When All Hell Breaks Loose

When All Hell Breaks Loose 1

The initial volley came in. It felt like multiple RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) were just raining down on us. I remember it seemed like at one point there was so many coming in, just one after another, that I remember thinking, “alright, I get it, you really want to kill us, but some of us are still here, and you’re not getting me, but it’s really pissing me off.” It was just overwhelming. I couldn’t think. It was just one explosion after another [and] that it seemed like it lasted forever.

It took me a minute to gain my bearing. I ended up in the northern fighting position and had suffered wounds mostly to my right leg, but I had taken some to my left and my left arm as well. I was sitting there, and I could see the wounds in my legs, and I wanted to stand up and move around and start getting involved in the fight, but I couldn’t move my feet. I remember looking at my feet and trying to will myself to move my feet, like “come on Ryan, move your feet,” and I couldn’t.

After that point, I crawled to the southern position, because I had seen a wound on my inner thigh. I had concerns it had struck a major blood vessel and I wanted to get a tourniquet on my leg, but I couldn’t exactly do it with my injuries. I crawled to the lower southern position that we had designated as our casualty collection point. When I got there, Sgt. Gobble was in there, [but] he was disoriented. He had been wounded, and Spc. Bogar, at the time, was returning fire. [He] was laying down fire to the southeast. I told him I wanted a tourniquet on my right leg. He helped put the tourniquet on my right leg, and went back to fighting.

Then, at that time, Spc. Stafford, who had been wounded, crawled into the southern position and starting giving me a disposition on what was going on elsewhere — that Gunnar, Zwilling, and Matt Phillips had been killed. He thought that the [enemy] had been throwing hand grenades.

My line of thinking was, if they can throw hand grenades, so can we. So I crawled to the northern position, where we kept the hand grenades and proceeded to throw hand grenades into the dead space to the north, knowing that it wasn’t a terribly far distance, and so I cooked the grenades off for three to four seconds, essentially letting the fuse run, so they wouldn’t have time to pick it up and throw it back into our position.

This is only the part of the of events that occurred at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler in the vicinity of Wanat Village, July 13, 2008. In that event, US forces had deployed 48 soldiers which have been engaged by around 200 Anti-Afghan forces. The battle has also been described as Battle of Wanat. Full story and other material can be found here.