“I’ll never forget the images of the initial blast that have been seared into my head. Bodies were thrown at least 30ft in the air. It took a good 10 seconds to process what had just occurred. We advanced forward as marines and civilians came flooding back towards us, many of whom were wounded.

Gunfire erupted up ahead but there were too many people in the way to see who was shooting. We immediately helped establish the casualty collection point and started treating wounds. I adjusted a tourniquet that was improperly installed and put a pressure bandage on another service member. He wasn’t in a standard uniform so I don’t know who he was.

At this point we needed to start getting people out. I grabbed a couple of my guys and we sprinted back to get our Hilux that was parked about 100m away band bring it back for CASEVAC. There were so many people trying to get away that I had to ground guide my driver  back to the CCP safely. We loaded up 1 casualty that appeared to be gone already. We loaded up 2 more that did not look good at all. Our medic jumped in and started treating as the truck drove off towards the aid station.

The wounds were brutal. So many with injuries above the shoulders from what appeared to be ball bearings. I found a civilian lying on the ground with no external injuries, but he was soaking wet, as if he was in the canal where the bomb went off. He seemed to have a back injury and was going into shock.

It took me months of thinking about him to finally realize what happened. He had been in the canal and somehow the blast threw him over the 20ft concrete wall without hitting him with ball bearings. It was wild. Everything about it was chaos.”

  • US Soldier. 2-504, 1BCT, 82ND ABN DIV. Kabul Afghanistan. HKIA. August 26th, 2021.