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Bringing it

It was a typical morning in Afghanistan, and Spc. Nicholas Robinson was just about finished with a six-hour guard duty shift at an Afghan police compound near his combat outpost.

Then all hell broke loose.

A mortar round landed roughly 20 meters in front of his guard tower.

Combat Service Identification Badge of the 101...
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“It knocked me back and when I got up I saw an explosion like nothing I had ever seen before going off,” the Tacoma native told a public affairs writer with the 101st Airborne Division‘s Task Force Leader Rakkasan. “Then gunfire erupted from every possible side you could imagine.”

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Over the next seven minutes in the first combat action he had seen, Robinson, 23, killed one insurgent carrying a rocket launcher and then held off 15 to 20 insurgents, killing two of them. One of them was a suicide bomber who got to within 50 feet of Robinson.

For his heroism and bravery last May 21, Army Chief of Staff George Casey presented Robinson Thursday with a Silver Star, the Army’s third highest award for valor in combat.

During the brief award ceremony at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Casey said Robinson’s actions were in keeping with the finest tradition of heroism and courage under fire, according to an Army press release.

Noting that Soldiers always remember the first time they saw action and pointing out that this attack was Robinson’s baptism under fire, Casey asked them if they all responded “the same way Spc. Robinson did.”

In the press release, Robinson, a machine gunner with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, recalled that when the bullets started flying, he grabbed a Russian PKM machine gun and fired back. He killed one insurgent 35 yards away who was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

More insurgents followed, firing all kinds of weapons, said the 2006 Gig Harbor High School graduate.

“So I just shot up all the ammo I could at them,” he said. “Then an [American] 240 machine gun was brought up because more people were coming up so I used that.”

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Another mortar round went off in front of him about the same time as he ran out of ammunition on the M240. He then grabbed an AK-47 from one of the border policemen and began shooting the remaining insurgents, including the suicide bomber.

At the ceremony, Casey told the assembled troops stories of recent Medal of Honor awardees and said Robinson’s actions were an example of the courage that is spoken of when talking about heroes.

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About Capers Bar

I am retired Army officer. I used to fly helicopters and airplanes while I was in the Army. Nowadays, I do other things that are not so cool and sexy. I decided to write about my journey or whatever you want to call it towards running a half-marathon this fall. I have been running since 1983, I have run the Duke City full and half marathons. I don't run that fast anymore, I did win a 10K when I was 21, those days are mercifully past me. The fastest mile I have turned is a 5:05 during one of those Army physical fitness test 2 mile runs. The point I am making is that I am old, slow, and experienced runner. I named the blog after my running buddy, Bandit, an Australian Blue Heeler. He is my 3rd K-9 running buddy, the previous two dogs were black labs. I hope to write about some of my discussions that I have with Bandit in the future. I once owned, but since sold and a satirical and irreverent sports blog that was moderately successful. I was published in the left-wing national sports media by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. I am "stuck" in Alabama working for a military contractor. I am working so fricking hard to get back to Southeast New Mexico or West Texas. Fingers and toes crossed.

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