Posted on May 1, 2006
Because you’re a milblog reader, you’ve probably heard the tale of Marine First Sergeant Brad Kasal:
Kasal, in his second tour in Iraq, was with the Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, during the assault. At the height of the fighting Nov. 13, Marines were going door to door. Insurgents were often waiting upstairs to rain down AK-47 fire and grenades.
When Kasal learned that three Marines were pinned down in one house, he and other Marines went to their aid.
Once inside the house, Kasal barked orders to younger Marines to cover vantage spots where insurgents might be hiding. He turned into one room and immediately ran into an insurgent who cried out in Arabic. The two exchanged gunfire; the insurgent missed and Kasal killed him.
Other insurgents fired at the Marines from upstairs, hitting Kasal and others. Kasal fought his way to a wounded Marine and used a tourniquet on his leg to keep him from bleeding to death. When he spotted an insurgent’s grenade, he sheltered the wounded Marine with his body to protect him from the blast.
Kasal refused medical attention until other Marines were helped and made sure Marines in the street knew there were Marines inside so none would be hit by so-called friendly fire.
“Although severely wounded himself, he shouted encouragement to his fellow Marines,” the Navy Cross citation states. By the time he was evacuated, Kasal had lost about 60% of his blood and was barely conscious.
But now you can read about it in the LA Times. Promoted to Sergeant Major. Awarded the Navy Cross. Ready to go back and finish the job – just as soon as he can recover from his wounds. Good to see that he’s getting the recognition that he deserves – from the Marine Corps and the press – even if he’s too humble to accept it.
Where would we be without such men?