26 | Moore
I stuck my leg across there to hold the gate from swinging shut on my rifle in his soon as I got the gate push all the way back open with my right leg. I took it three round burst from an AK at the bottom of what we think about services the idea that we don't get to do what we want. We have to do what is needed for the better part of nNcholas Moore's career what you might call the glory of battle is overshadowed by the darker aspects of war and the trappings of a service to a cause greater than yourself. When the grenade was called he stayed right there. Right. By my side, you know, at at the cost of his own life. What is true bravery? What makes a hero a hero tested by the worries of what's happening at home, thousands of miles away. And the reality of what you're facing here. And now when your life is in danger every second and it's either kill or be killed from wondering and incongruity media. This is Anthony Russo. And this. Is war? Nncholas more caught a break when he enlisted in nineteen ninety nine his planet been to enlist get some money for college. And then figure out what to do with his life. His recruiter suggested he go in his arranger rather than as an infantryman saying that based on his personality he'd be miserable. Doing anything else? A little more than two years later. He was standing information at the ranger indoctrination program when they got the news that the country was under attack September eleventh was we are not only the fact that the towers came down, but ranger school is a closed course. So you don't get to see the news, or, you know, talk to people as things are going on. And so we're standing outside in formation and the time hacks come and gone for when we were supposed to leave. And so we kinda start wondering what's going on? You know, the instructors come out, and they ask if anybody has family in New York City that works at the World Trade Center, somebody said, well, what why and I said, well, somebody just cra-. The plane into it. It was kind of a heart sinking moment because you know, the the biggest fear that any ranger from arranger retain has is actually happening. You know countries being attacked. We're going to go to war, and I'm stuck in ranger school the innovation among the guys in the indoctrination program was such that within days Colonel sent along word than anyone who flunked out on purpose to get sent back to their battalion would be banned from ever replying to ranger school. It was October when they watched operation rhino in the invasion of Afghanistan commence on television. Third battalion guys devastated to have missed out on it. But more was with the second and celebrated along with the first because their battalions were still at home. And they only had about a month of training left. The unfolding war on terror sent them into the field with a sense of urgency. Few ranger classes before them had known. But by the time more to have ghanistan. The war seemed over Operation Anaconda had sent the Taliban into hiding so the Rangers just patrolled in stabbed a couple of basis, and then we're rotated out pretty much without incident. By the time. He was redeployed for the invasion of Iraq more just hoped. He'd have the chance to see some action before the war in the Middle East was over the company commander says you got about four hours to get cleaned up. And and packed up. We're going to another area an American convoys been, you know, shot up. There's an American POW in hospital. He come back in and you've been out for, you know, twenty four hours. Plus, you're like all I wanna do is go to sleep. And now, you're telling me, I four hours pack for this next mission. It's like, oh, yeah. That's a cruel jokes are a lot of what we were. Basing are off of was the amount of resistance at the marines were getting and they were saying that there was possibly up to five thousand fighters in the city still. That's why the reins were held at the at the bridge. So you know, we were going in front of that. So it's like, okay. Well, you know, could turn into Mogadishu gunfight trying to get in an around the hospital and secure it down. You know, we have a standard load lists that we carry for munition and everybody started kind of beefing that up and going to little heavier. We call it the good idea fair. Research to get in there and say, oh, you need to bring this and you need to bring that. So now, we're throwing clay more on people and strapping everybody down with more joke the specter of being caught short for a prolonged urban gunfight remains a real concern for the army Rangers as long as you have enough bullets. You can do without food. But you don't want to lack the firepower the downside as they would discover that you have to lug everything. So it's a balancing act between the good idea fairy and the practical concerns involved with carrying twenty to thirty extra pounds as he discovered on later tours. No matter whether you guess higher low, you often end up, wishing you'd guessed the other way. But when it comes to a POW rescue, you really can't be over prepared. We just established are blocking position we were clear through the house side, come in through the gate and on the left. There's a little carport. The laundry lines were up in the dish dashes were kind of floating in the slight breeze that was blowing in town and see muzzle flashes. Coming through the other side of the clothes and at first I thought. I was like, okay. Well, is that somebody shooting at me, and you know, or they breaching a door inside with shock done and then third round came. And I was like dope that somebody outside shooting in me and fired a burst back in. My team leader comes running over to my side of the building. And he's