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Wounded Paratrooper Recounts Attack
Fayetteville (NC) Observer | July 6, 20 | By Kevin Maurer, Staff Writer

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.

Evacuation

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."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 82dairborne; afghanistan; airborne; army; oef; paratrooper; soldier; usarmy; waronterror
Another good man.
1 posted on 07/06/2005 5:26:45 AM PDT by mark502inf
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To: mark502inf; Iowa Granny
God Bless this soldier.

IG...Did you see?

2 posted on 07/06/2005 5:29:06 AM PDT by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier)
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To: mark502inf

Airborne & Amen.


3 posted on 07/06/2005 5:30:00 AM PDT by Khurkris
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To: mark502inf

True American hero bump


4 posted on 07/06/2005 5:30:11 AM PDT by linkinpunk
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To: mark502inf; La Enchiladita

God Bless our Heroes!


5 posted on 07/06/2005 5:32:30 AM PDT by Ros42
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To: mark502inf

There goes a man greater than I.


6 posted on 07/06/2005 5:33:31 AM PDT by fso301
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To: mark502inf
Airborne! All the way and then some!


7 posted on 07/06/2005 5:36:17 AM PDT by airborne (Dear Lord, please be with my family in Iraq. Keep them close to You and safely in Your arms.)
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To: Constitution Day; TaxRelief; 100%FEDUP; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; ~Vor~; A2J; a4drvr; Adder; ...

NC *Ping*

Please FRmail Constitution Day OR TaxRelief OR Alia if you want to be added to or removed from this North Carolina ping list.
8 posted on 07/06/2005 6:05:34 AM PDT by Alia
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To: mark502inf

That's no leg.


9 posted on 07/06/2005 6:12:40 AM PDT by GarySpFc (Sneakypete, De Oppresso Liber)
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To: mark502inf

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


10 posted on 07/06/2005 6:15:39 AM PDT by Rembrandt_fan
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To: mark502inf

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.


11 posted on 07/06/2005 6:49:16 AM PDT by wildcatf4f3 (whats wrong with a draft?)
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To: airborne

Airborne bump.


12 posted on 07/06/2005 11:17:21 AM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remembering our Heroes today and every day.)
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To: mark502inf

Thanks for posting, Mark. Keep 'em coming.


13 posted on 07/06/2005 11:18:27 AM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remembering our Heroes today and every day.)
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To: mark502inf

Another story about the 82ND.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1437738/posts


14 posted on 07/06/2005 11:23:24 AM PDT by airborne (Dear Lord, please be with my family in Iraq. Keep them close to You and safely in Your arms.)
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To: airborne

Great story at that link--more paratroopers taking it to the enemy.


15 posted on 07/06/2005 11:39:15 AM PDT by mark502inf
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To: mark502inf

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.


16 posted on 07/20/2005 3:46:07 AM PDT by proudarmydad483 (My Hero!)
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To: proudarmydad483

Very cool. Congratulations !!


17 posted on 07/20/2005 3:49:24 AM PDT by DainBramage
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To: mark502inf

This “soldier” is a convicted child molester


18 posted on 06/15/2009 8:35:30 PM PDT by ConcernedFriend
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To: ConcernedFriend

Post proof or get the he11 out of here.


19 posted on 06/15/2009 8:41:27 PM PDT by plymaniac (2010=1994)
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To: plymaniac

http://www.kwwl.com/Global/story.asp?S=9353671

You can also search at the Iowa Department of Corrections to see that he’s serving his sentence.


20 posted on 06/29/2009 12:58:45 PM PDT by ConcernedFriend
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My SALUTE to this brave young man. This country needs more like you

WHAT IS A VETERAN ?

A veteran is a man who fell in love with his country, for better, or worse - for richer, for poorer - in sickness and in heath.

A veteran is a man who is willing to lay down his life for the Statue of Liberty so that her poor, her huddled masses, her homeless, her tempest tossed may breathe free and may enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

A veteran is as a man who does what he must - in spite of personal consequences - in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - for that is the basis of all human morality.

A veteran is a man who gets a lump in his throat when he sees our beloved flag and he'll fight to protect our beautiful bunting from those who would dare to dishonor it.

A veteran is a man who pays his taxes, willingly; serves his country, honorably; and cherishes his freedom, passionately.

A veteran is a man well-deserving of our appreciation, our love, and our prayers 365 days a year.

Mopp4
USAF Retired 1978-1999

21 posted on 06/29/2009 1:05:35 PM PDT by Mopp4
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To: mark502inf

Where’s the link to the article... and the year of it, for that matter?


22 posted on 06/29/2009 1:07:13 PM PDT by TChris (There is no freedom without the possibility of failure.)
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