Soldier honored for service
Two Chinook helicopters touch down deep in a valley in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, and 40 soldiers in full combat gear run out. Bullets start flying in from all directions. Everyone is pinned down.
Unlike an elaborate sound stage on a Hollywood film set, this scene had no actors or stunt-men. This was real. Enemy forces had taken the Do Ab District and a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) was needed to conduct reconnaissance of the area.
“While planning for the mission, the more I thought about it, the more I thought, something just wasn’t right,” said Capt. Justin Foote, a Nashua native and then first lieutenant and Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), 34th Infantry Division (“Red Bull” Division), Iowa Army National Guard. “I just had that gut feeling. I don’t know why that is. God works in mysterious ways.”
Foote’s gut instinct was accurate. The only place the CH-47 (Chinook) helicopters could drop them off was in a pinch point between a raging river and multiple mountains.
“Everyone was taking shots at us from all directions,” Foote said. “We were all alone on the valley floor with towering mountain peaks on both sides of us. I sat down behind a large rock and told myself that this is it, the last time that I will be alive and I wasn’t going to go down without a fight.”
For more of this article, see Friday's New Hampton Tribune.