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Friday, July 31, 2009

The Finger Salute

AWESOME!!! Read below pic before making judgment on 'The Finger' gesture and you'll understand...




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 5 foot deep and 8 foot 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 7 inch 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 te am-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.

14 comments:

Reconciled1 said...

True American Courage at it's best.....

Anonymous said...

SEMPER FI!

Anonymous said...

Now THAT is a man's man......

Anonymous said...

cool

Joe said...

That Marine is getting medical treatment from the Army. I like the one finger salute, but here's a ponder.. Where's the Marine medic?

Regardless, Airborne Marine. Airborne.

Anonymous said...

We go over there, get rid of their corrupt leader (who we stopped selling weapons to years ago), build schools, build hospitals, build electricty grids, etc. The people in Iraq don't even pay us the respect we deserve. Now they tell us they want us to leave. Right. Like they are going to defend themselves against themselves.

Go marines!

Anonymous said...

Can you picture a young Obama ever capable of such physical strength and heroism? Naw, he spent his youth listening to radical communists and doing illegal drugs.

Anonymous said...

So happy to have men like this on our team.

Anonymous said...

I saw an insurgent on Booth St

Anonymous said...

Now that says alot about the type of man he is!!! I stand up to salute you soldier...

Doc Hook said...

Marines use Navy FMF Corpsman as medical staff (I am one). EOD units who are closest to the IED site are utilized, not by branch preference. Thus, a Marine EOD is used near an Army LUP (Lay-up point) without his unit Corpsman, and ends up treated by whatever Medics are nearby.

Anonymous said...

why are our troops there?

Isn't that more important to discuss?

There would be no reason to hold up the finger,etc if the soldiers were not there.

How about protecting our border from the unarmed invasion / now ARMED invasion of our country?

Anonymous said...

To the Marine medic comment-there is no such thing. Marines travel with a Navy Corpsman-he's the only medic we have. Ever wonder why there are Navy Hospitals on Marine Corps Bases, not Marine Hospitals? Semper Fi, they're all heroes in my book.

Anonymous said...

God bless you, soldier!

The "people" of Iraq -- the majority -- are grateful. It's the fanatics who are the haters. Most people in the Middle East just want to live in peace and be left alone.

The fanatics and the dictators oppress and murder the people in their own towns. Look at the uprising in Iran. May the Green be with them!