After being in their positions for a few hours, one of the groups was compromised by a man wandering in the field. He then ran away after seeing two Marine snipers in the grass. Ironically a bit later he came upon a second team… this time, however, he fell to the ground clutching his chest in a fearful oh my God type of way. He then ran to tell others of what he had seen.
Being that the S.T.A (Surveillance Target Acquisition)-(Scout Snipers) marines were compromised they went to an abandoned compound. The purpose of the move was to wait till night fall in order to return safely, during the wait the Marines were engaged by a small team of insurgents.
There was a Marine watching the north wall and said there were two men running towards the wall with something in their hands. Those same men threw grenades, over the wall before the Marines could react.
One Marine was hit in the back with a grenade, but it didn’t go off … He picked it up immediately and threw it back, the grenade went off mid-air as he launched it back at enemy fighters. The other grenade luckily didn’t go off.
The S.T.A. Marines began to return fire immediately. Three Marines were injured as one was hit in the abdomen, another was hit with a fragmentation grenade; and then one was hit with a piece of shrapnel in the ankle, thus causing it to break.
The Marines called for support and then began to aid the wounded. All while returning fire with M-4 rifles, 203’s, and squad automatic weapons until insurgents began to egress.
The injured Marine that took shrapnel to the ankle, was full of adrenaline and able to assist his fellow injured Marines. He aided in helping to get out of the kill zone into a safer area and also carried one of the Marines to the helicopter that was evacuating the casualties.
The platoon commander proudly recounted the incident. “If Marines hadn’t applied their combat life saving skills, two of the three Marines wouldn’t have made it.”
The squad was compromised, however, they were able to repel an enemy attack and eliminate the immediate threat. All while being the smallest sniper platoon the commander has ever served with.
“We’ve performed six named operations,” said platoon commander. “Those missions have all gone successfully and made dramatic changes that a regular squad may even have trouble with. My Marines did it and did it well.”
The Marines in 2/8’s Sniper Platoon are now setting their sights on future missions. Training continues in order to remain ready and deadly.
Isaac J. Hall II