Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles



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Monday, April 03, 2006

Project Hero

QandO has the next Silver Star recipient tribute up on their site.



Our hero this week is MSG Anthony Pryor, Silver Star

On Jan. 23, 2002, Pryor's company received an order from the U.S. Central Command to conduct its fourth combat mission of the war--a sensitive site exploitation of two compounds suspected of harboring Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Because of the presence of women and children within the compounds, Pryor said, aerial bombardment was not an option. Once on the ground, the company was to search for key leadership, communications equipment, maps and other intelligence.

Sergeant First Class Scott Neil, an SF weapons sergeant, was one of Pryor's team members that night. He found himself momentarily pinned down by a sudden hail of bullets after the team's position had been compromised.

"I went in, and there were some windows that they were trying to get their guns out of to shoot at our guys that hadn't caught up yet," Pryor said. "So I went from left to right, indexed down and shot those guys up. I realized that I was well into halfway through my magazine, so I started to change magazines. Then I felt something behind me, and thought it was (one of my teammates)--that's when things started going downhill."

Pryor said it was an enemy soldier, a larger-than-normal Afghan, who had sneaked up on him. "There was a guy behind me, and he whopped me on the shoulder with something and crumpled me down." Pryor would later learn that he had sustained a broken clavicle and a dislocated shoulder during the attack.

"Then he jumped up on my back, broke my night-vision goggles off and starting getting his fingers in my eyeballs. I pulled him over, and when I hit the ground, it popped my shoulder back in," Pryor said. When he stood up, he was face-to-face with his attacker. Pryor eliminated the man during their hand-to-hand struggle.

Pryor had now put down four enemy soldiers, but the fight wasn't over yet. "I was feeling around in the dark for my night-vision goggles, and that's when the guys I'd already killed decided that they weren't dead yet."

Pryor said that it was then a race to see who could get their weapons first, and the enemy soldiers lost. He left the room and rejoined the firefight outside. When the battle ended, 21 enemy soldiers had been killed. There were no American deaths, and Pryor was the only soldier injured.

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