what are you shoot net? And I was like nobody's shooting at me. And he pokes his head around the corner in the fourth round comes. And he fires a couple rounds back. And then we we both go down the alleyway to clear the little bit of blood and trails up over the back wall. And that was the end of it. Well, I mean as we're getting everything established, you know, everything with the seal team and getting just getting her out by the time. We were even starting to establish our blocking positions, they're pulling the helicopters in and there s fell in her out. So now, we're doing holding down the routes waiting for the guys from first battalion who had driven east town and kind of loop around and we're coming in from the north to try and avoid all the roadblocks barricades and stuff so to get in. So we're holding everything down while they're collecting the remains for the other members from. Her convoy the whole thing from start to finish only lasted about three hours a little disappointed in the far as the gunfight site of ghost. But on the other flip side of that. What what the the letdown was with that? You're there was overwhelming swell pride amongst everybody that you know, this is the first POW rescue in over forty years. And we got to be part of it. What followed was another two years of uneventful deployments. It seemed as if Moore had found himself in the wrong country. Every time something interesting happened in retrospect, Afghanistan was just digging in. It was something. He kind of got a sense of during his first tour in that country during operation winter strike, which stood out more for the awful cold and unforgiving conditions than for any accomplishments. More remembers to things stick out, particularly the first was that whenever someone talks about the suck. That's what he thinks of the second was just how isolated area they had come to hunt. Bad guys, really? Was there really decentralized up there, and it's very true? Able and clannish. So we start going up there. You know, the the first thought was that. Oh, well, the Russians are finally coming back up in here. And that was kind of the running joke is that oh the Russians are are still here. And then they find out that we're Americans, and they think that we're over here and we've chased the Russians away, and it's like no the rest has been gone for like ten years. So the last ten times it snowed. They haven't been here. So that was kind of like the recurring theme every time we'd bump into new village. Everybody's like, oh, you're here to get rid of the Russians like no they left on their own. They did it like ten years ago. That's kind of when when you look ghanistan to the end of two thousand three early two thousand four that's kind of the last time where they actually were still happy that we were there. And then starts the okay. Will you guys have chased the Taliban away the al-qaeda's gone? And and you know, now, we don't want you in our country either. So, you know, now, we're gonna start fighting you because we want you to leave to more would have been happy to accommodate from his perspective. Whatever action there was had to be happening someplace else, he got married. And continued training and deploying short uneventful bursts for most of two thousand and five and then while finishing up a tour and the corn gall valley. More got pulled into another action that would take its place in US military legend and lure so to five ended up going to Afghantistan way. Didn't really do a ton of anything. We may have done maybe ten missions on the were like, oh, this thing is finally started in because we're hearing all this stuff that's going on in Iraq. And all the fun that those guys are having an, you know, they're offering temple is really high. And we're over here like waiting in the kiddy pool when we get the word that the seals are going to go out and they're gonna conduct. What's called the operation Red Wings, and they're going to insert a four-man reconnaissance team up in the cone are and try and gather some some firsthand intelligence, we all kind of we're puzzled at you're going into co NAR, and you're taking a form in seal team. Doesn't really sound. Like, the smartest decision. They launched the mission on the twenty seventh and knows on eventful for them all the way through the morning of the twenty eighth and the Nega compromised by some goat herders in the mountains and started a a running gunfight for for that seal team seals Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson, Daniel deeds, and Marcus Latrell were missing out of contact. Command. Scrambled a quick reaction force to support an or extract the team, but that mission went sideways well with the special forces helicopter being shot down all sixteen aboard were killed more. Who had just been elevated to squad leader heard all of the news at once the Rangers tasked with recovering the helicopter crew and the eight navy seals aboard. And then continuing the hunt for the four seals. We'd lost contact the time line called for a twelve to twenty four hour mission. But the rain pushed back the initial response overnight by the time, it was all said and done more in his ranger platoon would be in the field for much longer. Than that. Hiring used to be hard multiple job sites. Stacks of resumes. A confusing review process, but today hiring can be easy. And you only have to go to one place to get it done. Ziprecruiter dot com slash this is war ZipRecruiter since your job to more than one hundred of the world's leading job boards. But they don't stop there. With their powerful matching technologies recruiter scans thousands of resumes to find people with the right experience and invite them to apply for your job as the applications come in ZipRecruiter analyzes each one spotlights the top candidates. Sue you. Never miss a great match. Ziprecruiter is so effective that eighty percent of employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day. And right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free at this exclusive web address, ZipRecruiter dot com slash this is war. That's ZipRecruiter dot. Com slash t h I s I s wwl are ZipRecruiter dot com slash this is war. Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. Part of day to day ranger operations. So on some level. It made sense that the original mission plan was for twelve to twenty four hours. They needed to account for the sixteen servicemembers who'd likely were lost in the crash and get the bodies or the casualties extracted. Then it was just a matter of catching up with the four seals if they were still alive and exfiltrated them from the scene and back to the base. But people don't realize that when helicopters get shot down in Afghanistan, even in Iraq. It's not that we're not going to put troops back up there, and we're not going to send helicopters backup there. But we have to put all the pieces together to support these lift assets to get in there people go why did it take, you know, six hours to launch the the second rescue effort? Well, we just had a helicopter get shot down. And you know, we can't just fly an unescorted helicopter up in there and put troops on the ground. You're on on one of the most important missions that you could you could be on you know, as combat search and rescue. Is sounds like it's this horrible thing. But I mean in actuality, you're you're the guy. That's going in to make sure that her injured alluded get medical attention. They get flown out. And that you know, guys that are killed get to come home. Things started going wrong before they were even on the ground. There was no good landing zone. So the Rangers had fast rope out of the back of the helicopter sixty to eighty feet down to the rugged heavily tree to rain from there. It was a race in the wet slippery hilly dark to the helicopter. They still could see burning in the distance. The crash was more than twenty four hours old and the four seals were missing for something closer to thirty six the Afghan fighters had long since bugged out and the Rangers could see their campfires on the distant ridges. They noted their positions for later time for now the platoon had the mountains dangers in the missions urgency as their enemies, you'll even then we still had some some injuries of system guys that probably should have been medivac. But there was not a way to so they had to deal with you know, the the sprained ankles, and we had one guy with a broken arm that should have. Been medevac. But you know, you can't land helicopter, and they just did one hundred foot fast rope. So, you know, he's wearing just a splint on his arm and luckily for him, he's radio operator. So he just needed one hand took us most of the night to get there. I think we got there about an hour before the sun came up. Nobody was left alive. Everybody had had died in the crash because the helicopter turned into a fireball when it got shot with an RV g. So it was just recovered the sixteen bodies at the crash site. And they started collecting the remains up in bagging and moving them back up onto the right as the sun came up, and I would say probably about lunchtime. They were they were done. The next problem was to get the fallen and the guys who'd been injured on their way to the crash site home Moore's team just returned from a master breaches class before their deployment. So they grabbed up some charges and set to creating a clearing where one hadn't been the work took hours just before nightfall they were able to put the dead and the injured on a helicopter turn their minds to answering the next big question. What happened to the four navy seals? So we still don't know the fate of this seal team that's lost. You know, they've dropped out of comes. And they've never come back in and reestablish communications. So, you know, are they alive or dead is the radio shot? It does the Taliban or al-qaeda do they have control their equipment? And they're missing with this. Or so do you see the variables of all the things that are are kind of playing with this decision to? Okay, we're going to send about fifteen man ranger element. We're gonna go down the mountain, and we're going to figure out what this is. And of course, the lovely mountain rain starts to come in. And it's rained on us all night long. And so guys are slipping and sliding down this narrow little trail and. Just kind of it was a miserable day is what are those ones? Where like if you don't find something to laugh at is horrible. So we everybody's slipping and falling and we're laughing at each other. And it's kind of you know, trying to take the misery out of it. Eventually one of the guys lipped off terrace and was spared. A two hundred foot follow his death by allege the Rangers called tonight, but without cover and between the adrenaline and the relentless rain nobody really slept. They had only been in the field twenty four hours at this point. But it was clear they were nowhere near completing their mission. The forward observers continued marking the campfire positions of the Afghan fighters across the valley. They would get there before it was all said and done in the morning. They called for resupplying got word that a special forces detachment was catching up with them. So they held fast drying their close as best. They could before linking up with the SF guys in heading toward a nearby village. The special forces team wanted to approach the village elders and ask about the seals. The Rangers wanted