If you want to see the face of the U.S. military at war, you need look no further than Army Master Sgt. Sarun Sar. He and his 12-member squad engaged suspected insurgents near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, coming under attack before their helicopter even landed.
Sgt. Major Sar leapt out of the helicopter and ran toward the attackers. When he finally turned around, he realized he was alone – the rest of his team was pinned down near the helicopter. To make matters worse, he had attracted the attention of the bad guys, who focusesd their fire on him. So what did he do? He attacked, killing one and scattering the rest. Eventually, he and his team vanquished the enemy, discovered a large weapons cache, and secured the area.
What jumped out at me, however, was what I heard in his audio interview (click here). In that interview, the Master Sgt. described what he and his team do when they’re not fighting. Since that area of Afghanistan is so dangerous, non-government organizations (NGOs) don’t dare venture there, so the military fills the void. They act as local police, they teach, and they build goodwill by improving conditions for the local residents.
To the mainstream media, our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq is limited to military action. But that is only part of the story. As Master Sgt. Sar demonstrated, our military is fierce and effective in combat. But to those who live there, our military presence takes on a much deeper meaning. It represents American ideals through face-to-face interaction – our diplomatic corps on scene. The villagers learn the alien concept that life can be better, that these strange warriors from across the sea represent a society that considers life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness precious commodities worth fighting for.
Master Sgt. Sar is our hero of the week.
For his complete story, click here.