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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/25/2005 5:13:17 PM EDT
For those of you have been following the Michael Yon Iraq War blog, I'm sure you're familiar with battalion commander LTC Erik Kurilla. In his latest dispatch, he has the full account of the battle in which we was wounded. You've gotta read this. The courage of Kurilla and his command sergeant major were never in doubt, but after reading this, you'll appreciate them even more.

www.michaelyon.blogspot.com/?BMIDS=17063632-330ad848-76337

BTW, a link to this same story was posted this afternoon here, but for a different purpose. I wanted to create a special post to pay tribute to these great warriors particularly.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:17:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 5:17:36 PM EDT by Spade]
Yon's got a great blog. Daily reading.

Also note this:


Though I have the photo, I do not remember the moment that Prosser went "black" and ran into the shop. Apparently I turned my head, but kept my finger on the shutter button. When I looked back again, I saw the very bloody leg of CSM Prosser inside the shop. It was not moving. He appeared to be shot down and dead.

I looked back at the two soldiers who were with me outside, and screamed what amounted to "Attack Attack Attack!" I stood up and was yelling at them. Actually, what I shouted was an unprintable string of curses, while Kurilla was also yelling at them to get in there, his M4 trained on the entrance. But the guys were not attacking.

I saw Prosser's M4 on the ground, Where did that come from?

I picked up Prosser's M4. It was empty. I saw only Prosser's bloody leg lying still, just inside the darkened doorway, because most of his body was hidden behind a stack of sheet metal.

"Give me some ammo! Give me a magazine!" I yelled, and the young 2nd lieutenant handed over a full 30-round magazine. I jacked it in, released the bolt and hit the forward assist. I had only one magazine, so checked that the selector was on semi-automatic.

I ran back to the corner of the shop and looked at LTC Kurilla who was bleeding, and saw CSM Prosser's extremely bloody leg inside the shop, the rest of him was still obscured from view. I was going to run into the shop and shoot every man with a gun. And I was scared to death.
....
When I came back into the TOC, Major Michael Lawrence--who I often challenge to pull-up contests, and who so far has beat me (barely) every time--looked me square and professionally, in the direct way of a military leader and asked, "Mike, did you pick up a weapon today?"
"I did."
"Did you fire that weapon?"
"I did."
"If you pick up another weapon, you are out of here the next day. Understood?"
"Understand."
"We still have to discuss what happened today."

Writers are not permitted to fight. I asked SFC Bowman to look at the photos and hear what happened. Erik Kurilla and CSM Prosser were witness, but I did not want the men of Deuce Four who were not there to think I had picked up a weapon without just cause. I approached SFC Bowman specifically, because he is fair, and is respected by the officers and men. Bowman would listen with an open mind. While looking at the photos, Bowman said, "Mike, it's simple. Were you in fear for your life or the lives of others?"

"Thank you Sergeant Bowman," I said.



I hope LTC Kurilla makes a full recovery. That guy is a real warrior.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:22:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 5:23:14 PM EDT by Charging_Handle]
That he is.

It's too bad those guys that were either replacements or were freshly there on transfer were not up to speed. I suppose that's why Kurilla had them with the command group...to watch over them himself until he felt confident they could handle their job in their own platoons.

But yeah, Kurilla and Prosser are indeed two bad asses and gifted soldiers. Reading about that pair causes me to think about the book We Were Soldiers Once and Young. Kurilla and Prosser very much make me think of Hal Moore and Basil Plumley, another LTC and sergeant major pair that were excellent leaders and warriors, both in leading from the front, gaining respect of their men and being innovative and one step ahead of the enemy.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:45:02 PM EDT

Prosser shot the man at least four times with his M4 rifle. But the American M4 rifles are weak--after Prosser landed three nearly point blank shots in the man's abdomen, splattering a testicle with a fourth, the man just staggered back, regrouped and tried to shoot Prosser.


Another case of M855 performing poorly. If he had taken 3 loads to the abdomen that fragmented, I doubt he'd have had much fight remaining in him.

We seriously need to look at giving our guys M193 again or providing 75/77 gr OTM NATO pressure loads to everyone.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:53:15 PM EDT
Takes a shot in the nuts and keeps going? I'd say it's more than what round you are using...
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:55:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
Takes a shot in the nuts and keeps going? I'd say it's more than what round you are using...



Well, getting a nut blown off would probably suck as far as pain, but it isn't something that assures that a hyped up man is quickly stopped. The only way to do that outside of a CNS hit is to cause massive tissue damage that leads to rapid bleedout.

Evidently this ammo didn't make him bleed anywhere near enough.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:19:10 PM EDT


"It's the one that says Bad Mother Fucker."
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:30:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 6:32:16 PM EDT by TacticalMan]
Reading the rest of that, I see the seeds of defeat.

The terrorist that Prosser wrestled had been captured before and released. Why was he not executed?

You win wars by killing the enemy, not by giving them 2 week vacations.


