A helmet cam video that shows a US soldier hit four times during a firefight with Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan has been posted online. The soldier, part of a reconnaissance and intelligence unit, was hit while trying to draw fire away from his unit.
Warning: Deadly combat, viewer discretion advised
The soldier's helmet cam captures the soldier's POV of the battle scene. His unit came under sustained fire from Taliban machine guns. The viewer can see bullets hitting the ground around his feet as he scrambles down the side of a hill to draw fire away from the main body of his unit.
The caption to the video on YouTube reads:
" I got a hit a total of 4 times. My helmet cam died and i made it down the mountain on my own. I was also hit in the side of my helmet and my eye pro was shot off of my face. We were doing overwatch on the village to recon and gather intel. I was point heading down the face of the hill with the LT when we got hit. the rest of the squad was pinned down by machine gun fire. I didn't start the video until a few mins into the firefight for obvious reasons. I came out into the open to draw fire so my squad could get to safety."
The video shows the unidentified soldier drop his weapon suddenly after it was hit by a round. For several seconds, he shouts repeatedly, "I'm hit! I'm hit, Help me!" But shots continue to ring out and no one comes to his rescue as the rest of his unit takes cover from machine gun fire.
Helmet cam video: US soldier under Taliban machine gun fire
The brave soldier returns fire as he scrambles across rocky and hilly terrain under machine gun fire
The Daily Mail reports that the soldier survived four hits that failed to penetrate his body armor.
According to the soldier:
“A round struck the tube by my hand of the 203 grenade launcher which knocked it out of my hands. When I picked the rifle back up it was still functional but the grenade launcher tube had a nice sized 7.62 cal bullet hole in it and was rendered useless.”
The video was uploaded to YouTube recently by user Funker530. According to the Daily Mail, the footage is part of an ongoing project documenting the war in Afghanistan.
UPDATE: The video has stirred a lively debate over whether the soldier's action was heroic or stupid after it was posted to Reddit. The soldier justified exposing himself to fire on a hillside by explaining he was trying to draw enemy fire from his unit. But many Redditors disagree with the rationale of his action, saying that his tactical approach was faulty and that his action only placed his unit in greater danger.
WhiteRapper commented on Reddit:
"...where on earth did this guy go to infantry school, if you wanted a good example of 'All the wrong s**t to do while taking fire' this would be a great example.
"He's on top of the hill (it appears) which is probably the WORST place to be ever as an infantryman... In this case he was aware of at least where he was taking fire from, but knowing that he's in an open spot instead of moving to the side or moving back he moves down the hill? With no cover at all?
"He takes fire and drops to his knee and returns fire....ok....in some environments yeah that would be a good move, but in this case 'What in the F**K are you aiming at?' he's just capping off rounds into the UNIVERSE. They KNOW where you are! You don't know where they are, dropping to a knee just gives them extra time to snap in on your dumb ass!
"I know he says he 'came out into the open to draw fire to allow his squad to maneuver' Ok, who the f**k does that? Who the f**k....moves INTO enemy fire? If you provide good security and you find cover. You will live a lot longer.
"...this was frustrating to watch."
Another Redditor, mate5410, commented:
"The entire video I was yelling 'what the f**k are you doing!?! Get some cover!!' Former 03 Marine here too, very hard to watch."WhiteRapper also could not believe that the soldier was concerned about not littering the ground with empty magazines even while under fire:
"He changes mags while sitting up, he has to dig for his ammo, he actually GIVES a f**k what happens to his empty mags.....dude your taking fire, DROP the fucking empty one! Put it in your bag later or get some new mags when you get back! F**k your empty mags!"Chrishn89 joins in criticism of the solider's action:
"...he didn't communicate with the other soldiers at all. He says 'I'm going down the hill, lay some fire down' but none acknowledges his idea nor do I hear them firing back. Although I respect his bravery in face of the situation of being shot at... I still think he didn't act much different than an unexperienced (sic) rebel."