to start kicking in doors in. In the end. They split the difference with the SF guys heading down to have tea and the Rangers kicking in doors. I hate to use the term this a typical Afghan village in the mountains. It's you know, terrorist construction. So, you know, my house might be on top of your house. Has it starts to go down? The ridge not really big. There might have been they be twenty five structures in the village. Well, I mean, we only kicked in the doors on maybe eight to twelve houses, and then Jason called on the radio and said there were three people coming up from the from the bottom of the draw at this point. We we kind of knew that somebody had survive because there was this note that had reached the base at Asadabad. So as all of this, you know, us coming off the ridge all this information starting to dump down at the same time. It's getting disseminated us. So we knew that there was one confirmed Americans -vivor. So when you see a six foot tall person in Afghanistan with a big big black beard, and bushy hair. And it's not, you know, Brown skinned individual like the. Afghans are then you're like, okay. Well, we got him. So we stopped smashing indoors. And and we said sorry. And if you want some money for your smashed indoors come out here and talk to these guys, and they'll pay you sorry. The Rangers mission had been successful so far. But it wasn't a triumph by any means. They'd recover the bodies of their fallen comrades and located a portion of the missing seal team, Marcus Latrell, whose own struggle would be recounted in the book and movie lone survivor, but the longest most difficult part of the mission still was in front of them the SF teams medic in our medic where we're treating Marcus for his injuries. And you know, started trading some intelligence of you know, where where were you guys at you know, what happened how did all this play out? And then the ultimate the the question comes down is, you know, well, you guys were f- two days ago. You guys were four-man reconnaissance team. Now, there's just you. Where's everybody else? And is one of those, you know, he just kind of said there did it was like, oh, okay. But where and he's you know points up to the ridge. And he said, I don't know man, we were just in a downhill gunfight and. I ended up by myself. So they're I mean, they're up there somewhere as kind of one of those frustrating moments for us because you know, it's like, oh awesome. Sin needle in haystack. The mountains of ghanistan present a particular challenge, especially when you're conducting a search in addition to the awful weather. There are these rocky crevices with treacherous footing and severe inclines where you can walk miles up cover less than half that distance laterally. Moreover, since you're looking for any evidence at all the going is incredibly slow and just as with that last body recovery mission. It's a question of success without victory. So we got Marcus out. And then the next day the remaining portion of our platoon started pushing down off the top of the mountain, and we started cleared from below the village up through the bottom of the draw and till we bumped into each other. And did you find anything we didn't find anything in kind of? They took a break. We took a break. And we're just gonna you know, the top half of the climb. They found the first two remains. They founded by accident. One of the guys lost his footing and slipped in this little washout and ended up face down on top of both of. And so then it was you know, he got freaked out. And then he said, okay, I found two and so then they had to figure out there on the side of the mountain, and it's a really steep up there. I mean, so then it had try and figure out how to get these two guys back to the top. So they had to wrap them up in ponchos and try and make litter out of some some sticks and logs and things that they had found and kind of drag these guys back to the top. And then call another medivac in and do basket retrieval to to get them off the top of the ridge because it was gonna take too long after the Jessica Lynch rescue more was involved in the hunt for the guys on the fifty two most wanted he'd been back and forth to Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple tours and missions that were more or less accessible. But what sticks out with him more than the firefights clearing-houses in enduring the sub that was the day to day, the desert's of Iraq and in the mountains of Afghans, STAN and the guys who didn't come back, and what that took the Rangers provided muscle for the delta and seal team special operators who they refer to his secret squirrel guys when you're working on the edges like that. Though. There aren't a lot of half successes. It's often either triumph or disaster. More had been arranged for a decade when he got his turn to be put tune sergeant overseeing actions on what was shipping up to be another relatively uneventful tour in Afghanistan. The weren't Iraq was over. And there was a significant push to clean up enough ghanistan as well. Bin Laden was dead. And other leaders were in the crosshairs Afghanistan was popping with special forces running missions. And the Rangers were there to provide muscle and support is needed. Then on August, six two thousand and eleven extortion. Seventeen was shot down carrying members of seal team six and their dog along with some Afghan. Soldiers. It would be the deadliest night in special forces history. More in his platoon who were involved in the assault on objective lefty grove were in mid chase. When they got the news Il drunk drop are targeted extortion. One seven moved to recover, you know, secure the crash site again and recover the thirty eight kills on on that crash. You know, I already in my mind, I know it we're walking into, but I'm I'm the only guy in my platoon. That's there when on the ground for the one in two thousand five dealing thing that you could do is figure out which squad has the guys that have been around the longest and the guys that are the most mature that can handle what you're about to walk into Menendez skysurfer to get fatigued, and you just have to trade him out with other guys, but you try to limit the amount of guys that you have to expose to that you know, to the to the lease amounts possible. Retrieving those sixteen bodies six years before made more uniquely qualified to run this mission. But. The foreign fighters who shot down extortion seventeen. It was just luck. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time still he knew that his toughest is Rangers were this was going to be a mission that stuck with them. I think the biggest off striking moment for most of the guys was not when we actually got to the crash, and it was one of those oh, no moments. If he will as gifts on the radio when we rounded this thing in the whole night sky just lit up with this fire in the distance. And and you know, what it is. And and you're still, you know, forty five minutes away from it. I mean, the flames are licking up out of the out of the bottom of this creek twenty five thirty feet, you know, just straight up things are still exploding ammunition. Still cooking off from the fire in the heat. Fuel cells are exploding that haven't ruptured yet from the helicopter. Everybody wants to run straight to the fire. And you know, it's it's great. But you have to kind of say, well, this is a crash and people get thrown from crashes took an hour for them to cover the distance moving fast. As they could down in ID heavy road and hoping for the best rather than marching through village. They took a shortcut through a field. Again. The idea is to move as fast as possible to the recovery site without taking your eyes off the road getting into a firefight and having to be rescued at this point or having to deal with additional wounded only increases the burden on the whole regiment. Plus, you essentially have to hand over your mission to someone else, and then the mission takes longer the last thing more wanted was for his guys to be out there one second more than necessary. But I was turned around and come back and give some more guidance and direction the last feel so exploded, basically knocked everybody down laid me I'll over thirty feet away from it late me fly back and doc and Andrew took a couple of small pieces of shrapnel to the to the leg and went to to the small of the back. Andrew got a blister on his back. Docket a piece of shrapnel stuck in his calf their personnel. As tight as they can get, you know, as long as they can stand the heat, and they're they're starting to collect some of these guys that are on the outlying edges of the fire instead of just sitting there staring at it like a campfire dine out, you know, we're trying to as fast as we can safely as we can, you know, start collecting these these remains to get accountability. Whether you're in combat or performance search and rescue. Sometimes there are some tough choices you have to make. And they stay with you. There also were some tough choices that people make on your behalf. Those can be the toughest ones to push through by the time. The fire died down each of the men and Moore's ranger platoon would walkaway different person. This podcast is sponsored by ADT. This Israel protection when it comes to something as important as your family's safety. You deserve real protection. From ADT. Real protection means the nation's number one smart home security provider is standing by. 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Just for you ADT real protection. Time. And again, when we hear stories of the people who've served, it's easy loose sense. The vast nece this is a small number of soldiers well trained, and well armed but still on their own in the vast wilderness, and sometimes technology just can't do the job alone. The only thing for it is to put one foot in front of the other news, your hands and your brains solve problems and endure hardships. And do the best you can when there's no good option as a set to recovering and sending home the remains of the seal team, each ranger understood the solemnity of the moment, and the responsibility, they bore the hardest part of the whole thing was that the dog handler he had grabbed the dog as a helicopter gotten shot. So it started to spin he grabbed the dog to hold onto it. He's responsible for for control in the dog. So his natural instinct when yield would something happens like that is to to grab the dog to keep it from becoming a flying object inside the helicopter and then after the crash east. Still holding onto it. And so you know him and he died holding the dog. So that was the hardest part was you know, how do we take this individual and this dog in separate the two. So you know, it becomes one of those. It's just because one of those really just bad decisions that you have to make yield a you have to tell somebody. Hey, we have to you know, they have to be separated. And there's you know, it's better to. Break the dog in half than it is to tear somebody's, you know, a an American servicemembers arms off. So we ended up having to grab the dog weather the back legs in the front legs. And kind of folded him until it just broke. The Rangers have been on the ground for thirty two hours by the time. They got the bodies loaded and their relief arrive, but there was going to get a lot longer still given the recent shootdown they couldn't be exfiltrated during the day. They sprinted up the mountain