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 A real hero.

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webby
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PostSubject: A real hero.   Sat 28 Feb 2015, 11:36 pm

Thought I'd pass this one on, since it may not make the news in the US. In a world where the word 'hero' is an overused commodity, everynow and then a genuine hero arrives on the scene.

Lance Corporal Leakey is such a hero,and I'd be honoured to shake his hand. An extract from his VC citation.

Victoria Cross action

The actions for which Leakey was awarded the Victoria Cross occurred on 22 August 2013 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.[2] A routine joint patrol composed of British paratroopers, US Marines and Afghan soldiers had targeted a village to search for illegal weapons.[4] Having been flown into the area in Chinook helicopters, the patrol was attacked by machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades soon after dismounting.[10] Leakey's helicopter had landed on a hill near the village and he, with three other paratroopers and an Afghan soldier, was to provide fire support for the main segment of the patrol.[4] From their vantage point, his section could see the attack and heard over their radio that someone had been injured.[2] Leakey ran up the hill to assess the seriousness of the attack and came to the conclusion that urgent action was needed.[10] Though he was only a lance corporal, he took control of the situation and led his section down to the group under attack.[4]

Having reached the group under attack, he gave first aid to the wounded US Marine Corps captain and began the process of evacuating him from the battlefield.[2] While under fire, he returned to the machine guns that his section had left at the top of the hill. He moved one to a better position to fire at the attacking Taliban even though he was under constant, accurate fire (bullets were ricocheting off the weapon he was carrying).[10] His actions inspired other soldiers to join in the fightback.[4]

While he was manning the machine gun, he was also shouting updates of the situation into his radio.[4] Having realised that more than one machine gun would be needed to effectively fight back the insurgents, he allowed his gun to be taken over by another soldier. He then ran once more through heavy fire to retrieve a second machine gun, position it in a suitable site, and then manned it to fire at the Taliban.[10]

The skirmish lasted approximately 45 minutes during which eleven insurgents were killed and four wounded. It was only when air support arrived that fighting ceased. When it did, he handed the second machine gun over to another soldier. He then returned to the injured American officer and oversaw his medical evacuation.[4]

The Ministry of Defence summarised the reasons for awarding Leakey the Victoria Cross as follows:[11]


Under fire yet undeterred by the very clear and present danger, Lance Corporal Leakey ran across the exposed slope of the hill three times to initiate casualty evacuation, re-site machine guns and return fire. His actions proved the turning point, inspiring his comrades to fight back with renewed ferocity. Displaying gritty leadership well above that expected of his rank, Lance Corporal Leakey's actions singlehandedly regained the initiative and prevented considerable loss of life.
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Zbuckster
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PostSubject: Re: A real hero.   Sat 28 Feb 2015, 11:57 pm

I am always glad to read something like this. A true hero indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: A real hero.   Sun 01 Mar 2015, 12:02 am

Me too Buck.

Nice post Chris.

The man himself:



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PostSubject: Re: A real hero.   Sun 01 Mar 2015, 12:18 am

And the reason he did all that.......  He didn't want to let his cap badge down !!!

Truly heroic stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: A real hero.   Sun 01 Mar 2015, 4:53 pm

When a person hears the phrase "combat tested" it has genuine meaning. Until one's life is at risk it's hard to know how he or she will react. This man's bravery says it all. He probably would say he was simply doing his job. We can say he did it very well indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: A real hero.   Mon 02 Mar 2015, 12:37 am

Since a number of regulars here have served in the military, and we enjoy humor when we can, maybe this is a good time to mention the many radio shows the humorist Jean Shepherd made in the '60s and '70s. Some of the shows deal with his life in the army and some cover his love for automobiles. You may know him from his popular film "A Christmas Story" or his writings or a special he did on U.S. TV about growing up in the steel mill area of Northern Indiana. Here's a link to a blog with many of the shows and a link to the Internet Archive's material also: http://www.jeanshepherdpodcast.blogspot.com/
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PostSubject: Re: A real hero.   Mon 02 Mar 2015, 1:44 am

A great man.
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JohnJ
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PostSubject: Re: A real hero.   Mon 02 Mar 2015, 2:35 am

Certainly a man to be proud of!!!

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PostSubject: Re: A real hero.   Wed 04 Mar 2015, 1:52 am

His parents must be very proud.
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