Sgtmaj

“While I was in that house, I made three life or death decisions,” Kasal said. “I never thought I would live through any of them, but I did what I did to help the other Marines.”

Remember the warrior who kicked butt in Iraq after getting shot seven times while he raised hate and discontent among insurgent scumbags??? Well the USA Today does and will have him on the front page on the Marine Corps Birthday, Nov 10th!

Semper Fi and here is a cigar to you now SgtMaj!

Wounded Marine in iconic Fallujah photo awarded Navy Cross
May 4, 2006; Submitted on: 05/03/2006 07:12:54 PM ; Story ID#: 200653191254

By Lance Cpl. Patrick J. Floto, MCB Camp Pendleton

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (May 4, 2006) — Sgt. Maj. Bradley A. Kasal feels he did what any good Marine would’ve done.

That includes taking enemy rifle fire on Nov. 14, 2004, absorbing a grenade blast and refusing medical attention inside Fallujah’s “House of Hell” during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn).

For his extraordinary heroism and leadership in Fallujah, Iraq, as the Weapons Company first sergeant for 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Kasal was awarded the Navy Cross during a ceremony here Monday.

“The word hero is tossed around pretty loosely these days,” said Maj. Gen. Michael R. Lehnert, Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations West, after awarding Kasal with the Naval service’s second-highest decoration, in front of an audience that included the 1st Marine Division’s past and present commanding generals, Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis and Maj. Gen. Richard F. Natonski, respectively.

”Some may call a basketball player a hero for scoring the winning goal or a celebrity for donating a small portion of their earnings to a good cause, but Kasal is a true American hero.”

When then-1st Sgt. Kasal assisted one of his platoons with an over watch inside Fallujah that day, intense gunfire broke out in an Iraqi home to his immediate front.

Seconds later, Marines were rapidly exiting the building, known as the “House of Hell.” “That house was a death trap,” said Maj. Gen. Lehnert.

“It was set up for one purpose: to kill United States Marines.” Kasal could have easily stayed out of the house.”

When he found out that there were Marines still pinned down inside the infamous house, nothing the insurgents could put on the table would stop him from rescuing his Marines.

“Going in for them was the right thing to do,” said Kasal, 39, who hails from Afton, Iowa. “They’re Marines, and I’m a Marine. We look out for each other.”

Upon entry of the house, Kasal found himself face-to-face with an insurgent who he neutralized at extreme close range. Shortly afterwards, AK-47 gunfire was coming from all directions, and Kasal was hit from behind.

“While I was in that house, I made three life or death decisions,” Kasal said. “I never thought I would live through any of them, but I did what I did to help the other Marines.”

The first decision Kasal made was to expose himself to enemy fire in order to pull another wounded Marine out of the line of fire. Kasal took more enemy fire doing this.

While both Marines were under cover, they assessed their wounds. Both had multiple injuries, but there were only enough bandages for one of them to live.

Kasal made his second decision to forfeit his medical supplies to the other Marine.

“It made more sense to use all of the bandages on one of us then to split the supplies and have us both bleed to death,” Kasal said.

The insurgents deployed a hand grenade to get the Marines out of cover, and it landed within a few feet of the two bleeding Marines.

Kasal then decided to use his own severely wounded body to protect the Marine from shrapnel.

By the time he was carried out of the house by Lance Cpl. Chris Marquez and Lance Cpl. Dan Shaffer as Lucian M. Reed, an Associated Press photographer snapped the iconic photo displayed at Marine Corps installations all over the globe, Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood from more than 40 shrapnel wounds and seven 7.62 mm AK-47 gunshots.

One day prior to being awarded the Navy Cross Kasal’s father passed away.

However, a live video teleconference feed to Kasal’s hometown provided his mother, family members and friends an opportunity to watch him receive the Navy Cross, be promoted to the rank of sergeant major and reenlist for three years.

“It’s been a very emotional week,” Kasal said. “I am blessed to recover from my injuries, which the doctors thought would never happen, and regain my place in the Marine Corps. I would take the pain of surgeries any day over the pain of being away from my Marines.”

Comments

  1. This guy is so amazing, even for a Marine. And so matter of fact about his awesome acts of courage. Wonder what you feed a boy to grow him into a Marine!!

  2. I’ve been lurking around your blog for some time, Major Pain, and have never commented…but I can’t not comment on this! I’m glad this guy — each one of you guys, as a matter of fact — is on OUR team. I am proud to live in a country full of men like you.
    Thank you for this post, and thank you so much for your service.

