Michael's Dispatches

Watch Your Step

196 Comments

2011-09-18-052848cc1000

10 October 2011
Afghanistan

The choice is yours.  If blood and guts are too much, the video at the end of this dispatch is not for you.  Do not click the button if your stomach is too weak for war.

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Watch your step.  Underneath that ground is the end of your legs, your testicles, and your life.  If you are not ready to be shot in the face or blown to smoking pieces, better to find another line of work.

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The bomb dogs provide a sense of confidence, as do the various gadgets.  In reality, the dogs regularly walk past bombs, as do the men holding the detectors.  Whatever the case, one step off the “cleared” path is completely uncleared.  There is no white and black.  Everything is grey and black.   Even the pressure plates often don’t work until the umpteenth guy steps on it and then WHAM!  His parts fly into trees.

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I tried to find the Soldier who shot the following video.  No success.  The person wearing this camera was on official business for the US Government, and therefore this video is free of copyright constraints.

Final warning: Do not view if you can’t stomach unwatered footage.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    David Stravers · 7 years ago
    Glad to see you are back.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    J. OLoughlin · 7 years ago
    Damn, that is one helluva ********* video. Incredible that he actually survived but let's have an update on whether or not he made it because that was a tough to watch. Well done to all the guys on the ground
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ruthie · 7 years ago
    any update on this brave soldier???
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    John Garrett · 7 years ago
    21 minutes from point of injury to medevac. That is outstanding.
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      Mike Kimberlin · 7 years ago
      In WW2 he would have died from those injuries, MedVac has come a long way..Medics as well... Kudoes to all who attended him. a update on his condition would be nice.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    I don't know what became of the stricken Soldier. Unfortunately, too, in Afghanistan, if he survives there will be no security net. He'll end up with nothing and if he has kids, they might be turned out.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Paul · 6 years ago
      The cool,calm and collected professionalism of these wonderful people never ceases to amaze and fill me with pride...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rachel · 7 years ago
    Do you know if he made it?

    You might take off the intro and closing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leyla Najma · 7 years ago
    Wow! That was beyond words!
    I hope he made it, and I was so impressed with how fast everyone was in helping him.
    This is just horrific...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chuck Peterson · 7 years ago
    Good video to show the folks at home what goes on. On a personal note, those were Strike soldiers, so any info on the particular unit involved here?

    "Hearts rule the deck!"
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jose muñoz · 7 years ago
    After watching this video, I noticed the medic working on the casualty is from my battalion. Engineers lead the way!
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    Brent · 7 years ago
    I've been around combat for almost 24 years. This was one of the toughest things I've ever watched. Incredible, incredible footage and it definitely drives home what your brave men and women are up against. Thank you Michael for bringing the reality of war to us.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brent · 7 years ago
    That was supposed to say 'our' brave men and women.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brent · 7 years ago
    Great video to bring home the reality of the war. I wish all of the United States would have to watch this so that they understand the sacrifice our men and women make every day. Thank you for what you do Michael.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Citizen Deux · 7 years ago
    Very hard to watch, indicative of the superb field aid training given to deployed troops. It is also a reminder of just how hard this war has been. I can only imagine the frustration felt by the squad over the horrific injury to their fellow soldier. May Providence watch over all of them.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rob Serving British · 7 years ago
    It's reassuring to see how quickly the helicopter got there. Hope they managed to save his eyesight.

    Thanks for posting this, people need to see what IEDs do.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Roger · 7 years ago
    Amazing Medic, amazing warriors! Where do we get such men? A horrific incident but too common...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ned · 7 years ago
    God bless you, Michael, for all you do for our soldiers.
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    William · 7 years ago
    Excellent work , Tsgt Metz got a CAT on the left leg while the medic was assessing the airway and was considering a cric as evidenced by the scapel in his hand. Left arm got a CAT, pressure bandage and SAM splint, then they got to work looking for schrapnel to the chest and abdomen. Then they got him off the X and medivaced. All evidence of good TCCC skill and training. Only thing I would critique is they should have put a poncho or blanket over his torso before loading him to prevent hypothermia. Even a short flight can decrease the core temp and lead to fatal outcome.
    Thanks Michael for sending this and showing lifesavers in action.
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    EOD DAD D Marshall · 7 years ago
    I've been in EMS for over 15yrs, seen plenty of trauma's and that's a a classic "as bad as it gets" call. Except these guys do it almost everyday. They were completly focused on the job, not the tragedy, got the job done and moved on. It's the only way to be able to get up and do it tomorrow. Someday these guys will be back and may be on the ambulance crew you see working an accident on your local highway. Think of them then.
    I am also concerned about the US soldier who did not seek treatment for his "headache". It is an indicator of a TBI, they are sneaky and insidious and can ruin a young man's life. Somebody needs to identify him and save the video footage as he will need it as evidence in order to get any future disability benefits as the military is still having some difficulty acknowledging alot of these cases.

