“I saw one of the strangest things in my when I was attached to snipers. I was laying on a low rooftop during a firefight in Sangin Afghanistan when we saw some enemy fighters who had been giving our maneuver element some trouble.
Naturally, when a sniper is in this roll, (overwatch) we attempted to do our best to eliminate the enemy and lessen the danger to the Marines who were moving that direction.
My buddy was using the M-107 .50 cal. If you know anything about these rifles; they are basically cannons better suited to shooting out engine blocks of vehicles than engaging human beings. It’s just overkill. Literally.
I saw a man running left to right across my field our fire. He (the sniper) lead him a little bit so he would run into the round, and fired. I said, ‘Dude you just blew his f*cking arm off.’
I saw the man continue to run, but he had a stump where his arm should have been. He ran behind a building, and I lay there still observing the area. I saw a head poke around the corner, look around, and then run to the spot where the arm lay on the ground.
The man picked up the arm, under fire, and then ran back behind the wall. ‘Did you see that guy? That arm must be made of gold or something.’ It’s not a terribly exciting story, I just couldn’t understand why someone would risk their life for a severed arm.”
– Anonymous US Marine. 1st Marine Division Afghanistan
This interview was conducted by Battles and Beers. Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.