to the ridge from where they could be safely X failed. Fifteen minutes before the sun broke, ten minutes later, they were on the chopper and in another ten they had put back down at the base. But it was a different base than they had left an empty or one. The seal team commander was on the hill copter. He flew into exile with us just a ride, and he wanted to talk everybody, you know, about what had happened, and we just kind of stay there. We let him say what he needed to say the buses were there for us to get onto ride back to the camp from the flight line. And I just said, hey, just. Just take a minute. And you know, just think about what has just happened in in. You know, if you know, if you need a minute just kinda just take a minute because there's no there's no shame in in anything that you know, I've asked you to do or that you've done. I mean, it should be extremely proud of yourselves. And you know, it's okay. If you know nobody's going to hold it against somebody cafeteria there. I I think most guys was we were okay. When we got off the helicopters when we got back to the camp in like walking into a ghost town, thirty three people or not there anymore, and there's nobody walking around outside. There's there's nobody standing outside drinking a Cup of coffee having a conversation laughing joking throwing a football than the support personnel. Start coming out of the dock, and they start, you know, wanting to their all in tears because they lost all their friends, and you're here, and they wanna give you a hug, and it's just it's it's an emotionally awkward moment. As kinda. The only way that I can describe this feeling it's just like, and I have no idea what to say to you. But you know, they say thank you for what you've done to, you know, mixture their friends came home. And thank you just doesn't feel like the right words by the time. His career was over nNcholas more had been in the Rangers for dozen years deployed for a significant amount of that without a scratch worth talking about like so much else. When it comes to the chaos of battle, though, that's just a matter of dumb luck one way or the other though it had spared him on previous raids. Chance was not his ally on his final incursion. That's October eighth. We get a pretty decent target for what we call mid level pipes Weirs just the idea weapons facilitators is usually what they are. They can give you the intelligence for the guys on the top of the pyramid that they can tell you how to get the guys on the bottom. The building cluster we only had like about a twenty five percent chance of hitting the right building because it was four compounds and they all shared stale shared walls. So you know, we took a swing on the first building where we thought. It was actually at and it turned out it was wrong. And so we move down the alleyway a little bit more started kicking in doors trying to get a sense of which would be the next one kicked open fella ranger specialist Ricard's, Sarah and a couple others. We're following along providing cover and security. They were setting up for the raid with the doorway propped open more a second just to make sure everyone was set. So now, we have an open door. So I get a gun barrel in their third squads shows up right behind me. Just like ten seconds later. Cerro. Says off on my on my right? And he's pulled security on more doors down the alley from us, and Sean Sean on the other side of the gateway from me. And he's got the rest of the squad there with him. He had been holding the gate door open. So he let go of it. And it started swing shut, you know, instinctually. I stuck my leg across there to hold the gate from swinging shut on my rifle. And as soon as I got the gate, push all the way back open with my right leg. I took it three round burst from an AK one round through the right thigh one round through. The right arm and the third one skip through my helmet. You're the first round impacted in my leg, and it just felt like somebody hit me with an eight pound sledge hammer on a full swing. It was just total shock and just pain my leg hurts so bad. I didn't even know I'd been shot in the arm as I'm getting spun around. I knew I'd gotten shot through the helmet people say, well, you know, what was that like as well, the light cert- to go diem, and that you get tunnel vision. And so I'm kind of knocked a little stupid if he will. And I slide down the wall, and I sit down and it's like, oh, okay. I know supposed to do something. Rangers train almost the exact same level of intensity with which they deploy. That means exhaustion, and hunger and extreme weather aren't anymore problem when the rounds or live than when it's a training exercise, but getting shot as different story you see regularly engage in casualty play pretending to be wounded and self applying field dressings, but having gone more than a decade without a scratch. Reality of the wound in the fog of action said more back for a second eventually found his turn it and got it on around him the firefight. Just intensified just a minute. Maybe a minute or two gone by in my perception of time, you know, get the call that you know, grenade has been thrown out in the alleyway. And so it's like, well, I kid stand up and move. So all I can do slight over and lay on my left side and let my my rear end get hit. And you know, I couldn't feel anything because my leg was numb from from heaven been shot. So I knew I'd got hit in the in the leg by because there was no way to not get hit by because there wasn't that much space out there, and all I heard was moaning in the night was Sarah said had gotten a hit with the strap NL and he had fallen down from it. And he was laying kinda just off my feet in the alleyway. And there was