Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Marines have a message for the Iraqi "Insurgents"

On 19 September 2005, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt, a 35-year-old native of Huntington Beach, California, who had served with the Marine Corps for 18 years (the last 15 of them in bomb disposal), was called upon to disarm some improvised explosive devices (IEDs) near Ramadi, Iraq.

As a member of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit, Sgt. Burghardt was tasked with locating, identifying, disarming and disposing of the IEDs that Iraqi insurgents have increasingly been using as offensive weapons against U.S. troops.

Unfortunately, that day Sgt. Burghardt was unsuccessful at disarming an IED before the device exploded, showering and burying him with dirt, shrapnel, and other debris. Colleagues rushed to his aid, initially fearing he was dead, but remarkably his injuries were mostly limited to wounds and burns on his back, legs, and backside, and he returned to duty less than a month later.

While Sgt. Burghardt spent over three weeks recuperating at his unit's headquarters — days he described as "among the most difficult of his career" — he proclaimed that despite his injuries, he was not looking for a ticket out of the country — the incident occurred during his third deployment to Iraq, and he stated that he planned to see plenty more action: "I don't want a ticket out. I want to stay here so we can take as many people home as possible. I'll do 30 years, as long as I'm having fun. Unless I die."

The Omaha World-Herald photograph of Sgt. Burghardt displayed above — taken in the aftermath of the bomb blast and showing him "standing on his own two feet, pants cut off, legs bandaged and directing a single-digit salute of defiance at his attackers" — appeared in that newspaper five days later and quickly became one of the most popular iconic images of the Iraq War. As the World-Herald noted of its origins and impact:

... with two new young Marines in his ordnance disposal unit — and the insurgent attackers undoubtedly looking on — "I didn't want them to see the team leader carried away on a stretcher," [Burghardt] said.

So after the Nebraskans tended to wounds that reached from his boot tops to the small of his back, Burghardt rose to his feet and reached back with a one-finger salute for his attackers. "I was angry," Burghardt said.

The photo appeared on numerous Marine-related Internet web logs. Burghardt received more than 100 e-mails within days of the picture's publication. It has become a screensaver on soldiers' and Marines' computers across Iraq. "I don't know how my anger turned into a motivational picture," Burghardt said.

Thank you for your service, Gunny Sergeant Burghardt. We at Pedestrian Infidel salute you.

And we wholeheartedly agree with your message to the Iraqi 'insurgents'.

8 comments:

American Crusader said...

A friend of mine had e-mailed me that story of the Marine gunnery sergeant. Regardless of how lucky he was, you have to admire his bravery and his "in-your-face" response to the insurgents. I'm glad we have people like that on our side.

dag said...

The West tries as it can to raise boys to cry like Dustin Hoffman but men will be men.

I haven't cried since I read about the CNN interviewer asking the Marine sniper what he feels when he shoots an Iraqi terrorist, and the sniper replied: "Recoil."

Tears are still streaming down my cheeks.

maccusgermanis said...

This guy is waving the banner for ideals I hold dear. Thanks for posting this, its great.

"Recoil" liertally lol and woke my roomate

mts said...

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt.

There goes a MAN.

He has a bomb go off on him, is injured and dazed, yet has the fortitude and presence of mind to have his first thoughts be on how to present himself to bolster the morale of his fellow troops, and to show defiance in the face of the onlooking insurgents.

The spirit of Chesty Puller and Audie Murphy, et. al. isn't dead, not by a long shot. Thank God.

The Anti-Jihadist said...

As long as there are men like Gunny Sergeant Burghardt serving in the nation's military, the cause is not lost. Our cause is far better served by brave men like this man, as opposed to the spineless UN dhimmicrats that plot from behind the UN facade in Turtle Bay.

providence4u said...

Audie Murphy was a soldier, not a Marine. But they all embody the spirit of The West.
Darius, "my troops will fill the sky with arrows".
Spartan hoplite, "Then we will fight in the shade".

Greek women told their men to return carrying their shields, or being carried on them. So long as their are men who can fight like this, Islam cannot prevail.

I have never served, but I shall take a small liberty here;

Semper Fi, Gunny!!
recoil indeed... :)

intrcptr said...

Audie Murphy was a soldier, not a Marine. But they all embody the spirit of The West.
Darius, "my troops will fill the sky with arrows".
Spartan hoplite, "Then we will fight in the shade".

Greek women told their men to return carrying their shields, or being carried on them. So long as their are men who can fight like this, Islam cannot prevail.

I have never served, but I shall take a small liberty here;

Semper Fi, Gunny!!
recoil indeed... :)

intrcptr said...

Audie Murphy was a soldier, not a Marine. But they all embody the spirit of The West.
Darius, "my troops will fill the sky with arrows".
Spartan hoplite, "Then we will fight in the shade".

Greek women told their men to return carrying their shields, or being carried on them. So long as their are men who can fight like this, Islam cannot prevail.

I have never served, but I shall take a small liberty here;

Semper Fi, Gunny!!
recoil indeed... :)