BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Friday - March 07, 2008

My stomach was torn open… so I tucked my shirt in and kept shooting

I caught this story early today in our Telegraph and wanted to post it when I caught an email from our GOF, with a link to another paper with the same story.
The Daily Mail.  Thanks Grumpy ... The DMail version is much better as are the online photos and the awards to these wonderful young people I call,
BATTLING BRITS!

It’s kinda frustrating even for me as a foreigner, to see and read about these kids while at the same time I see ppl of the same age sitting in a doorway in Winchester waiting for passersby to drop money in their hats.  All the while collecting benefits from the taxpayer.

Amazing stories of the selfless heroes of Afghanistan
By MATTHEW HICKLEY and PAUL HARRIS - More by this author »

Last updated at 09:07am on 7th March 2008

They all made a pact before they went to war.

Whatever happened to them in Afghanistan no one - dead or alive - would be left behind.

One night in Helmand Province, that pledge was put to the test.

In a terrifying split second, the close-knit group from one of the Army’s most battle-scarred units came under fire from a hail of Taliban bullets and rocket-powered grenades.

Four men were hit and several others temporarily blinded by phosphorus. Their screams of pain cut through the darkness as the ambushed platoon was pinned down by gunfire from two sides.

But the men of 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment knew precisely what they had to do.

And today the extraordinary heroism which allowed the young soldiers to keep to their pledge at any cost can be revealed as they are awarded some of the highest military honours.

The men repeatedly braved enemy fire to rescue their injured and fatally wounded comrades from the hands of the Taliban.

Private Luke Cole, 22, carried on fighting after half his thigh bone was blown away.

When another bullet ripped open his stomach, he simply tucked his shirt in tighter “to hold everything in” - and carried on keeping the enemy at bay until back-up arrived.

Sergeant Craig Brelsford, 25, continued to command his men long after he was critically wounded - and right up to the moment he died.

In a singularly selfless act, he ran to put his body between the enemy and his wounded comrades.

It protected them from Taliban gunfire, but cost him his life.

And the 25-year-old platoon commander, Lieutenant Simon Cupples, led a rescue party into the killing zone to carry the injured to safety and recover the dead - again and again and again.

Their astonishing courage - and that of scores of other British servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq - is marked today with a raft of 184 awards.

They include the biggest batch of medals since fighting began in Afghanistan nearly seven years ago - a reflection not just of the ferocity of the conflict, but of the conspicuous bravery of British troops.

The ambush near the frontline town of Garmsir underlined the extreme danger that troops face daily in what has turned into a bloody and difficult war.

It played out into a six-hour pitched battle as both sides poured in reinforcements. But true to the pact, Lt Cupples and his men refused to withdraw until the bodies of two fallen comrades were recovered.

Telling their families back home that no one knew what happened to them, he decided, was “simply not an option”.

His valour and dedication is recognised with the award of a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross - the highest bravery medal after the Victoria Cross.

Yesterday he told the remarkable story of that night last September.

The young officer, now a captain, recalled how his men were advancing under cover of darkness when they came under devastating fire from a Taliban trench just 20 yards away, and then from other enemy positions.

“I could tell we had taken serious casualties.” he said. “There was screaming from the men around me. Because we were so close to the enemy it was very difficult to withdraw and regroup, but we couldn’t leave the casualties.

“It was asking a lot for the blokes to run forward into enemy fire like that.

“But they did it because their mates were out there. When you live and serve with your men like that it creates a very special bond. You would do anything for those guys. That’s what drove the soldiers forward.”

Captain Cupples, from Derbyshire, who married his sweetheart, Louise, shortly before deploying to Afghanistan, is due to return with his unit next year.

Also involved in the September firefight was Private Cole, from Wolverhampton, who is awarded the Military Cross.

http://tinyurl.com/2c9jdw

See that link for photos and more info.  Impressive! But then, bravery always is. And the Brits have it in spite of all that goes on at home.  And I’ll get to that maddening subject later. 


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 03/07/2008 at 01:33 PM   
Filed Under: • AwardsHeroesWar-Stories •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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