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  1. #1
    Fuck the MSM
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    Default Hero SEAL breaks his silence

    Hero SEAL breaks his silence
    Actions during ’03 ambush earned secret Navy Cross


    By Andrew Scutro
    ascutro@militarytimes.com
    Had it not been for his teammates, SEAL Lt. Mark Donald believes, he would be dead and there would have been a massacre Oct. 25, 2003, in the mountains near Shkin, Afghanistan.
    “None of us would have lived,” he said at a coffee shop in Arlington, Va., recently. “And you would have heard about it.” And had it not been for the sensitive mission he was conducting, the public would have known Donald’s name much sooner than now. In April 2007, the SEAL medical specialist was awarded the Navy Cross, the service’s second-highest award for valor, by then-Navy Secretary Donald Winter. But unlike the six other Navy recipients of the award since Sept. 11, 2001, his identity was kept secret.
    Until now. Donald decided to come forward as he nears retirement in October. He spoke to Navy Times about that day in 2003.
    Two intense battles
    Shkin, on the remote edge of Paktika province, shares a border with Pakistan’s notoriously hostile Waziristan.
    Refusing to speak in detail, Donald said the mission was ambushed, resulting in a hammering eight-hour firefight. He received a Purple Heart for his wounds from that battle.
    “No one knew how big of a bees’ nest there was,” he said.
    His citation, which is not classified but on which his name had been redacted, tells most of the story.
    As part of a mounted convoy on a mission against al-Qaida and Taliban in a location not specified as either Afghanistan or Pakistan, Donald and his team were ripped “with extremely heavy” small arms, machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire. “They were well
    armed and well-trained,” he said. “They were close enough that you could see them and smell them.” According to the citation, Donald got out of his truck shooting, pulled a wounded Afghan commander into cover behind the engine block, then pulled out a trapped, unnamed American.
    “He covered the wounded with his own body while returning fire and providing care,” the citation reads. The fire was heavy enough at points to zip through his clothing and gear and hit his weapon.
    Donald then went to treat wounded Afghans in the two lead trucks and rallied the remaining troops to “break the ambush.” Later the same day, a joint unit sweeping the area was attacked near Donald and his team.
    Again, he sprang into action.
    “Knowing personnel were gravely wounded Lieutenant Donald without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety ran 200 meters between opposing forces exposing him to withering and continuous heavy machine gun and small arms fire to render medical treatment to two wounded personnel, one Afghan and one American,” the citation reads. “Still under intense enemy fire, wounded by shrapnel, ... he organized the surviving Afghan soldiers and led a 200 meter fighting withdrawal.” Donald acknowledges that two Americans died on that mission, which he only describes as “task oriented,” carried out by a “joint special operations program” made up of “handpicked” men —
    selected for specific skills.
    Defense Department records do not show American personnel were lost Oct. 25, 2003, in Afghanistan. But CIA records do.
    Hush-hush honors
    On Oct. 28, the agency issued news of a battle near Shkin three days before and the loss of former Navy special operator Christopher Glenn Mueller and former Army special operator William “Chief” Carlson. The announcement notes that they were “tracking terrorists” and that “both saved the lives of others during the ambush.” Donald did not provide any names, saying, “Everybody risked their lives that day, and two gave their lives.” According to CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf, “When the agency honored the service and sacrifice of William Carlson and Christopher Glenn Mueller by releasing information about their tragic deaths in October 2003, that represented the extent of what’s been declassified.” Not only has Donald’s Navy Cross been kept under wraps these years, but so was the Silver Star he was awarded for similar actions days later. “It was just a bad time in that area,” he said.
    Donald, 41, joined the Marine Corps at 17 after high school in New Mexico in 1985. On a path to a reconnaissance unit, he changed gears and transferred to the Navy so he could be a corpsman.
    He got noticed by a SEAL recruiter and ended up in SEAL Team 2 in September 1989. He was commissioned in 2000 as a physician’s assistant.
    Along with his Navy Cross and Silver Star, he wears a Bronze Star with “V” device and a Combat Action Ribbon.
    Donald plans to retire Oct. 16. He said he will continue his work on projects that will benefit veterans.
    “That’s the only thing I regret, losing my friends, losing my team*mates,” Donald said. “I miss the hell out of them.


    Courtesy of Navy times printed edition
    Last edited by bobdina; 07-21-2009 at 12:25 PM.

  2. #2
    scoutsout80
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    Bravo Zulu

  3. #3
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    Default

    Damn
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  4. #4
    Warrant Officer
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    Default

    somebody should make movies out of these guys storys

  5. Likes

    DefensorFortis (11-25-2010)
 

 

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