ETA: What kind of silly rules of engagement prevented Prosser from putting a bullet in that terrorist's head after they had him out in the street?
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:40:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 6:40:31 PM EDT by DocH]
I feel bad for the green 2nd LT in this story.

I mean, standing there in total sensory-overload-induced brain-lock watching your battalion CO get shot to pieces before your eyes... with a civilian reporter, of all things, having the wits to jump in and do what you could not...How do you overcome that, live it down in your unit, and still become an effective leader?

Poor bastard...


Doc H.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:15:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DocH:
I feel bad for the green 2nd LT in this story.

I mean, standing there in total sensory-overload-induced brain-lock watching your battalion CO get shot to pieces before your eyes... with a civilian reporter, of all things, having the wits to jump in and do what you could not...How do you overcome that, live it down in your unit, and still become an effective leader?

Poor bastard...


Doc H.



In time, he may still overcome it and become a very good leader. This isn't the first guy who ever froze up in combat and he won't be the last. But yeah, I do feel for him. Hopefully as he becomes more experienced, he'll be better able to react to situations quickly. I'm sure that operating with and training with this unit will help him.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:23:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 7:24:07 PM EDT by Spade]

Originally Posted By DocH:
I feel bad for the green 2nd LT in this story.

I mean, standing there in total sensory-overload-induced brain-lock watching your battalion CO get shot to pieces before your eyes... with a civilian reporter, of all things, having the wits to jump in and do what you could not...How do you overcome that, live it down in your unit, and still become an effective leader?

Poor bastard...


Doc H.




I feel for the 2nd LT too. That's the XO's call there now I guess. Either way, that will probably weigh on his mind. He'll think of what he can do later, and that won't be fun.

Yon isn't exactly a straight civilian reporter though. He's former SF. He wrote "Danger Close". So basically he gave up being a reporter for a bit, and went back to being a soldier. He's not the first reporter I've heard with a weapon in Iraq though.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:27:07 PM EDT
Michael's site is great, and his stories are extremely compelling.

At some point, we ought to put together another Rifle Buy for Lt, Kurilla....what a great soldier and American.

HH
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:29:31 PM EDT
It's reading stories like this that gives me hope that we will yet set things right in Iraq.

What really irritates the hell out of me is that you only hear about this if you read the websites of the men who are over there doing the job. MSM is awol, and I am stating to believe it's intentional.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:39:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HoustonHusker:
Michael's site is great, and his stories are extremely compelling.

At some point, we ought to put together another Rifle Buy for Lt, Kurilla....what a great soldier and American.

HH



Add another one for Michael Yon. That dude just bought himself more "street-cred" with the troops than he could ever use. I don't think he was short of it to begin with but he just maxed it out.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:43:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Prosser shot the man at least four times with his M4 rifle. But the American M4 rifles are weak--after Prosser landed three nearly point blank shots in the man's abdomen, splattering a testicle with a fourth, the man just staggered back, regrouped and tried to shoot Prosser.


Another case of M855 performing poorly. If he had taken 3 loads to the abdomen that fragmented, I doubt he'd have had much fight remaining in him.

We seriously need to look at giving our guys M193 again or providing 75/77 gr OTM NATO pressure loads to everyone.



I have seen what M193 does to prairie dogs at close range when it tumbles and shreds. It isn't pretty. One went straight up spinning in the air about six feet. Dead when it hit the ground. Blown open like it had been hit by a soft point. Three hits to the abdomen would be devastating to a man. I agree M193 should be issued.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:43:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HoustonHusker:
Michael's site is great, and his stories are extremely compelling.

At some point, we ought to put together another Rifle Buy for Lt, Kurilla....what a great soldier and American.

HH



I agree wholeheartedly.

While I obviously respect and care about all of our troops, there's something about LTC Kurilla that really, really makes me look up to him. I mean if you have to be in combat, this is the kind of guy who you'd want commanding your unit.

I just hope he recovers as quickly as possible and has as few lingering effects as possible. But having a femur shattered by a bullet is definately going to take time to heal. Again, I wish him all the best in his recovery.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:46:15 PM EDT
Great story ! thanks for posting , I hadnt known about this blog.

Once again , great american soldiers doing great things

god bless them all
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:00:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Prosser shot the man at least four times with his M4 rifle. But the American M4 rifles are weak--after Prosser landed three nearly point blank shots in the man's abdomen, splattering a testicle with a fourth, the man just staggered back, regrouped and tried to shoot Prosser.


Another case of M855 performing poorly. If he had taken 3 loads to the abdomen that fragmented, I doubt he'd have had much fight remaining in him.

We seriously need to look at giving our guys M193 again or providing 75/77 gr OTM NATO pressure loads to everyone.



M193 will never happen. Too simple and cost effective for the US Military to consider.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:14:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By DocH:
I feel bad for the green 2nd LT in this story.

I mean, standing there in total sensory-overload-induced brain-lock watching your battalion CO get shot to pieces before your eyes... with a civilian reporter, of all things, having the wits to jump in and do what you could not...How do you overcome that, live it down in your unit, and still become an effective leader?

Poor bastard...


Doc H.



