Saturday, May 08, 2010

Soldier Escapes Death on Birthday, and Re-enlists

To quote a famous movie, "Where do we find such men?"

05.06.2010 KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – When U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Bougades, C Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment told his re-enlistment noncommissioned officer "Let's get this done before something happens" during a May 6 conversation, he had no way of knowing how prophetic his statement would be.

The White Sulfur, W.Va., native had spoken with U.S. Army Sgt 1st Class Robert Waller, Headquarter and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, about adding another six years to his time in the Army.

To make the event special, he scheduled his re-enlistment ceremony for May 7, also his 28th birthday.

Just hours prior to the appointed time as predicted, something did happened.

"I told you so," Bougades would later say as Waller, from Jeffersonville, Ind., walked into Forward Operating Base Salerno's combat support hospital's room where Bougades laid in a bed receiving treatment for his wounds.

While on patrol east of Camp Clark in Khowst province, Bougades' vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

Bougades received wounds to his lower extremities and was rushed by helicopter to the CSH at FOB Salerno.

This is the third time Bougades has been wounded in combat – something he's seemed to take in stride. His first complaint to medical personnel wasn't about pain, but about the re-enlistment appointment that he might miss.

If you want to get a taste of what these men go through, you might want to read "Rage Company: A Marine's Baptism By Fire"

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