Lance Cpl. Peter Uncapher, an infantryman with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, rests in his hospital bed less than 24 hours after being struck by fragmentation from an Improvised Explosive Device. Uncapher, along with other Marines and sailors, worked diligently to save his fellow Marine's life, Lance Cpl. Ryan McSweeny, despite the injuries he sustained himself.

On the 25th of May many of us were conducting our typical life with work and play back in the States. In Helmand Province the point man on one of many patrols that had been conducted by Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine (1/3) Regiment, was struck as he initiated what was believed to be a pressure plate IED.


First of all if you have never been involved with this type of event, it is hair raising. The calm, cool leader is always identified in these situations by the one everyone looks to. It’s a psychologists dream study I’m sure but it really happens that way when  a traumatic situation occurs, watch, the leader will be identified by everyone actually looking at them for commands on what to do. 


A couple people that weren’t looking but acting were Lance Cpl. Peter Uncapher and his Corpsman, “Doc White.”  Quick actions by Marines with triage training and their loyal Doc by their side continuously saves lives on the battlefield.  As the best laid plan never survives first contact with the enemy, Murphy’s Law was in full affect as a threatening sand storm developed as the Marines called for an air medivac to extract their brothers. Despite the courage and will of the aircrew of the Company C, 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment to get the wounded Marine out, the flight proved too dangerous for them to go at the time.  Trust me these guys will fly into fire if they are allowed. Many times I have witnessed these guys coming in with guns blazing into hot LZs to get a Marine out and providing close air support. However, when a sandstorm hits, its thick redish dirt blinds everything and even trying to see to walk is difficult.



Quick flexible thinking led to the Operations Officer from (1/3) Maj Grace, contacting a friend of his within the centrally located 2nd Light Armoured Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion, Maj Conner to organise a ground evacuation. While this was happening Combat Logistics Battalion 7 was operating in the area and responded to the explosion and assisted in the link up of 1/3 and LAR. This is a perfect example why within the Marine Corps we work so well as a combined arms team. The Marine in the air, within the logistics team or in the LAR unit has all of the same training and can easily communicate and synchronize with each other. After five hours later the ground teams linked up while at the same time the weather began to break for a shot a extracting the wounded Marine by air once again. This time they were lucky enough to get him and although he lost a lot of blood he would become stable. Both McSweeny and even Uncapher (due to injuries received during the explosion) were extracted.  This again shows the expertise and dedication of the basic warriors to save one of their brothers.


I wonder if anyone knew or thought about these warriors during their Memorial Day BBQs or “golf game.” While they enjoyed the freedom and luxuries of America, on May 25th, many Marines pulled together in the worse weather conditions, in the middle of nowhere to save one of their own and not giving up. Many Marines that were involved in this event will never get the recognition from America they deserve nor will they ask for it however, the Marines that were there will know, they will be able to look at one another and know the difference they made even though the cards were stacked against them. 


It’s amazing what you can do when everyone thinks you can’t; Mother Nature tries to make it impossible, and the odds are stacked against you. These are your young Americans, saving lives, fighting the enemy and making a difference, especially to their brothers. These are your Marines and future leaders of America. They are winning!


Time for a Cgar!


Original article here by By Gunnery Sgt. Pauline Franklin, 2nd Marine Division 





  1. Thanks for your comments. Peter Uncapher is my son.
    I stopped by to see Ryan McSweeny today at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
    He is intensive care and still has a lot of shrapnel, but the injuries
    look like the kind that will heal (not that I am a Doctor.)
    While I was there they told him that the Marine Commandant, General
    Amos, was going to be on deck today at the hospital. They asked him if
    he wanted to get his purple heart with him, or wanted to wait until
    his Mom arrives tomorrow. Actually they put it differently, they said, I
    assume you will want to wait until she gets here. They told him,
    “In any event, you may have a four star general stop by to see you.”
    I told him all his buddies were pulling for him – it seem to mean a lot to him.

  2. Sir-
    Thanks for stopping by One Marine’s View. After 3 tour in Iraq and two to Afg as an infantry Officer I have had the privilege to stand next to warriors like your son. Many times nothing more than a handshake, couple comments and a look to one another is shared to show the internal appreciation of the Marine brotherhood in situations like this. Especially when they are wounded and removed from their unit.
    I hope this post does your son right and helps America understand the stuff our young warriors are made of. That, is basically the purpose of this blog, to help Americans back in the States understand really what our young warriors are doing out there. Unfortunately many don’t have a clue. Your sons actions saved lives and sent a message to the enemy that we can’t be stopped and Marines are a force to be recon with. I think they are getting the picture after seeing warriors like those in 1/3 continue to do great things.
    Please do tell your Marine we all are pulling for him and although we have never met, he is a Marine and we have his back. I know his unit & fellow Marines are thinking about him. If your warrior, you, your family need anything or have questions, please feel free to contact me. I also ask that you keep me informed of both warriors progress. I will make sure America gets the word.
    Its an honor to have you stop by and I know I’m speaking for all Marines in telling you , we are proud of your son. He is a hero.
    Semper Fidelis

  3. I stumbled across the Marine Corps ‘Who’s Who in Marine Corps History’ website last night, and sat for a couple of hours reading the stories of Marines that have gone down in history for acts of selfless bravery. What struck me as I read their citations, was how many of them mentioned actions that resulted in the saving of other Marines. That is a common thread that runs through the Corps, that life is precious and a Marine will gladly make the greatest sacrifice to save another, or do what ever it takes to rescue a wounded comrade. No man left behind. That never changes in the Corps. God bless and Godspeed Lance Cpl. Peter Uncapher, I sleep better at night knowing that our beloved Corps is in capable hands. And thank you, Major, for bringing us these stories that we would never hear otherwise. Semper Fi.

  4. Mr Uncapher-
    First please let your son know we are thankful for his service, and also LCpl Mcsweeney….I will be sending a card off to Bethseda today. I am happy to hear that his wounds will heal. To hear how these young men respond during such a stressful, time is amazing. I am very grateful for all the training they get to make them the men they are.

  5. Mr. Uncapher, words fail me at times when I think of the sacrifice our Warriors and their families offer up daily as we go about our protected lives. It is a very small thing to say “Thank you” but please know it comes from the heart.

  6. Wow! Sorry but I am not shocked our Marines and Corpsman are by far the best of the best!
    Mr. Uncapher- First and foremost please tell Peter and LCpl Mcsweeney THANK YOU for their service to our country on my behalf!
    I am proud to be an American because of our Warriors like Peter and LCpl Mcsweeney!
    If there is anything I can do in any way to lift their morale please do not hesitate to contact me!
    I wish a speedy recovery to both of our Heroes!
    Job Well Done Marines and Corpsman! Team work at it best!
    Semper Fidelis
    Patty Lewis
    America 4R Marines non Profit Inc.
    God bless our Military, past and present, and all our “Special Angels”

  7. Mr. Uncapher, Im sorry that your family is going through this and hope your son is well soon.please tell LCpl McSweeney the same.Thank you goes out to both families.Im a 2x Marine Mom on second deployment with older son.Both my boys are at Camp Lejeune
    Semper Fidelis
    Seana Sibley

  8. To the Uncapher and McSweeney families…This Marine Mom is sending prayers that both these brave 1/3 Heroes will recover quickly. My son is a Lava Dog too, currently deployed in ‘stan. I wish I could do something to make all the anxiety and pain go away for our warriors but know that we are all thinking of you and very thankful they are still with us. I thank them for their Honor, Courage and Commitment and I hope for strength for the families and loved ones at this difficult time! God Bless and Semper Fi

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