Sr. Chief Mike Day has a story to tell that defies reality and seems to be more a matter of fiction. But the reality is that Day not only survived a firefight in a small room with four Al-Qaida militants in Iraq, but made sure that they didn’t.
Day, a Navy SEAL for 20 of his 21 years in the Navy, was on a mission with his SEAL team and some Iraqi troops when he entered a building into a 12X12 room where four heavily armed militants were waiting.
As soon as Day entered the room they opened up with all they had. Day felt the impact of their bullets hitting him and the first thing he thought was, “God get me home to my girls.”
He said that, “was the first real prayer to God I ever said….And he answered it.”
In a few brief seconds, Day had been hit by 27 rifle rounds and grenade shrapnel. He took 16 rounds in the body and 11 on his body armor. He was hit in both legs, both arms and one of his thumbs was almost severed from the impact of a bullet. When it was all over, all four Al-Qaida militants were sent to their judgment by Day’s return fire.
Day was actually able to walk to the medevac helicopter. That prayer he sent up in the first seconds of that battle truly was answered.
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Day’s battle, of course, wasn’t over. He would spend a full year in recovery from his physical wounds, but was also diagnosed with both PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Those invisible wounds of war are often more difficult to recover from, but apparently Day isn’t listening to that mess either.
Sr. Chief Mike Day’s actions that day in Iraq put his name in the annals of the fiercest of history’s warriors as a man of truly uncommon valor. As a Navy SEAL, he had already been awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. But what he is doing now makes him a man for others at a whole new level.
He would not be defeated by his physical or his psychological wounds. Rather than give in, he has stepped up his game. Since leaving the Navy and his SEAL Team, he has become very deeply involved as a wounded warrior advocate for the Special Operations Command, helping his brother and sister warriors recover from their wounds. He will soon be participating in a half triathlon to raise funds for projects helping the wounded.
Sr. Chief, retired Navy SEAL, Mike Day continues to live a life of service for others.
The Veterans Site sends its deepest respect and thanks to Sr. Chief Mike Day. You are a role model for all of us. We honor your service to the nation for 21 years with your brother Navy SEALs and for the service you continue to provide to your military brothers and sisters. God bless you and continue to keep you in his graces, Mike Day.
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.