a lull in the, you know, gunfire kind of cease there for a minute or two Garrett had been standing right there. Neck. To me. And he asked me could I walk. I said the ACA wall just stand me up and docks coming down to help. And, you know, ask me if I'm okay? And I said, no, I'm fine. Just help Cerro's. I started, you know, making my way out, and I just remember, you know, looking down in the moonlight and seeing this enemy fighter in the alleyway. Who's who's dead in my mind? I'm like I'm only been sitting on the ground for a couple of minutes where did he come from? And actually, it's about ten minutes. I got about halfway to where I wanna go in my leg. Start falling asleep and our other medics coming in. And he's asking me if I'm okay? And I said, yeah, I'm okay. I can't feel my foot though. And I don't wanna follow my face. So give me a shoulder to hang onto and doc sits down and looking be over. And they said, well, you need another turn kit 'cause you're still bleeding all could do with him because hurt really bad and than by that time Sarah says coming out, and he was way worse off than me. So I was telling Dr, you know, go help barrows. So I'm banged up. I'm still trying to direct the. Fight that's going on trying to move elements around doing okay, as you know as a casualty. I knew that it'd been shot and was kind of messed up, and I didn't really start to panic about anything until they cut my arm off me, and they took my radio's away. And I I was just, you know, the reality of of everything kind of solidified in my mind that you know, I'm about to get medivac out here. The Rangers had more than a dozen purple hearts awarded that night and two silver stars was for Sean who was shot in the arm and kept fighting until an Apache helicopter took down the entire compound with hellfire rockets. The other one was awarded to specialist. Ricardo. Sarah's posthumously Cirrus state right there and said of taking cover when the grenade was called he stayed right there. Right. By my side. You know, at at the cost of his own life to pull security on those two doorways into make sure that you know, nobody would interfere with the casualties. We had where I was. And then afterwards, you know. That was probably the hardest part was meeting his his family not because I didn't want to. But because you know, that's that can go one of two ways, you know, they're going to be proud and accept the fact that you know, what their son did, and, you know, an embrace you or they're going to hit you. And so when you have to try and explain, you know, all of this happened, and I survived, and he didn't it's it's just always kind of one of those those hard hard things. It went really great. You know, his dad was a vet and it served in the army and the eighties. So his dad, you know, alternately knew what is son it signed up to do when a son signed up to be a ranger. And he said, I, you know, unfortunately, you know, he's not here. But you are and he did his job. And he did what he was supposed to do. So I can't be you know, I can't hold that against you. That's you know. Oh, that's just the way things happen. And you know, he said, I'm just really proud that. He didn't he didn't let himself down. Although he technically served another tour. More spent the first part of it behind a desk, the assignment exacerbated his wounded infection set in more had exactly no plan for life after the army. He had signed up as a life or before the war on terror even started and had been confident that he'd do twenty years. He was six years shy when he was medically retired. That's kind of the hard part for when guy sign up to be in the military, and they get injured and going through the process of rehabilitation and trying to come back on duty. And then they say, no, you're going to be mid boarded. And then it's you know, you kind of just get dumped out and here you go. Hope you were smart enough to figure something else out. I started working through the VA system. And you know, my west started putting out a lot of things that I was trying to hide that I didn't have short term memory issues, and you know. A lot lot worse issues with my leg than than what I like to to lead on with people in Sioux. Now, I'm a hundred percent disabled from the VA, and I draw disability from social security more was invited onto a television show called grateful nation with Tim able and during the production historic captured the host attention from their more started working with another veteran on the book run to the sound of the guns and account of Moore's life of service. The toughest thing for so many people transitioning out of the military is finding away for their life to continue to mean something special to be extra ordinary. The disconnect is it's hard to do extraordinary things in day to day America, but holding close that sense of living up to a higher set of ideals and finding a way every day not to let yourself down. That's a challenge worth meeting. And for now, that's the best plan that nNcholas Moore has. Next time on this is war. And so we're getting shot at at first. We don't know exactly where it's coming from. But then eventually, I see this caller at the end of this alleyway and can see the muzzle flashes. Coming from the windows. Are you a combat veteran or do, you know, one with story to tell breach out to us at stories at this is war dot com with your dates and branch of service, and a brief description of the experience that you'd like to share if you like to show you can help support us by visiting our sponsors or by leaving us a five star review wherever you're listening right now. This is war was written by me, Anthony Russo and produced by incongruity media, executive producer Hernan Lopez for wondering.