“There isn’t any better honor for a Marine than to be referred to as on to avoid wasting People.”
On Aug. 26, at round 5:30 p.m. ET, Ghost Firm was dashing to avoid wasting as many individuals as potential on the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport before we were required to cease processing evacuees. We were supposed to have stopped an hour earlier, but we decided to keep working in the hopes of finding more passport holders or green cards.
Alongside many other members of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine, the Army and British paratroopers, the Marines and sailors of Ghost were pulling families out of the canal when a suicide bomber detonated his device from the other side of the water. All those working to save Afghans and Americans were fully exposed to the blast.
Nine of my Marines and a sailor gave their lives in order that others might dwell, and nearly 20 different members of the corporate have been wounded by their facet. Till that second, I didn’t consider I may ever be extra happy with their efforts by how they dealt with the surging crowds and chaos all week, however they proved me unsuitable.
A mass casualty occasion is one thing we ready and skilled for, particularly our unimaginable corpsmen. It’s outlined by having fewer assets than essential to course of and deal with these wounded. In our case, we had a 3rd of our whole drive to take care of in a break up second. However in lower than 20 minutes after the bomb detonated, we had our first wounded on the airport hospital, which included a 10-minute drive time.
Senior leaders on the operations heart remarked that they had by no means seen a mass-casualty incident response transfer so rapidly. The whole V21 staff labored extremely easily and effectively throughout this second and we lived as much as our title, The Professionals. We held safety, we moved our wounded, and attributable to our coaching, we possible saved greater than we should always have.
If Ghost Firm is something, it’s a household. It’s resilient, and it’s cohesive. In lower than 24 hours after we returned to our billeting space after the assault, the corporate was again on the road and watching over evacuees. As my First Sergeant and I walked the strains that night time, we noticed the airport flag at half-staff, and we raised it again up. There isn’t any breaking this firm.
The Marines of Ghost and the remainder of the V21 household have been magnificent not solely in that second of horror, but in addition all through a complete week of probably the most indescribable tragedy one may ever witness. Our mixed efforts saved the Abbey Gate open when many others closed. It solely paused when the Dept. of State couldn’t course of evacuees quick sufficient. Because of this, V21 and the British Parachute Regiment processed over 30,000 individuals by the Abbey Gate.
There isn’t any better honor for a Marine than to be referred to as on to avoid wasting People. To be the final on deck as those that want our assist are pulled to security. To put down our lives for others. That’s what my Marines did. They may all the time be my heroes.
To be taught extra about supporting the households of fallen navy members, you possibly can go to the Tragedy Help Program for Survivors, or TAPS.
Geoff Ball is a Marine captain who misplaced Marines on the Abbey gate and is a TAPS mentor.