AWESOME!!! Read story below before passing judgment on 'The Finger' gesture
and you'll understand....
Leading the fight is U S Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt, known as
'Iron Mike' or just 'Gunny'. He is on his third tour in Iraq . He had
become a legend in the bomb disposal world after winning the Bronze Star
for disabling 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance during his
Then, on September 19, he got blown up.. He had arrived at a chaotic
scene after a bomb had killed four US Marines.. He chose not to wear the
bulky bomb protection suit. 'You can't react to any sniper fire and you
get tunnel-vision,' he explains. So, protected by just a helmet and
standard-issue flak jacket, he began what bomb disposal officers term 'the
longest walk', stepping gingerly into a 5 foot deep and 8 foot wide
The earth shifted slightly and he saw a Senao base station with a wire
leading from it. He cut the wire and used his 7 inch knife to probe the
ground. 'I found a piece of red detonating cord between my legs,' he
says. 'That's when I knew I was screwed.' Realizing he had been sucked
into a trap, Sgt Burghardt, 35, yelled at everyone to stay back. At that
moment, an insurgent, probably watching through binoculars, pressed a
button on his mobile phone to detonate the secondary device below the
sergeant's feet 'A chill went up the back of my neck and then the bomb
exploded,' he recalls. 'As I was in the air I remember thinking, 'I don't
believe they got me...' I was just ticked off they were able to do it.
Then I was lying on the road, not able to feel anything from the waist
His fellow Marines cut off his trousers to see how badly he was hurt. None
could believe his legs were still there 'My dad's a Vietnam vet who's
paralyzed from the waist down,' says Sgt Burghardt. 'I was lying there
thinking I didn't want to be in a wheelchair next to my dad and for him to
see me like that.. They started to cut away my pants and I felt a real
sharp pain and blood trickling down. Then I wiggled my toes and I thought,
'Good, I'm in business.' As a stretcher was brought over, adrenaline and
anger kicked in. 'I decided to walk to the helicopter. I wasn't going to
let my team-mates see me being carried away on a stretcher.' He stood and
gave the insurgents who had blown him up a one-fingered salute. 'I flipped
them one.. It was like, 'OK, I lost that round but I'll be back next
Copies of a photograph depicting his defiance, taken by Jeff Bundy for the
Omaha World-Herald, adorn the walls of homes across America and that of
Col John Gronski, the brigade commander in Ramadi, who has hailed the
image as an exemplar of the warrior spirit.
Sgt Burghardt's injuries - burns and wounds to his legs and buttocks -
kept him off duty for nearly a month and could have earned him a ticket
home. But, like his father - who was awarded a Bronze Star and three
Purple Hearts for being wounded in action in Vietnam - he stayed in Ramadi
to engage in the battle against insurgents who are forever coming up with
more ingenious ways of killing Americans.
Are you proud enough to send this on ?
YOU BETCHA I AM!!!
Thanks to Debbie C. for sending me this great story.
God bless our brave military men and women.
God Bless America!
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