Leakey Awarded Victoria Cross For Valor In Afghanistan

Leakey Awarded Victoria Cross For Heroism In Afghanistan

Joshua Mark Leakey Awarded Victoria Cross For Heroism In Afghanistan

Leakey became the first living British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism during the Afghan campaign.

And he only the 15th to be awarded the medal since the end of the WW2

And the Victoria Cross is not the first in L/Cpl Leakey’s family.

His second cousin, twice removed, won a posthumous VC while serving with the King’s African Rifles in Abyssinia.

The Valor Bravery And Selflessness

It was expected to be a routine mission like countless others during the long campaign in Afghanistan.

A joint force of British soldiers and United States Marines were to be helicoptered into an area, flush out any fighters that might be there and hold meetings with the village elders.

But Leakey, aged 27, who was serving with 1st Bn Parachute Regiment ended up single-handedly turned the tide of a Taliban attack.

Their helicopter had landed near a hill just outside the village, in order to provide protection for troops from the other helicopter who would move into the village.

Soon after exiting their helicopter, the troops who were to move into the village came under heavy and accurate machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire, pinning them down on an exposed slope.

The group spent an hour under heavy fire and a US marine officer was hit in the shoulder.

L/Cpl Leakey and around six British soldiers were on the other side of the hill when they heard the gunfire and heard over the radio that someone had been injured.

Why Leakey Was Awarded The Victoria Cross

The citation for his medal reads:

"L/Cpl Leakey, positioned on the lee of the hill, realizing the seriousness of the situation and with complete disregard for his own safety, dashed across a large area of barren hillside which was now being raked with machine gun fire".

"As he crested the hill, the full severity of the situation became apparent and approximately twenty enemy had surrounded two friendly machine gun teams and a mortar section",

Leakey first moved down the hill and gave first aid to the wounded American.

But realizing the Taliban still had the upper hand, he set off back up the hill to get one of the machine guns back into action.

When he reached the machine gun, the incoming Taliban fire was so heavy and accurate that bullets were hitting the gun’s frame.

Undeterred, he picked it up and moved it to a better position to open fire.

As he fired back at the fighters he could see them around 300 to 400 yards away in a half built compound.

His actions spurred on those around him to fight back, but not content, he decided that a second machine gun needed to be set up on the crest of the hill.

His citation reads:

"Weighed down by over 60lbs of equipment, he ran to the bottom of the hill, picked up the second machine gun and climbed back up the hill again: a round trip of more than 200m on steep terrain. Drawing the majority of the enemy fire, with rounds splashing around him, L/Cpl Leakey overcame his fatigue to re site the gun and return fire".

"Displaying gritty leadership well above that expected of his rank, L/Cpl Leakey’s actions single-handedly regained the initiative and prevented considerable loss of life, allowing a wounded US Marine officer to be evacuated. For this act of valor, L/Cpl Leakey is highly deserving of significant national recognition".

Leakey’s Reaction To The Award?

Leakey said that he was deeply honored but insisted that the award was for everyone in his regiment and battalion.

"It was a memorable patrol in that a lot happened, but that’s what it was, another patrol".

"Everything written in the citation says me, me, me. But I definitely feel it’s a team thing. There were blokes who were with me there on the ground right in amongst it and if it was up to me they would be sat here as well".

He denied he had ever been scared as bullets ricocheted around him.

"You don’t really think what could happen to yourself, you think, how is what I’m doing now going to improve the situation?".

"It’s part of the very nature of being in the Army, and especially the Parachute Regiment, that we have to adapt to situations you don’t expect to happen".

Pointing to the badge on his maroon Parachute Regiment beret, he added:

"The only thing I was really scared of was letting this down. That to me, that’s why I joined, that’s why I joined the Army to be a paratrooper".

Service In Afghanistan

Leakey joined the British Army in 2007 and was subsequently posted to the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment.

He served three tours of duty in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick: in 2009, 2011 and 2013

Comments are very welcome and you don’t need to log-in to post them.

Posted in Hero, miracle, The right stuff, war | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Jessica Buchanan & Poul Hagen Rescued By SEALs After 93 Days In Somalia

Jessica Buchanan And Poul Thisted Survived 93 Days As Hostages of Somali Terrorists

Jessica Buchanan Survived 93 Days as a Hostage of Somali Terrorists

Jessica Buchanan (32) and Poul Thisted (60) were taken hostage in Somalia when they went there to teach children how to avoid land-mines.

