More on our wonderful American raff and scaff

I posted yesterday about the “raff and scaff” that make up our military. Here’s more about just one of those people that earn the scorn of Kerry, et al:

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Mark A. Camp

In May of 2005, Marines stationed in Anbar province began a week-long hunt to root out insurgents and foreign fighters in the volatile areas around the Syrian border. Dubbed Operation Matador, those tasked with carrying out the mission encountered enemies who had dug in and were ready to fight: deadly roadside bombs, sniper attacks, and several well-planned ambushes.

One day after the operation began, then-Lance Cpl. Camp and his company were sent to New Ubaydi on a house-clearing mission. As Camp’s squad entered one of the houses, insurgents hiding in a closet and in an underground crawlspace opened fire, shooting four Marines. Camp, outside, heard the gunfight and immediately ran inside to help. Three separate times he entered and exited the building to recover his squad members and clear the house of insurgents.

On May 11, Camp was again tested. This time, his company was heading to another small town to clear other insurgent strongholds. Camp was standing at the top hatch of his amphibious assault vehicle when he noticed an eerie silence. Camp was instantly on alert – but that could not stop the roadside bomb that detonated at that moment, hitting the vehicle and throwing the man standing next to Camp into a nearby field.

Shrapnel dug into Camp’s right thigh, and the explosion lit his hands and face on fire. He was thrown back into the burning vehicle, and he began beating out the fires all over his body and head.

Then, Camp heard the call of one of his teammates still trapped inside.

As he crawled back into the wreckage, heat was cooking off ammunition all around him, ammunition that ricocheted inside even as insurgents continued to fire from outside. And then there was another explosion. Camp fell back out of the vehicle, on fire once more. Again, he beat his body until the flames subsided.

His comrade was still in the vehicle. So Camp went back inside and tried to grip the Marine’s pack, his helmet – anything – but by then Camp’s skin was melting from his hands. Camp later told the Columbus Dispatch, “I [was] screaming for someone to help me . . . someone with fresh hands.” Finally, some Marines answered his calls, and pulled Camp and the other Marine free.

As an admitted coward, I’m always awed by the type of bravery that sees a man put aside his own safety to save others.  Reserve Cpl. Mark A. Camp is obviously the best type of human being.


2 Responses

  1. This sort of thing just overwhelms me. Where do these people come from and how do they come to be the way they are?

    And why aren’t they lauded in the papers? (Don’t bother – I know the answer.)

    I would love to think that I had just a little bit of that courage in me but most of the time, I just don’t think I do. That is why I’m so grateful that there are people like this in our country.


  2. It’s sad but inspiring for the one’s left behind.
    However ,the team military system is set up(thankfully) so that everyone is counting on each other.The PEER pressure is great to not let your BUDDIES down .
    In the case of Bookworm, who claims to be a coward, and underestimates her untested character(beats it up before she starts) WILL NEVER KNOW HOW BRAVE SHE COULD BE UNTIL TESTED.
    She might be braver than she thinks she is.

    ps STARTING A BLOG is a little bit brave.

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