    We continue to pray for you all.
    Stay safe
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Trisha Barton · 7 years ago
      If I'm not mistaken the guy who complained of a headache was Metz. I saw his nametag right after I heard someone ask for aspirin.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Marty B · 6 years ago
      [quote name="EOD DAD D Marshall"]I've been in EMS for over 15yrs, seen plenty of trauma's and that's a a classic "as bad as it gets" call. Except these guys do it almost everyday. They were completly focused on the job, not the tragedy, got the job done and moved on. It's the only way to be able to get up and do it tomorrow. Someday these guys will be back and may be on the ambulance crew you see working an accident on your local highway. Think of them then.
      I am also concerned about the US soldier who did not seek treatment for his "headache". It is an indicator of a TBI, they are sneaky and insidious and can ruin a young man's life. Somebody needs to identify him and save the video footage as he will need it as evidence in order to get any future disability benefits as the military is still having some difficulty acknowledging alot of these cases.

      We continue to pray for you all.
      Stay safe[/quote]

      11 years on and off the street here. That response was simply incredible. That was absolutely some of the finest T3C i've ever seen.Absolutely incredible.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Anthony Klytta · 7 years ago
    Awful footage. That was hard to watch; I am impressed with the response from the other soldiers. They remained calm; what happened to the soldier that was hurt? God bless him and all our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank Burt · 7 years ago
    What makes me proud is the calm professionalism of these wonderful and brave kids we have over there. This brings home all too graphically what they face day after day, and for this war, year after year after year. The fact that they do it voluntarily is totally mind boggling. For all the lip service the civilians of this nation gives about supporting our troops, I don't think they truly understand what their Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines endure and sacrifice to serve their country. God bless them and keep them safe. And for the wounded Afghan soldier, may Allah watch over him and his family. He, too, has sacrificed for his country. They are all my brothers and sisters in arms, and I'm proud of them.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chris · 7 years ago
    War is hell. Best of luck to the wounded ANA . . . Semper Fi.
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    shea brown · 7 years ago
    . This is EXACTLY what America needs to see on their television screens every night of the week. Thank you Michael for posting this video,,,, this is the true face of war,,, not the arrogant lying bullshit politicians keep mouthing in comfy paneled rooms of Washington D.C. . I'm sending this to every address I have and posting it on Facebook, and I will do this every day this week. There is absolutely NO military solution for Afghanistan,,, they have had 30 years of war and occupations,,and absolutely no one in Washington should be keeping their mouths shut about this. Thank God some people are making a fuss,, and thank God some people are putting the real face of war out there for people to see. Thank you Michael. Thank you .
    • This commment is unpublished.
      MikeM · 7 years ago
      I ask you not to use the suffering of the fighting man (be it Taliban, ANA, or American) as a political ploy. There's enough of that going on by both sides as it is. It's disrespectful and distasteful if you ask me.

      Not long ago, a man I knew and greatly respected (former Marine Force Recon and at the time, Army Pathfinder) passed due to an IED. Every comment on every story online pertaining to his death instantly became a nauseating political fight over the war. Not a damn thing was about that warrior. Perhaps it is indicative of our current state of mind.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Nick · 7 years ago
      This was an Afghani soldier this happened to...and he is fighting for his country's freedom from the oppressive Taliban terrorists.

      No one is lying about the brutal conflict...you just cant show this gory shit on TV. Good Lord, are you morbid? Do you REALLY need to see a real death on the news to believe people care about our troops?

      This isnt the Soviet Union invading and occupying.....we are there helping out the Afghani's... whether its winnable or not is a different issue, and whether our government would stop tying the hands of our troops with bullshit rules of engagement is another issue.

      Again, to say politicians are lying however is pure politics and not needed here. War is not glamorous and shouldnt be put on TV or the News just to make YOU feel better.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Austen Lennon · 7 years ago
    Please let us know, if you can, how this young ANA soldier is doing? Keep up the great work of bringing us the truth, no matter how hard it is to take.
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    Megan · 7 years ago
    Very hard to watch, I was very impressed with this team of soldiers, they stayed very calm and did what they had to do to save this mans life. I pray for him that they will be able to safe his eye sight. So very sad that these incidents happen everyday and you are the only one reporting. Watching the new now a days there is very little coverage of the wars anymore. People need to realize that soldiers are over seas fighting daily. Something that Americans have failed to remember. Keeping all of our soldiers and you in my prayers that you guys get to come home soon, and for good!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Papa Ray · 7 years ago
    Long ago and far away in my war we were not trained near as well, or had the medical supplies that our Warriors do now. Many times men just bled out or died from shock before our medivac choppers could get to us.

