Army Spec. Tyler Stafford was wounded on July 13 during fierce combat against insurgents in Afgahnistan. According to a report in Stars and Stripes, (see web address below), Stafford was one of three wounded in an attack that killed nine of his buddies. The attack took two hours from iniation until air support quelled it.
Stafford was serving in a re-enforced platoon, (something more than 50 men), of C company, of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Airborne Inf. Reg. They had set up a Forward Observation Base in the Kunar Province of Eastern Afghanistan.
More than 200 insurgents struck at about 4:30 a.m., firing rocket propelled grenades at the unit’s mortar pit, and a TOW truck inside the compound, taking it out of commission.
The third target was the observation post…it was here five soldiers perished under fire, and Stafford and two others were wounded.
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The attack was well planned and fire came from several positions, Stafford and the others knew the plan was to overrun and destroy the FOB.
Some of their weapons seized after two hours of constant firing.
Stafford’s weapon was a M-240 machine gun, much like the M-60 of the Vietnam era, it is belt fed and shoots the 7.62 MM round, (.308).
Stafford was knocked out of position by an exploding RPG, and then a grenade exploded nearby, knocking him off his feet again. A second RPG struck near Stafford and killed one soldier, the tail of the RPG hit Stafford’s helmet. He then picked up a 9 MM handgun and continued to fight.
Stafford then picked up an M-4 carbine, (think M-16), and poured fire into the enemy. Two more RPGs struck the sandbags he was using for cover, wounding him yet again.
By this time, the enemy was within grenade range, as bullets cut down tree limbs. The C-company Troopers couldn’t look above the sandbags to fire, weapons were fired over the sandbags without aiming, only 20 minutes had passed, and the insurgents were inside the observation post, throwing rocks, trying to flush the troopers so they could be shot. Stafford and another trooper fell back to the FOB, where Stafford was treated with a tourniquet.
Read the Story in the Stars and Stripes on line at: