Being a soldier is not just about fighting for the liberty of the country. It is also more than just being good with guns and defeating enemies. It’s not just a noble job where you get special benefits and privileges.
You can’t just clock in and out of the service when things go south.
To some, being a soldier probably means taking the enemies’ lives and defeating them. Yes, that’s definitely a part of their job but apart from that, they’re also expected to do one thing.
They’re expected to save lives.
It goes without saying that most (if not all) military tasks are extremely dangerous. There’s no guarantee the soldiers will accomplish the task or make it out alive.
Putting their lives in danger is an inevitable part of their job but these mighty soldiers are all in. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it!
This is exactly what happened to former Sgt. Matthew Williams and his team when they got deployed to Afghanistan.
Their task was to either capture or kill high-value targets of the group Hezeb Islami al Gulbadin who were known to be hiding in Shok Valley, Nuristan Province.
Silence could also mean danger.
They dropped off at a rocky riverbed in the area, everything seemed to be quiet and peaceful and not at all what they were expecting.
Some of the soldiers moved to the higher part of the mountain near the village while Sgt. Williams and his Afghan commandos decided to stay at the riverbed.
Then they came under heavy fire from seemingly everywhere.
“Everything kind of exploded all at once. Machine gun fires, some RPGs started going off.”
The situation instantaneously spun out of control, with bullets blazing from different directions. Some of their members were already injured, so Sgt. Williams joined a small counter-assault team led by Master Sgt. Scott Ford.
Their mission was to get the wounded higher on the mountain.
The team wanted no further injuries already wounded soldiers. Thankfully, they were able to get to cover but still, their position was not the safest place. They were surrounded by ruthless enemies.
At that moment, survival was their top priority.
They knew the mission would fail if they couldn’t get out alive. So, they acted fast and tried to figure out the best strategy, not in firing back but to get the wounded soldiers to safety.
But as they were trying to execute their rescue plan, the area was still being battered by the enemy’s aggressive assault. This resulted in Master Sgt. Ford and Staff Sgt. Walding being wounded as well.
With the rising number of wounded members, Sgt. Williams knew he had to act fast.
It was now or never.
Sgt. Williams was able to help Master Sgt. Ford get back on his feet. They made him hide in a small house that’s almost at the river bottom.
The tiny house served as their casualty collection point.
However, getting there was a challenge since there was an unending shower of enemy gunfire, not to mention the steepness of the rocky terrain.
None of this stopped Sgt. Williams from rescuing his teammates. He went back up the mountain again to get Staff Sgt. Walding. He made a plan to get all the wounded and bring them all to the collection point.
Saving his wounded teammates while receiving heavy fire was almost like a “mission impossible”.
Going back and forth, the danger zone was no joke considering Sgt. William himself could also be wounded anytime.
He battled on to get every wounded soldier to the collection point.
The medivac helicopters also played a very important role in getting all wounded soldiers out of danger. The amazing pilots weathered the storm of heavy fire coming from the enemies.
They knew every tick of the clock was important. Thankfully, they were able to pull through the heavy assault.
After 6 hours fighting off 200 enemies, not one U.S. Army Soldier was killed.
Because of his uncontested bravery, Sgt. Williams received the Silver Star back in 2008.
A decade later he received a call from the President of the United States saying his Silver Star would be upgraded to a Medal of Honor.
His story about rescue is similar to World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss’s story. If you don’t know his story, then you might want to watch ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, a 2016 movie starring actor Andrew Garfield.
During a life and death situation, a soldier’s heart and dedication will truly be put to the test. In Matthew Williams’ case, who’s now a Master Sgt., he didn’t just fulfill his duty as a soldier.
He went above and beyond the call of duty to save his commrades.
Learn more on Master Sgt. Williams’ heroism in the video below!
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