A Soldiers Amazing Firsthand Account Of
The Battle Of Wanat
By: Josh Morse United States Army
Today I have a story to tell…. A story that only a fraction of a percent of those who read it will truly understand it. Of those few that will understand it, it’s only those who experienced it that know its true pain, sorrow, confusion, and oddly enough, its excitement. This story may take a few minutes to read and please watch the attached video, but I ask that you read and watch it through its entirety, for it is a story of the greats act of heroism, selflessness, and sacrifice I have ever witnessed.
7 years ago… 13 July 2008, in Waygal Valley, Wanat, Afghanistan. On this day, 7 years ago, an estimated 300 Taliban members attacked and attempted to overrun an American outpost that was in the process of being established. This tiny outpost was no more than the size of a football field, occupied by a platoon size group of soldiers (30-45 men) with not much more than a few sandbags to hide behind. The outpost (COP Kahler) had very little cover and concealment as it sat in the bottom of a valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. Due to its remote location, supplies such as food, water, and ammunition were limited, as well as the chance for any resupply or reinforcement.
As the day broke on 13, July 2008, hell met earth. It can only be described as chaos in its purest form. As a well-equipped, trained and determined enemy force descended from the mountains and surrounding villages, American Soldiers were put to the test. Outnumbered 6 to 1, the men of 2nd Plt, Chosen Company 2/503rd INF, 173rd ABCT fought like savages, they fought for one another, and for their families. Every man in that valley knew that day would probably be his last, yet they continued on, they fought and fought, until the life was taken out of them and they just could not fight anymore, or the enemy was destroyed.
On that day, my life was forever changed. Everything had a new look and a new feel. Everything I felt and thought prior to that day was no more. Everything is viewed so much differently now, feeling and emotions are so different. Many look at this as a bad or negative change. Many don’t want to accept it. Many families just don’t understand or are too scared of the change to try and truly understand. A lot of people in this country have no clue as to what I’m talking about right now. So many people are so lost in their comfort bubble to even give any of this a second thought. Those of you who are still reading, I thank you for your time and the consideration you show to those who paid the ultimate price.
That morning and on through the rest of the day, things that happened…there is simply no words to properly illustrate the truth. But there are a few things that I would like to share with you that I witnessed. I never in my life and still have yet to see the absolute love one person could prove of having for another that displayed at that level on that day. I’m talking about people who are from different mothers, races, religions, geographic locations, and views on life doing the unthinkable for his brother. Things that the average American wouldn’t believe if I told them. That is the amazing thing about a brotherhood. Brotherhood is not to be confused with friendship or likeness. I don’t have to like you in order to love you so much that I would die for you. As war fighters, we don’t fight a war based off of whether we support the cause or not. We fight for each other, giving all we have to the men next to us, simply because he is doing the same.
7 years ago today, 9 families were ripped apart. Wives turned to widows, sons and daughters lost their daddies, mothers and fathers lost their babies, sisters lost their brothers, and America lost 9 of the best men and Soldiers she has ever known… Every single one of us that lived to tell about that day of pure hell and chaos will all say the same thing. If it was not for those TRUE heroes, we would not be here today. I would not be typing this right now…Through their sacrifice and the grace of God, I am alive today. It is my life long mission to never let these men and their families be forgotten. My heart goes out to their families and I am forever in their debt. As for the nine brothers lost that day, there are feelings of sadness but then there is happiness. Happiness because as war fighters we know in our hearts that dying for the ones we love is the most rewarding and honorable way to go.
To those of you who fought and bled that day, you all were animals and I could only dream of ever being in the presence of such a fine caliber of human being and soldier again! Only 3% of this country has had the intestinal fortitude to raise their right hand and swear an oath to defend this country, only a fraction of service members have ever been deployed, and less than 5% of deployed service members actually see REAL combat. With that said, 13 July 2008 is a day that only a fraction of the American population could ever even fathom. But no one will ever understand what we lost and what we gained that day, except for those of us who smelt the burnt powder, felt the fatigue, and heard the cries…. Until Valhalla!