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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Semper Fi... Carry On...

Sorry... I'm sure R. Lee Ermey won't mind if I borrow his line. Not after he reads this story (h/t to Blackfive, who got it from Toni, who got it from the Freepers, who got it from OWH- which you have to register to see)...
Once Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt realized he could wiggle his toes and fingers, he had one message for the insurgents who wounded him - defiance.... As is often the case, Burghardt and his Explosive Ordnance Disposal team were accompanied to a bomb site Monday by the First Platoon, 167th Cavalry of the Nebraska National Guard.

One IED had blown up a Bradley fighting vehicle and killed a U.S. soldier. As often happens, the insurgents left behind more IEDs. Burghardt disarmed two bombs that were found - quick action that probably saved the lives of several Nebraska soldiers.

But he couldn't get to a third.

When word spread that the third device had been found, 167th Capt. Jeff Searcey of Kearney, 1st Lt. Matthew Misfeldt of Omaha and their men hit the ground as a blast exploded skyward.

Burghardt was wounded.

But with two new young Marines in his ordnance disposal unit - and the insurgent attackers undoubtedly looking on - "I didn't want them to see the team leader carried away on a stretcher," he said.

So after the Nebraskans tended to wounds that reached from his boot tops to the small of his back, Burghardt rose to his feet and reached back with a one-finger salute for his attackers...
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Burghardt, 35, wouldn't accept painkillers when he was brought back to camp by the Nebraskans. He knew he might need them later. And he's not looking to leave Ramadi for five more months.

"I don't want a ticket out," he said. "I want to stay here so we can take as many people home as possible."

Soldiers all the way up to the brigade's commander, Col. John Gronski, viewed a photo of Burghardt - on his feet, arm extended and middle finger raised - as the embodiment of the American warrior.

As for Burghardt, he said he wanted to send a message to the insurgents who failed to kill him.

"I knew there was somebody disappointed out there."
I'm sure someone will complain to the Omaha World Herald about publishing that photo. And they need to get a life. No, I don't want my kids doing that during PE or anything like that. But... I'm having a hard time working up any kind of offense about this.

Semper Fi, Gunny... Carry on!

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