    Yes some knew basic first aid but that was about it. But (even then) many more survived than in our previous wars. Soon I guess, most will survive battlefield injuries, but it still might be like in my war, many would ask their buddies to just "kill me". They didn't want to go home with no legs or arms or in some cases with no eyes or their manhood.

    Yes war is hell, but sometimes the aftermath is even worse. It is great to see these efforts for an Afgan Soldier.

    Mike - please thank the American Warrior who supplied you with this video. I hope that he doesn't get in any trouble having done so.

    Papa Ray
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ainpoland · 7 years ago
    Thanks Michael. I knew it was bad, but this put a new "picture" to what our young, brave Americans are doing there. It was very difficult to watch, but it also gives me a new appreciation for our men and women in the armed forces.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Cindy · 7 years ago
      I had to look away...I had to look away from what was left of his face, but I couldn't stop watching. It hurt to watch. Like someone else said...it gave the term IED real meaning.
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    Katie Robinette · 7 years ago
    Thanks for posting. True heros at work!
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    Josh · 7 years ago
    Great job Strike BDE soldiers...i know that was a scary situation. Watch out for them choke points...that ANA soldier should have asked if the area had been cleared. Either way bad shit happens in war. I hope the soldier survived...any updates on his status?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      DM · 7 years ago
      I was thinking the same thing but was afraid to sound too critical, however I know that the ANA often act impulsively and don't always follow SOP's well.
      Although that choke point could have been cleared a couple of times and there could still be an IED there with a low signature
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Victoria · 7 years ago
    Hope that soldier made it, luckily he has the best medical treatment in the world. Thanks Mike for keeping us informed, this touches more people than you think.
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    Trisha Barton · 7 years ago
    This was very hard to watch but thank you for posting it Michael. My prayers to all our men and women serving and to our allies. God bless you all.
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    Joy · 7 years ago
    Very hard to watch! But, a great way to show "ALL" of us what our men & women are dealing with "EVERY DAY", while we stay stateside in comfort! So, hopefully those who don't understand what they are doing over there will open their eyes and start "PRAYING" EVERY DAY for them and stop taking our freedom for granted!! I Pray this soldier has made the best recovery possible!!" And help him & his family perservier through all the bad & troubled times ahead of him!! May God Bless & keep Him & His Whole Family!! God is Great!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joe Spooner · 7 years ago
    God bless these 101st troopers. Had the honor of serving with them in Vietnam for 6 months. Thank you for all you do for us...
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    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    Vomiting and Headaches

    These are normal after IED strikes. Means that you’ve been hit very hard and might have TBI, or traumatic brain injury.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      JBA-USMC · 7 years ago
      Since the medic was so close, id say you are probably 100% correct. I have also seen guys react this way on the downside of a massive adrenaline spike, which he undoubtedly had. Great video, very telling of what our people go through over there, and how close the ANA guys are working with us!!
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    Barb · 7 years ago
    People have become afraid to speak out against this war for fear of being called a "pinko" etc. A "pinko" is someone who hates our troops - not someone who loves them and wants their safety! It's become politically correct to NOT speak out against this travesty. When will enough mangled and blown up American soldiers be enough?!

    BRING OUR TROOPS HOME AND STOP THE INSANITY!

    http://www.facebook.com/ilike9news#!/RoE.USMilitary

    join us to protest COIN and ROE's that are literally blowing our troops to pieces!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Barb · 7 years ago
    HOW DO I WATCH THE VIDEO? WHERE IS IT? I JUST SEE PICTURES.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Webmaster · 7 years ago
      Hello Barb, The last image should be the embedded video. You should be able to start the video by clicking on it. If for some reason you are unable to view the video there is an alternate link below. If you continue to have issues viewing the video please send me an email at inquiries@michaelyon-online.com and I will attempt to help.

