a hero, the Army veteran asked only to be identified by his first name.

Dan is one of more than a dozen veterans, active-duty service members, and civilian students who kept an eye on the hallways, locked the doors, and took positions at entry and choke points, like stairwells, and elevators in their building while the campus was on lockdown.

Related: Service Members Sprang Into Action During OSU Attack »

“We were basically just putting ourselves in positions to reassure our classmates that if anyone was going to come for them, they had to come through us,” says Dan. “If anyone came into the building, we’d be the first people they ran into.”

Inside the classroom, students checked for updates on social media, reassured family members they were safe, and kept an eye on the windows, waiting for the all clear. As Dan describes it, the situation was a mix of unease and concern, but not overly tense, in part, because so many of the students stepped forward to help, reassuring their classmates in the process.

“The news makes it seem like we were building defenses, it was really just us taking more of a passive security posture,” Dan notes. “I think some people were a little scared, a lot of the college kids don’t deal with this kind of stuff on a daily basis. I think the veterans had a calmer demeanor about it, and I think that assured them.”

Roughly two hours after the active-shooter alert was sent, the students were given the all clear. There were also reports around campus that many other students, veteran and civilian alike, took similar action, according to Dan.

Minutes after the attack, which began around 9:50 a.m., Artan was shot and killed by Ohio State Police Officer Alan Horujko. Eleven people were hospitalized as a result of the attack, according to CNN. An ongoing investigation is looking to determine the motivation for the attack, and whether it was an act of terrorism.

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)

A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)

Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.

So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.

Read More Show Less

R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.

Read More Show Less
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)

The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.

These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.

Read More Show Less