In 2007, Navy HM2 Joshua Simson was embedded with a joint U.S. military and Afghan National Army patrol to conduct key leader engagements in the village of Saret Kholet. Simson was serving as an advisor on how to be a medical first responder.
On July 27, Simson demonstrated what committed first responders do when he repeatedly placed himself in the line of fire from machine guns, AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades to single-handedly provide aid to more than a dozen wounded U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers during an attack.
“After talking with the elders, we pushed further east to establish an observation post to watch a certain river crossing. A squad of Afghan National Army had pushed across the river to clear two houses and spotted bad guys,” Simson explained. “The Afghans fired at them, causing the Anti-Afghan Forces to initiate their ambush prematurely.”
“We were in the kill zone, but since we hadn’t pushed as far down the road as we had intended, we weren’t entirely surrounded,” said Simson, who joined the Navy in September 2005 out of a sense of obligation and ‘to pay back a small part of the debt towards the cost of freedom.’
“I knew about the heritage of corpsmen before I joined and the job appealed to me…taking care of my brothers on the battlefield,” Simson stated.
The ambush led to a seven-and-a-half hour battle. At one point, Simson pulled a wounded soldier into a nearby bunker to provide cover. Immediately after entering the bunker, it suffered a direct hit. Dazed, but undeterred, Simson finished treating the Afghan soldier.“We were caught in a very deadly crossfire. We took a lot more casualties during this phase of the movement.”...
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Thank YOU for your service, Sir!