You Know What They Say About Paybacks….

October 29, 2007

As he prepared to go out on the mission, all the premission jitters were there. That was natural. He felt a little bit anxious, a little nervous, but as his fellow Soldiers in his platoon and those all across Iraq, he understood that he had a mission to accomplish and this time, they were the ones who were up to do it this time. What he wasn’t aware of at the time, was that those premission jitters just might save his life that day. Specialist Justin McDaniel, a team leader with Company B, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado recalls all those things he was feeling, as he recounts the events that unfolded in the early morning hours of October 20th.

Col. Ricky Gibbs (left) commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry division, congratulates Spc. Justin McDaniel, a team leader with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, on recieving the Army Commendation Medal with Valor at FOB Falcon, in southern Baghdad, October 26th. (Photo by PFC Nathaniel Smith, 4-1 In. Div. Public Affairs)

“I think the whole part of being scared and nervous actually helped it along with what the situation was, and I think it played a part in me actually being able to act on what was going on,” McDaniel said.

That morning, he and his platoon leader were in the process of clearing a room that was occupied by a terrorist. As they entered the room, the terrorist pulled out a handgun and fired a round at McDaniel, hitting him in the side. McDaniel then returned fire and killed the terrorist.

On October 26th, for his presence of mind and quick reactions under fire, Spc. Justin McDaniel was awared the Army commendation Medal with V device for Valor, at a ceremony that was held at FOB Falcon. For McDaniel, the award confirmed in his mind that he did the right thing.

Spc. Justin McDaniel, displays the bruise from a round that struck his side while on a mission in southern Baghdad, Oct. 20th
(US Army Photo)

“It lets me know that I did my job how it’s supposed to be done. It’s a statement saying that this person knew his job and was able to act under pressure. I think it’s something that other people will strive to do as well,” he said.

“When I first got shot, I was scared,” he recalls. “When I actually figured out I was shot, I thought it was a whole lot more serious. There was a burning sensation in my side. I thought the round had actually gone into my flesh. I’m really thankful it didn’t.”

Recalling the incident, as he received his award, he says he wasn’t too concerned about receiving a medal at the time it was occurring. He was more concerned with doing his job and ensuring that the insurgent didn’t injure anyone else. His commander, Captain Jim Keirsey, says he wasn’t surprised at all, when he heard about McDaniel’s actions that day.

“It’s comforting knowing we’ve got high-quality human beings like him out there, positively identifying and neutralizing threats without hesitation,” he said.

This insurgent won’t be shooting randomly anymore at our Troops or victimizing innocent citizens, thanks to the quick and immediate reactions of Spc. McDaniel. I’m thankful that his injuries were relatively minor, compared to what they could have been. I guess this insurgent found out the hard way, that paybacks are hell…….

The Daily Charge, Monday October 29, 2007, pages 2 & 4.


One Response to “You Know What They Say About Paybacks….”

  1. Twana Blevins on October 30th, 2007 1:12 pm

    Another one taken out by the good work of Spc. Justin McDaniel.

    What a man - What a hero!

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