In 2015, Master Sgt. Mike Sears, an Air National Guardsman, was serving as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Master Craftsman with a combined U.S. and Polish Army team in Afghanistan. They were on a mission near a village when they came under a complex ambush from well armed Taliban fighters.
In this video Master Sgt. Sears describes the minute-by-minute details of the battle that ensued. It is important to know here that he was awarded the Silver Star for his actions that day. But as you listen, you will be as impressed with his humility, respect, and awe that he has for his fellow team members.
He describes how they worked together under unbelievably heavy small arms and continuous RPG fire during the battle.
Master Sgt. Sears saved the lives of his Polish team members, in particular his friend, Derrick, one of the soldiers in an armored vehicle, that was hit by an RPG. That particular RPG round had just missed the head of the gunner in Sears’ own vehicle by a mere foot, but hit the vehicle that Derrick was in.
The round penetrated the armored door of the truck, took off one of Derrick’s legs, and severely injured the other.
Sears gives the details of the events of that day with a controlled voice, but you can see the emotional effect it had on him in his eyes.
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This is a first hand account. As he tells the story you will get a clear sense of how close and how intense the fighting was during the battle. It is a clear wonder how any of them survived.
What Sears did that day for his Polish Army friend was as heroic and skilled as it gets. Under constant and overwhelming small arms and RPG fire, he was able to perform combat life saving medical care for his friend, applying tourniquets to both legs and dragging his friend to temporary cover.
Sears had to run across open ground, with bullets hitting all around him. Still. He got to medical truck and found a medic. He then got Derrick back to the truck and out of the kill zone, and onto a helicopter. As a result, Derrick’s life was saved.
Listen as Master Sgt. Sears describes what his own team members did to protect him as well. The team had been hit by an ambush from the west of their position at first, then by another ambush from the south. One of his men kept maneuvering his armored vehicle to block the enemy fire, both from small arms and from the constant barrage of RPG rounds. That driver’s actions in maneuvering that armored vehicle between the enemy and his team members provided enough protection for them to get Derrick onto the medical truck.
Sears describes how that armored vehicle was being hit constantly. Sears tell how he could hear the bullets pinging off of the armor of the driver’s door, but that driver would not be moved. In the end, all survived this ambush, but it was close.
The Veterans Site sends it respect and thanks to Air National Guardsman, Master Sgt. Mike Sears, for his courageous care and dedication to his brothers-in-arms that day. We send it also to the U.S. and Polish warriors who fought with him that day. We are humbled by what they did together against overwhelming odds.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.