Their car was hijacked on arrival by Somali bandits with AK 47’s.

One of them was a ten-year-old boy who was draped in ammunition.

She was sure she was going to be raped and that they would both be killed.

But that was not the plan.

Continue reading

Posted in Hostage, terror, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

American Hero Rescues Child From Blazing Apartment

Hero – American Hero Rescues Child From Blazing Apartment

Hero - American Hero Rescues Child From Blazing Apartment

On December 4, 2013, Kerra, aged 7, was in her family’s apartment, which was on the second floor of a two-story building, when fire broke out in one of the unit’s bedrooms.

By good fortune, or God’s grace, Frederick J. Levesque Jr., 52, of Stafford Springs, Connecticut, happened to be driving by when he noticed flames and smoke rising from the building.

Attempt One

Levesque, aged 52, a retired corrections administrator, stopped at the scene, and entered the building through the back door.

Continue reading

Posted in Accident, God, Hero, miracle, The right stuff | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Chris Kyle – His Heroic Patriotic Life And His Ironic Tragic Death

Chris Kyle (April 8, 1974 – February 2, 2013) was a United States Navy SEAL, and proclaimed the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, having accumulated 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills.

Chris Kyle - His Heroic Patriotic Life And His Ironic Tragic DeathHis confirmed kills are based on individual shooter logs, filled out at the end of a mission, and later reported to higher command.

Confirmed kills must have a witness.

Chris Kyle served four tours during the Iraq War and was awarded several commendations for acts of heroism and meritorious service in combat.

He received two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Iraqi insurgents dubbed him the “Devil of Ramadi” and placed a series of ever increasing bounties on his head, purported to have eventually reached six figures.

He became known by the nickname, “Legend” among the general infantry and Marines whom he was sent there to protect.

This title was apparently started by fellow SEALs following his taking of a sabbatical to train other allied snipers in Fallujah.

He was wounded twice and also involved in six IED attacks.

Kyle was honorably discharged from the US Navy in 2009.

Early life

Chris Kyle was born in Odessa, Texas, the son of Deby Lynn (née Mercer) and Wayne Kenneth Kyle, a Sunday school teacher and a deacon.

Kyle’s father first bought Chris his first rifle when he was just 8 years old, a bolt-action .30-06 Springfield rifle.

He later bought him a shotgun, with which they hunted pheasant, quail, and deer.

Kyle attended high school in Midlothian, Texas, where he played football and baseball, but after school, Kyle became a professional bronco rodeo rider and worked on a ranch.

But this profession ended very abruptly when he severely injured his arm.

Rejected By The United States Marine Corps

After his arm healed, he went to a military recruiting office, interested in joining the United States Marine Corps with a special interest in special operations.

Kyle signed up, but was rejected because of the pins in his arm but later met with an Army recruiter who told him about the Special Forces and the Rangers.

And after initially being declined, he received a offer to join the BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL school) which he joined in 1999 and he later became a member of SEAL Team 3.

Chris Kyle’s Career

His first long-range kill shot was taken soon after his first term in Iraq.

He first shot a child and then a woman who were approaching a group of Marines with what appeared to be an explosive device in their hands.

A Bounty And A Cross On His Arm

Because of his track record as a marksman during his deployment to Ramadi, the insurgents named him Shaitan Ar-Ramadi (English: ‘The Devil of Ramadi’), and put a $21,000 bounty on his head that was later increased to $80,000.

They posted signs highlighting the cross on his arm as a means of identifying him.

The Longest Shot

Kyle fired a shot from his .338 Lapua Magnum-chambered McMillan TAC-338 sniper rifle, killing an insurgent from about 2,100 yards / 19,000 meters away.

The fighter was about to launch a rocket-propelled grenade at the Army convoy.

Which Rifles Did He Use?

His rifles included the .338 Lapua Magnum-chambered McMillan TAC-338, a Mk 11 7.62×51mm NATO semi-automatic sniper rifle, the Mk 12 5.56×45mm NATO Designated Marksman Rifle, Sig Sauer P220 Pistol, M4 carbine and a .300 Winchester Magnum-chambered sniper rifle.

Chris Kyle’s Later life

Kyle left the US Navy in 2009 and moved to Midlothian, Texas, with his wife, Taya, and two children and was president of Craft International, a tactical training company for the US military and law enforcement communities.