In time, he may still overcome it and become a very good leader. This isn't the first guy who ever froze up in combat and he won't be the last. But yeah, I do feel for him. Hopefully as he becomes more experienced, he'll be better able to react to situations quickly. I'm sure that operating with and training with this unit will help him.




One of three things will happen.

He will find a way to accept it, learn from it, teach others from it and be a good officer.

He will die doing something stupid to try to "make it right".

He will let it eat at him for years and destroy at least a part of himself.

Good luck LT.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 10:41:44 PM EDT
The fact that some of those sons of bitches get released from Abu Grhaib pisses me off.

I can't imagine what those who actually have to deal with it think.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 10:58:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By astro:
The fact that some of those sons of bitches get released from Abu Grhaib pisses me off.

I can't imagine what those who actually have to deal with it think.



It ticks me off too. I think everyone would be better off if they just capped these assholes while they are in those buildings.

Then when they drag them out, they'll be dragging out a corpse. Those don't ever get released again.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 11:16:08 PM EDT
I listened to Hugh Hewitt <spelling?> today on break when he was reading this on the air.....

The Lt Col and the CSM are Hard Core, the blogger really didnt have a lot of good to say about the M4

But our Troops Kick Ass!!!

God please keep them safe
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 11:33:04 PM EDT
Is this Captain VanAntwerp the same one I keep seeing competing in the Ranger Challenge on OLN?
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:55:56 AM EDT
The terrorist is just realy lucky. 3 rounds to the chest and he survives, seems more like a 1 in a million type thing, even M885 is supposed to frag at 10ft. Though M193 might have made a difference. Doc should send an injury report to the Commander saying how this bad guy should be dead but the ammo sucks.

Why no grenades? Are they issued per mission, or is it a if you wan't them, take them kinda thing. You would think each guy would get atleast one.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:26:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FunYun1983:
The terrorist is just realy lucky. 3 rounds to the chest and he survives, seems more like a 1 in a million type thing, even M885 is supposed to frag at 10ft. Though M193 might have made a difference. Doc should send an injury report to the Commander saying how this bad guy should be dead but the ammo sucks.

Why no grenades? Are they issued per mission, or is it a if you wan't them, take them kinda thing. You would think each guy would get atleast one.



I have read enough first hand accounts of just these same sort of things happening in WWII and Korea with Thompsons and Garands.

I dont know what the answer is, maybe dumping the St. Petersburg Convention of 1866 and developing a cartridge that uses HE filled amunition.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:27:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HoustonHusker:
Michael's site is great, and his stories are extremely compelling.

At some point, we ought to put together another Rifle Buy for Lt, Kurilla....what a great soldier and American.

HH



+1

I've been reading Michael Yon's site for a couple months. His is absolutely the best on-the-ground reporting coming out of Iraq. Plus the guy has balls. Hoo-ah!
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 9:14:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By DocH:
I feel bad for the green 2nd LT in this story.

I mean, standing there in total sensory-overload-induced brain-lock watching your battalion CO get shot to pieces before your eyes... with a civilian reporter, of all things, having the wits to jump in and do what you could not...How do you overcome that, live it down in your unit, and still become an effective leader?

Poor bastard...


Doc H.



In time, he may still overcome it and become a very good leader. This isn't the first guy who ever froze up in combat and he won't be the last. But yeah, I do feel for him. Hopefully as he becomes more experienced, he'll be better able to react to situations quickly. I'm sure that operating with and training with this unit will help him.




One of three things will happen.

He will find a way to accept it, learn from it, teach others from it and be a good officer.

He will die doing something stupid to try to "make it right".

He will let it eat at him for years and destroy at least a part of himself.

Good luck LT.



Very intuitive, I concur.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 9:16:36 AM EDT
Kurilla didn't strike me much as Hal Moore in the movie, but CSM Prosser certainly brought SGM Plumley to mind!

NTM
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 9:27:52 AM EDT
Heard this on the radio driving home yesterday, had friends who know them calling in.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 9:36:54 AM EDT
If you guys want to do something for LTC Kurilla, crotchety old bastard Kim du Toit is taking donations to buy him a custom-engraved Kimber Desert Warrior.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 10:07:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 10:08:41 AM EDT by hardcorps1775]

Originally Posted By TacticalMan:
Reading the rest of that, I see the seeds of defeat.

The terrorist that Prosser wrestled had been captured before and released. Why was he not executed?

You win wars by killing the enemy, not by giving them 2 week vacations.


ETA: What kind of silly rules of engagement prevented Prosser from putting a bullet in that terrorist's head after they had him out in the street?


would have been an interesting dilemma for yon...

i don't like that this fucktard was caught and released like some kind of fucking trout in a fishing show, but americans shouldn't go around executing people out of hand. these guys are soldiers, not butchers. it's what sets us apart from the islamofascist scum.

ETA: oh yeah, this is such a d00p! but i think the mods are on vacation...
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 11:11:40 AM EDT
taggage!
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 11:32:46 AM EDT
Fuck with the bull Electric Strawberry and you get the horns lightning.



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