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Rough men who stand ready: Wounded troops refused to leave Afghanistan firefight

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 5, 2009 02:34 PM

An incredible account from ABC News reporter Karen Russo, who notes that wounded troops refused to leave the battlefield this weekend during the deadly siege at Kamdeysh:

Flying into the besieged Afghan base during a nighttime firefight this weekend is a harrowing mix of overwhelming noise, stomach dropping maneuvers and shadows hurrying through the gloom.

When the chopper lifted off moments later with three wounded soldiers, it left behind others who were wounded but refused to be MEDEVACED out of the combat zone so they could return to fight with their buddies.

As fighting at two U.S. outposts raged on the ground this weekend, the MEDEVAC team at a nearby base waited – with both patience and frustration.

MEDEVAC teams are known for flying into some of the most deadly areas in the world to rescue injured soldiers. MEDEVAC helicopters are unarmed so they often need supporting aircraft to protect them, and sometimes the cover of darkness is their only defense.

On Saturday night, the team finally received the go-ahead as the sun set. Within moments of receiving the call, we rushed to the helicopter and quickly sped to the outposts.

As we were flying into the attack space, the MEDEVAC team with one medic and a doctor were preparing for the oncoming patients, setting up IV’s, pulling out medical equipment and making other last minute preparations…

The eight American troops killed in the battle were all from Fort Carson in Colorado Springs:

In the deadliest day for Fort Carson since Vietnam, eight soldiers from the post’s 4th Brigade Combat Team died in Afghanistan on Saturday when insurgents attacked a pair of remote outposts in Nuristan province.

The Army hasn’t identified the dead, but several military sources confirmed that all eight were from the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade, which went to war in May and in recent days began withdrawing from remote areas to better provide security in cities and villages.

“My heart goes out to the families of those we have lost and to their fellow Soldiers who remained to finish this fight,” Col. Randy George, the brigade’s commander, said in a statement late Saturday. “This was a complex attack in a difficult area. Both the U.S. and Afghan Soldiers fought bravely together; I am extremely proud of their professionalism and bravery.”

Support a charity that supports the troops in Colorado here.

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