Kyle stated he had no regrets about his work as a sharpshooter, saying,

“I had to do it to protect the Marines".

Kyle later paired with the FITCO Cares Foundation, a nonprofit organization which created the Heroes Project to provide free in-home fitness equipment, individualized programs, personal training, and life-coaching to in-need veterans with disabilities, Gold Star families, or those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Irony – How Chris Kyle Was Murdered

On February 2, 2013, after serving four tours in Iraq, Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas, along with friend Chad Littlefield, by a 25-year-old Marine Corps veteran by the name of Eddie Ray Routh.

Local police captured Routh after a short freeway chase, which ended when Routh, who had left the scene of the shootings in Kyle’s Ford F-350 truck, crashed into a police cruiser.

He was taken to the Erath County Jail for holding under a $3 million bond.

Routh’s trial was set to begin May 5, 2014, but has been delayed to allow more time to comply with DNA test requirements.

Burial And Awards

Kyle was buried on February 12, 2013, in Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas, after a funeral procession from Midlothian, Texas, to Austin, stretching over 200 miles.

Birth name Christopher Scott Kyle
Nickname(s) شيطان الرمادي
Shaitan Al-Ramadi
The Devil of Ramadi
Legend
Born April 8, 1974
Odessa, Texas, U.S.
Died February 2, 2013 (aged 38)
Erath County, Texas, U.S.
Buried at Texas State Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1999–2009
SEAL Team 3, sniper element, Charlie Company (later called Cadillac Company)

He received:

Two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Posted in Hero, terror, The right stuff, Uncategorized, war | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Year Old Girl Is Sole Survivor Of Kentucky Plane Crash

Seven Year Old Girl Is Sole Survivor Of Kentucky Plane Crash

Seven Year Old Girl Is Sole Survivor Of Kentucky Plane Crash

A 7-year-old girl survived a plane crash in Kentucky that killed four family members and she walked away from it almost physically unharmed!

The Piper PA-34 reported engine trouble and lost contact with air-traffic controllers as it was flying over the southwestern part of Kentucky at about 5:55 p.m. local time on Friday January 1, 2015.

The plane was heading for Illinois from Florida but crashed into a wooded area near a lake.

A Brave Little Girl

About a half hour later, a Lyon County resident called the emergency dispatcher and told dispatchers a 7-year-old girl had knocked on his door and said that she had been involved in a plane crash.

Larry Wilkins, 71, told NBC that when he answered his door on Friday night there was a little girl standing there barefooted who was bleeding pretty badly.

She told me that her mom and her dad were dead, and she was in a plane crash, and the plane was upside down.

"She asked if she could stay here. I got a wash cloth and cleaned her up. And of course called 911".

"I felt so sorry for her, tears come to my eyes".

Wilkins said.

The girl had walked nearly 1 mile, through thick piles of brush, in temperatures that were below 40 F before reaching the home.

"The girl was in emotional distress and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries".

"At that point, authorities launched a search for the crash site and confirmed with the FAA that they had received a distress call".

said Sgt. Dean Patterson of the Kentucky State Police.

Bodies And Names

Patterson identified the victims as 48-year-old Marty Gutzler ; 46-year-old Kimberly Gutzler ; their daughter, 9-year-old Piper Gutzler; and her cousin, 14-year-old Sierra Wilder.

All four were from Nashville, Illinois.

Police say the name of the 7-year-old passenger is being withheld at the request of family.

"This girl came out of the wreckage herself and found the closest residence and reported the plane crash".

"It’s a miracle in a sense that she survived it, but it’s tragic that four others didn’t".

Kentucky police Sgt Dean Patterson told reporters.

Shock And Devastation

In Nashville, a man stepped outside the family’s white, split-level home on Saturday and politely waved off a reporter.

"Not now",

he said, his head lowered, before he stepped back inside.

"Neighbors said Marty and Kim Gutzler had lifelong roots in the largely rural southern Illinois town about 50 miles east of St. Louis".

"Marty ran the furniture store that his father started, and the couple was well-known and well-liked".

"With two basketball hoops in the driveway, the Gutzlers’ home was the center of neighborhood fun on a block full of children".

"All the kids in the neighborhood are just so upset about this".

"The crash’s lone survivor and the one who perished were together constantly".

"That’s what’s going to be so devastating for the little one",

said neighbor Carla Povolish.

Feedback is welcome and you don’t need to log-in to post it.

Posted in Accident, God, miracle | Tagged , , | Leave a comment