Got to love the unconquerable spirit of the United States Marines. This guy actually walked away from an IED ambush, and, no, he was not wearing his EOD suit when it happened. I always knew Marines were tough, but now I have proof.

Just imagine the look on the poor insurgent's face as he hit the BOOM button and this guy walked out of the smoke with that sh** eating grin and salute in the air!

Hat Tip to Jerry @ Cogito Ergo Geek!

1 comment:

Porta's Cat said...

sent to me via email. Can't vouch for accuracy, but sounds reasonable..


The Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant in the picture is Michael Burghard,
part of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team that is supporting
2nd Brigade 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania Army National Guard).
I think it demonstrates the true spirit of most of our troops on the

Leading the fight is Gunnery Sgt Michael Burghardt, known as "Iron
Mike" or just "Gunny". He is on his third tour in Iraq. He had become
a legend in the bomb disposal world after winning the Bronze Star for
disabling 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance during his
second tour. Then, on September 19, he got blown up. He had arrived at
a chaotic scene after a bomb had killed four US soldiers. He chose not
to wear the bulky bomb protection suit. "You can't react to any sniper
fire and you get tunnel-vision," he explains. So, protected by just a
helmet and standard-issue flak jacket, he began what bomb disposal
officers term "the longest walk", stepping gingerly into a 5ft deep
and 8ft wide crater. The earth shifted slightly and he saw a Senao
base station with a wire leading from it. He cut the wire and used his
7in knife to probe the ground. "I found a piece of red detonating cord
between my legs," he says. "That's when I knew I was screwed."

Realizing he had been sucked into a trap, Sgt Burghardt, 35, yelled at
everyone to stay back. At that moment, an insurgent, probably watching
through binoculars, pressed a button on his mobile phone to detonate
the secondary device below the sergeant's feet. "A chill went up the
back of my neck and then the bomb exploded," he recalls. "As I was in
the air I remember thinking, 'I don't believe they got me.' I was just
ticked off they were able to do it. Then I was lying on the road, not
able to feel anything from the waist down."

His colleagues cut off his trousers to see how badly he was hurt. None
could believe his legs were still there. "My dad's a Vietnam vet who's
paralyzed from the waist down," says Sgt Burghardt. "I was lying there
thinking I didn't want to be in a wheelchair next to my dad and for
him to see me like that. They started to cut away my pants and I felt
a real sharp pain and blood trickling down. Then I wiggled my toes and
I thought, 'Good, I'm in business.' As a stretcher was brought over,
adrenaline and anger kicked in. "I decided to walk to the helicopter.
I wasn't going to let my team-mates see me being carried away on a
stretcher." He stood and gave the insurgents who had blown him up a
one-fingered salute. "I flipped them one. It was like, 'OK, I lost
that round but I'll be back next week'."

Copies of a photograph depicting his defiance, taken by Jeff Bundy for
the Omaha World-Herald, adorn the walls of homes across America and
that of Col John Gronski, the brigade commander in Ramadi, who has
hailed the image as an exemplar of the warrior spirit. Sgt Burghardt's
injuries - burns and wounds to his legs and buttocks - kept him off
duty for nearly a month and could have earned him a ticket home. But,
like his father - who was awarded a Bronze Star and three Purple
Hearts for being wounded in action in Vietnam - he stayed in Ramadi to
engage in the battle against insurgents who are forever coming up with
more ingenious ways of killing Americans.