10 Years Alive by Pat

It happened 10 years ago. My wife believed in me. She showed up to Bethesda, MD. She told me that I would make it. She flew from Seattle, Washington to Ronald Reagan Airport in D.C. She got there in the morning of Monday July 9, 2007.

My family, friends, nurses and doctors all said it was bad. This one doctor said I would be dead in a week. The nurses were good. This other doctor came to see me in the morning and at night. He was very good. I don’t remember, I was in a coma for 4 weeks.

I landed at Joint Base Andrews, AF, MD. On the way we stopped in Landstuhl, AF in Germany. I did a “tail to tail.” I was there for an hour. I had come from Balad, Iraq. They did my surgery there took 8 or 10 hours. Before I was in a helicopter from Baghdad.

When you get hurt you have one hour to live. My Thunder soldiers did fantastic!

We were in Dora, Baghdad. I had a new job for the last two months. We always went out at night to make sure we found the bad ones who were setting explosives for the next day. That night, I had about 10 soldiers along side me on a rooftop. About 10 houses away there were 10 more soldiers from my unit. After a couple of hours we wanted to get water for the soldiers. Two soldiers were going to go to the Stryker, so I decided to go with them.

That day was July 7, 2007. It was in the middle of the night.

The first guys had moved across the roof and were going down the stairs. I was heading to the stairs on the second house and somebody shot me in the left temporal skull. I passed out right away. Two of my soldiers ran over to see what I was doing. They saw that I was passed out. It took four soldiers to dragged me downstairs and put me in to a Stryker. I went to the hospital right away.

I lived. They were so professional. And I will never be the same. My life is differently now. But I can’t complain…

If you ever run into these people, give them a hug for me!

Kevin DaGraca, Larry Forrest, Frankie Vasquez, Manykhamph Douangmala, Timothy Antinick, Robert Buller, Jonathan Byerly, Ho Lee, Clayton Kline, Daniel Ward, Phillip Hoss, Daniel Iovine, Erickson Hooper, Sean Burnett, John Kennedy, Garret Meadows, Jeremy Woodard, Jose Alvarez, Jeremy Pattman, Lance Holtgeerts, Chris Kay, Clifford Mills, Jack McClernon, Brian Hux, Todd Tasco, Brandon Kinton, Travis Sparr, Taire Smith, Mathew Sukovieh and Doc Kevin McCulley.

RIP Matthew Attalai (Afghanistan 2010)

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