Skip to comments.Wounded Paratrooper Recounts Attack
Posted on 07/06/2005 5:26:45 AM PDT by mark502inf
Spc. Derrick Christianson couldn't see the enemy fighters, but he could see the blood as he launched grenade after grenade at their position in a ditch near the Afghanistan border.
82nd Airborne Division paratroopers were on patrol near a fire base about 50 miles south of Khost when the militants attacked. The battle was one of the fiercest encounters since the paratroopers took over security in the region in April.
Christianson, a 20-year-old soldier from Iowa, said he could hear gunfire from a ridge line a few miles away as his patrol took up position on top of a mountain on June 10. Over the radio, they heard reports of a firefight between Afghan National Army soldiers and insurgents.
A few minutes later, Christianson could hear the cracks of bullets flying past. The paratroopers returned fire at a group of insurgents hiding in a ditch at the base of the mountain. The gunmen would pop up and fire a few shots before hunching back down behind the rocks.
"It was really frustrating. It was like playing whack-a-mole," said Christianson, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
He began to lob grenades from his M-203, an M-4 rifle equipped with a grenade launcher, at the insurgents. He was about to fire his fifth grenade when he was hit.
"I felt like my leg kicked out from behind me," he said.
Christianson fired one last grenade, rolled over on his back behind a rock and looked down. His pants were soaked in blood. The armor-piecing round entered his leg just below his knee and exited out of his calf. The bullet shattered his tibia, leaving him with a compound fracture.
"With all the adrenaline, I hadn't realized I'd been shot," he said.
Christianson was evacuated to the hospital at Forward Operating Base Salerno - the 82nd's base in Afghanistan - and eventually back to Womack Army Medical Center.
Seven insurgents died in the four-hour battle. It is unclear how many attacked.
After Christianson was evacuated, the paratroopers called in artillery fire, helicopter gunships and attack jets, said Maj. Trevor Bredenkamp.
Christianson faces months of physical therapy. He is slowly regaining feeling.
"It was like my foot didn't exist for a while," he said.
But the more feeling he gets, the more painful it is.
"It is the worst pain I've ever felt in my life," he said.
His unit's family readiness group has been supportive. He had a pile of get well cards next to his bed last week. Someone had sent him a laundry basket full of brownies and other sweets.
He is anxious to get back to Afghanistan and his unit. But, by the time he recovers, the soldiers will have returned to Fort Bragg. He said that's almost as painful as his injury. "My team needs me," Christianson said. "My squad needs me."
IG...Did you see?
Airborne & Amen.
True American hero bump
God Bless our Heroes!
There goes a man greater than I.
That's no leg.
No sky too high, no blast too fast, you call we fall.
Former NCO (weapons squad leader), 1st Platoon, B Co., 1/508 Inf., 3BDE, 82nd Airborne Division
He has my prayer. Having broken weight bearing joints and bones myself, I know the pain he is in. The more I worked my injuries the faster they healed. You're gonna be OK soilder and know how much we care.
Thanks for posting, Mark. Keep 'em coming.
Another story about the 82ND.
Great story at that link--more paratroopers taking it to the enemy.
This story is about my son. He's more than my son to me, he is my hero. So very proud of him, and the man he has become. I love you son.
Very cool. Congratulations !!
This “soldier” is a convicted child molester
Post proof or get the he11 out of here.
You can also search at the Iowa Department of Corrections to see that he’s serving his sentence.