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Jonathan Irving

Jonathan Irving, Deployed April 2011 - April 2012, Kunar Valley, Afghanistan

00:00 / 04:54

“June 29th, 2011, I want to say FOB Monti, surrounded by mountains as always, it's what they do to us. You had an old school Russian castle in the middle of it. We were there to plus up security while infantry was out. So, the rotations of the day, but me and my buddy prior deployed before we had the experience and we had the 240, an extra 240 on us and a bunch of ammo. Intel was in for the day- it's going to happen. [and] The Taliban or whatever, were walking in rounds on the base for the fuel point. [and] We're the closest fire position on that side trying to figure out where it is. They got within 20 yards. You know, the fuel point guys are trying to stay in cover, but they know it's getting very, very close. [and] Finally, that little dust cloud that you have to find from whoever is shooting up in the mountains, we locate it, my buddies on the radio underneath me, in small little thing. So, it's literally I leaned over him as his radio they're trying to say “Don't engage”, oh blah blah. [and] I'm like “Well you got a dust cloud, big boulder, four young males running like crazy. AKs in their hands, back packs. So, they get stuff on them. [and] finally, [and] I just made the call, “engaged”, and couldn't really confirm at the time or deny anything but it was completely silent. Nothing was still moving. So right there it was like you know my mind's already going nuts and like “Oh geez, here we go”, because stuff like that goes on you know it's going to get even worse. Sure, enough that like we get radio chatter, they're playing music, they're pumping up, they're getting ready for the next assault. Well, we didn't realize that there's no way to know either is that one team walking them in was the initial. [and] Right after the music got done that's when we heard the whistle like a nerf football. [and] If you hear it, you’re usually good, but if it's really high pitched and it's coming in quick, it's hitting right near you. Yeah, it hit right on our position. [and] Because where the little castle on the rocks were behind us, it was pretty much a double concussion blast. I dislocated my shoulder. I tore about 60 to 70% of my back muscles from the sandbags on it. Both my thighs were torn as well. From just the position I was in with the weight. Some shrapnel, [I] believe I had a broken nose, black eyes, sprained wrist, a lot of stuff. [and] the people who grabbed us got us out quick enough because I think everything was slowly happening just like kind of putting all the weight on me. [and] so, it would have been worse, would have been a lot worse. Definitely. [and] Then my lower back was definitely squished. So, I pretty much just like compacted it enough to where it just won't ever be right ever again. So, literally everything that could happen that you can't see happened. Once all the bruising goes away, it's like alright something's wrong. [and] I needed the most help unfortunately. My buddy was underneath me. [and] I didn't do anything special. It’s just literally I was already there, so it made sense. Like I have nowhere else to go. So, I took the blunt of all the weight of everything on us, all damage, the physical damage. [and] We came to a few hours later. I really didn't remember much of that day for the longest time.”

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