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Jake Tapper @jaketapper
, 11 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
#MemorialDay Oct 3, 2009. COP Keating stood at the bottom of three steep mountains just 14 miles from the Pakistan border. At dawn, up to 400 insurgents attacked just 53 US troops in the COP. Eight Americans were killed that day, each one dying in service of his brothers. 1/
2/ As soon as the enemy attacked, PFC Kevin C. Thomson, 22, ran out to his position in the Mortar Pit to return fire. He was killed immediately.
3/ SGT Joshua Kirk, 30, was known as the bravest of the brave. He stood near the entrance of the COP returning fire. But he was hit. He didn't make it.
4/ Blue Platoon -- the "Bastards" -- went to help Red Platoon with cover and ammunition. SGT Michael Scusa, 22, was killed as he ran out the door to do so.
5/ Five soldiers were trapped in a truck. SGT Joshua Hardt, 24, volunteered for what seemed like a suicide mission to save them. The last anyone heard of Hardt he was on the radio saying the Taliban had a gun pointed right at him.
6/ SPC Christopher Griffin joined Hardt on that ill-fated mission. Volunteering for what seemed an unimaginably dangerous task. He didn't make it back, either.
7/ SGT Vernon Martin was one of the men stuck in the truck; he got caught there when he ran to them to deliver ammo. During a break in the enemy fire a few of them made a break for it. The enemy got Vernon Martin before he could get to safety.
8/ In the truck, SGT Justin Gallegos took a look at a gravely wounded fellow soldier SPC Stephan Mace, who had also ended up at the truck trying to help his brothers. Gallegos tried to run with Mace to safety. Gallegos gave his life trying to protect his brother.
9/ The two surviving men in the truck - SGT Brad Larson and SPC Ty Carter -- managed to get SPC Stephan Mace to safety. Despite a heroic effort by Doc Cordova to keep Mace alive, Mace had lost too much blood by the time he got to the hospital at FOB Bostick.
10/ There's a lot more about the Battle of COP Keating than those who perished, of course, but today is about them. Their memories, their bravery, their families. Each one of them volunteered. Each one of them died in the service of his brothers, and of his nation. RIP, heroes.
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