      Webmaster
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Mo · 7 years ago
        Youtube blocked the video. Can you upload it again somewhere else? I'm curious to see what everyone is talking about
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    Barbara · 7 years ago
    I think every American should watch this sort of video in order to appreciate our troops. I am the Mom of a Marine who served in Iraq. He came home with many horrible memories but proud of the job our troops did there. Today in Fallujah there is a thriving city with a women's center and schools where children (including little girls) can attend in safety. Markets are open, the country is free and people can vote freely for whomever they wish. Saddam and his sons are no longer in charge. We owe so much to our young men and women doing this hard work. Afghanistan now needs our support and we need to send everything the troops need ! Many organizations such as Soldiers Angels and the Lutz Patriots need donations to continue to support our wonderful troops ! Thanks to the soldier who provided this. A Proud Marine Corps Mom
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      Sara Johnson · 7 years ago
      Thank you Barbara for your son's service and for your family's sacrifce. Good to hear he is home safe.
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    Jean Bailey · 7 years ago
    This video is the most intense and moving piece of footage I've seen from this war (and god knows I've seen a lot). It seems like it should be out of a movie, especially the final minutes after the Afghani soldier is loaded on the chopper. It reminds me of "84 Charlie Mopic". How incredibly powerful... thanks for posting Michael.
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    Erik Wolowitz · 7 years ago
    You know, when I watched this my first instinct was to analyze how they treated the wounded soldier. For instance at one point the medic has his weapon side slung and the muzzle pointed at the patients forehead, another was no one really saying anything to him. Even if they can't speak pashto or dari hearing an encouraging tone helps.

    What I realized later, and perhaps a side effect of my own time in the military was how well everyone stayed professional and remained on station while the patient was being treated.
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    Shannan Fraser · 7 years ago
    God bless and protect those who serve our great nation!
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    David C. · 7 years ago
    I just watched the video and I'm still shaking, both from fear for for our troops and the way they were able to help that Afghanny soldier. Our troops are absolutely the best in the world. I pray for our troops a lot, and couldn't stop while watching the video. I tell you, that was extremely moving. I pray that soldier is able to make the best recovery possible, and I am certain he will knowing the type of treatment he will receive via US military medical takng care of him.

    I know our troops are fulfilling an imprtant mission, but I pray it will end as soon as possible and our men and women can return home to their worried families. PLease Father, help them, guide them and keep them as safe as possible in the environment they are in. Amen.
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    Delia Sadler · 7 years ago
    GOD BLESS YOU ONE AND ALL. THANK YOU, MICHAEL, FOR YOUR COMMITMENT AND BRAVERY.
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    TheOldMan · 7 years ago
    There has to be a technological, mechanical way to clear a path. I can't help but think that we can come up with a foolproof technological method. All explosives have similar chemical properties. Anyway as I have often written, there is more courage in a soldier's nail clippings than in an entire telephone book worth of people.
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    Matthew M · 7 years ago
    Holy sh@t! I don't ever want to see that again! I dont have a weak stomach. I just dont like the horror of it. I'm glad we have guys over there who can handle that. Why do they even bother to try save him? His face is all messed up and legs are gone. What's the point?

    Wow.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Steve C. · 6 years ago
      Matthew,

      Because we believe that human life has value. That's what differentiates the American fighting man/woman from our enemies and many of our allies. How would you feel if that was your brother or father or best friend? Would you feel the same way then?

      What's the point?? Who raised you?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rhi · 7 years ago
    While I'm certain the video contains graphic content, Youtube has removed it on grounds of its "Shocking and Disgusting" policy.
    Frankly, I'm shocked and disgusted that they consider raw war footage to fall under the jurisdiction of that policy. War violence is not gratuitous nor shared, in this instance, with malicious intent. Instead, the intent here was to educate, and share awareness. To create visibility.

    Perhaps they'll permit you to post it again in the future.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      casimer · 7 years ago
      [I]While I'm certain the video contains graphic content, Youtube has removed it on grounds of its "Shocking and Disgusting" policy.[/I]

      I get your point, but it's better that it's not on youtube. That's not the audience for this video. Take a look at the commentary that's typical on that site.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dana · 7 years ago
    It looks like utube has deleted the link....
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    Steve · 7 years ago
    IED has new meaning for me. No that's not quite accurate. IED now HAS meaning.

    I don't think I'll ever forget this horrifying footage.
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    bob · 7 years ago
    youtube has pulled the video
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    Jess · 7 years ago
    Cannot see clip, is there alternate link? YouTube deleted it...?
    Thank you, Michael, for your hard work, diligence, and bravery.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Samuel L Jackson · 7 years ago
    Video has been removed from youtube, is there another link? Thank you
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    Webmaster · 7 years ago
    Note from Webmaster: I am aware of the issue with youtube, and I am changing the link. Thank you for letting me know they pulled it.

    Webmaster

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