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26 SEP 2005 The night that changed my life

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The Chief:

On 26 SEP 2005, in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province, I was in a convoy which was ambushed with RPG's and small arms fire.  I first heard the two distinct explosions of RPG's on the vehicle behind mine.

We immediately set up blocking positions on the road, and I, being the platoon medic, dismounted the vehicle and ran the fastest I've ever ran to the vehicle which was hit.

I arrived at the HMMWV, and I truly don't remember if I pulled him out, or he was already on the ground, and I saw SSG Robert White laying on the ground.

Without giving too much detail, he had massive injuries to his chest.  He was deceased as I arrived.  There was nothing I could do.

It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do:  triage one of my soldiers as "expectant," and leave him to treat the rest of the wounded.

SSG White died right there on Highway 1 just west of Kandahar City.  I remember him and that night every day of my life.  Every day.  I analyze whether or not I could have done something differently to have made a difference.  Even though I know there's nothing I could have done.

Anyways, talking about it is just part of my healing process.  I wish I would have had the opportunity to help him.  I feel robbed, cheated, and stolen from.

This Memorial Day, I remember SSG Robert White, 3rd Platoon, A Company, 1-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

http://projects.militarytimes.com/valor/army-staff-sgt-robert-f-white/1141555

Flying Razorback:

Keep doing what you do, Nate.  It's amazing that you decided to get in a direct fire support role after that.  Too many people in this world wouldn't sign up for that to begin with, let alone those who have already done their duty. 

A toast to those who have gone before us.  Him him.

The Chief:

I went into the Maneuvers, Fires, and Effects Direct Fire role because of that night.  For me, being a medic was great, but it was reactionary.  In my current role, I can be proactive and give large doses of the best preventative medicine:  overwhelming and superior fire power.

My reasoning was this:  if I can prevent just one American from being killed by the enemy, it would be worth it.  It has been well worth it.  To speak with the ground guys who tell you they can't wait to hear you overhead so they can eat, sleep, take a dump, etc.  It warms my heart to no end.  They say that when they hear me, they know they're going to be alright.  There's no better feeling than that.

Flying Razorback:

That's awesome man, I'm glad there are guys like you out there.  We recognize our role as support as tac airlifters and have an awesome amount of respect for those on the ground and flying direct fire and direct support.

Have you been up to Shank recently?  We left a tail up there recently that might not be coming home...  Luckily everyone on board walked away.

The Chief:

I haven't ever been to Shank.  I'm glad to hear everyone's ok.

Shocktheman:

Shank is a sh!!ty place to say the least.  I have only been to a few different places in Afghanny. . .Shank was the worst by far the worst! 

The Chief:

Bump a year later.  God bless the families of the fallen and never forget there are those who make the ultimate sacrifice each time their nation calls on the military for action.

Rest easy,  Robert White.  May your family find comfort on this day.

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