Saturday, January 10, 2009
Leave no man behind“Words can't describe the thanks I have for them for doing that, for retrieving him.”
- Robert Mersman, on the crew that recovered the body of his son, Sgt. Jeffrey Mersman
Most readers here are familiar with the events of November 9, 2007, in which Captain Matthew Ferrara and five other troops were killed during an ambush near Forward Operating Base Bella, home of Chosen Company, 2-503rd PIR, 173rd ABCT in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.
Yesterday, Tom Bowman of NPR published an interview with some of the Pave Hawk pilots who participated in the recovery mission. During the course of the firefight one of the Soldiers, Sergeant Jeffrey Mersman, had fallen from the narrow trail they were traversing and landed on a ledge below. Four of the other Soldiers climbed down to him, were unable to carry him out in the rugged terrain, but weren't going to leave without him.
"They were basically trapped," [Air Force Capt. Ed] Blanchet says. "They couldn't get back out of there, they couldn't get back up the terrain. So that's when it was necessary for us to have to go in and try to hoist them out."
A second helicopter flew into the narrow space, shaped like a wedge and tapered like a funnel. They dumped gas to make the helicopter lighter and easier to maneuver....
There is more, and it is a MUST read! I am trying the trackback thing here, so go, now, and read the rest.
*[edit: It seems I still haven't figured out how to do that, so just go over to SAG here, and scroll down. You can't miss this story!]*
Thank YOU, Mary Ann, and many thanks to our heroes.