  3. SgtMai Kasal is a truly heroic figure! I am thrilled to read that USA Today will feature this larger than life Marine on November 10th. Thank you so much for the heads-up as I will not want to miss buying that particular issue.

  4. I have read a few articles on this awesome Marine, in the Leatherneck magazine, this site & over at Blackfive, I still get chills. What a warrior! We need more men like him. Thank God for our mighty Marines–keep them all safe!

  5. The coolest thing is that at airports all over The World tomorrow, someone will pick up a used and read USA Today and there he’ll be. And they will read it. And somewhere some of them will think, “Damn. Where do we get these guys?”
    Thank you Sgt. Major for being a “Hero” for doing what Marines do!
    Semper Fi and Happy Birthday tomorrow!

  6. I, too, am really glad to see the MSM pick up on the fact that we have extrordinary people in the armed forces. “Hero” seems almost an understatement when applied to SgtMaj Kasal. He’s un-freaking-believable.
    OORAH! and Happy 231st Birthday to all of you in the USMC!

  7. The Heart Of A Marine

    “While I was in that house, I made three life or death decisions,” Kasal said. “I never thought I would live through any of them, but I did what I did to help the other Marines.” When then-1st Sgt. Kasal…

  8. Wasn’t that Michael Yon taking that photo from his piece “Gates of Fire”, or am I confusing this with another unbelievable story of heroism and dedication?

  9. SgtMaj Kasals experience is truly the stuff of which legends are made. His story… his LIFE, will be used as an example to all who follow him into the Marine family. The rest of us can only say Thank You and look on in awe.

  10. Here’s the “Letter to the Editor” I posted in the Lewiston, Idaho, Morning Tribune on November 10th:
    Editor:
    It’s November 10th, and the United States Marine Corps is 231 years old. Not bad for a military organization whose first recruiting office was a bar named Tun Tavern near the Philadelphia docks, and whose first recruiting officer was Samuel Nicholas, the bartender.
    As you read this, as usual, there are Marines getting shot at in a faraway land. Again, as usual, the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing their best to “improvise, adapt and overcome”. Marines have died, and been grievously wounded; their Brothers will continue the mission, as they always have, getting the job done, and watching each other’s backs.
    There, and in any other place in the world where there as few as two or three Marines (There are no “former” Marines.) together tonight, the Commandant’s annual message will be read, along with General John A. Lejeune’s immortal 1926 message to Marines. For those Marines off-duty, glasses will be charged, and toasts proposed and drunk to the United States, the President-Commander-In-Chief, and the Marine Corps. A bit later, someone will propose one “to absent friends”, and there may be a few surreptitious tears.
    Marines never forget. The ghosts of all those who have worn that forest green dress uniform, the dress blues, and all of the variations of combat uniforms over the 231 proud years of Marine Corps history watch over their shoulders to insure that the new guys do it right. It is a comforting feeling in a firefight to know that there are ghosts watching you, and over you.
    My brother has a bumper sticker with an eagle, globe and anchor emblem and this legend: “We Promise You Sleep Deprivation, Mental Torment, and Muscles So Sore You’ll Puke. But We Don’t Want to Sugar-Coat It.”
    Happy Birthday, Marines,
    Semper Fi,

  11. I’m glad we have soldiers like SgtMaj Kasals what a hero, This is the kind of guy that makes civilians wanna join the United Armed Forces, because of his courage and his honor to this country, makes em a great man.
    *Salute* Every Soldier who has fallen and taking one for the team!!

  12. I’m glad we have soldiers like SgtMaj Kasals what a hero, This is the kind of guy that makes civilians wanna join the United Armed Forces, because of his courage and his honor to this country, makes em a great man.
    *Salute* Every Soldier who has fallen and taking one for the team!!

  13. THAT SHIT IS FUCKED UP IF I WAS THERE I WOULD’VE KILL THOSE FUCKING IRAQ MOTHER FUCKERS. THATS ALL I HAVE TO FUCKING SAY FOR RIGHT NOW. END OF STORY. PEACE OUT . GOD BLESS OUR FELLOW AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN IRAQ.

  14. WOW!
    I know that we have tons of military personel over in the war rite now as i speak, and there fighting for freedom, justice and the right to keep america free.
    but when i read this story it really made me appreciate it that much more.
    my dad is former marine sniper and im joining in 3 more years so maybe one day ill be able to meet you guys.
    thanks for serving our country SEMPER FIDELIS!!

  15. I served with Sgtmjr Kasal in Wpns Co. 2/1 back in 1986-87. One of the finest Marines I’ve ever had the honor of serving with. Not to mention one of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. Semper Fi Sgtmjr Kasal!!!

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