Alhaji followed him into the ‘house of hell’

Alhaji I


 October 13, 2016

                                                    My Men Are My Heroes

One of the most iconic images
of the Battle of Fallujah is that of Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal being
assisted out of a house, extremely wounded, and still holding a 9mm pistol in
his right hand. That photo, taken by Lucian M Reed, an AP photographer has
become a symbol of the perseverance, heroism, and fortitude of the United
States Marine Corps. Sgt Maj. Kasal’s heroic act and the ongoing Battle of
Fallujah is described over several chapters. One gets a feel of just what the
fighting in Fallujah was like and the events of Nov 13 are reviewed with Sgt
Major Kasel’s humble account of what he did that day.

When Sgt Major Kasal was
carried out of the ‘house of hell’ in Fallujah by LCpl Chris Marquez and LCpl
Dan Shaffer, on Nov 13, 2004, he had lost over 60 percent of his blood and had
40 shrapnel wounds from when he used his body to
shield a fellow Marine lying next to him from an enemy grenade and seven 7.62mm
AK-47 rounds. The men holding him up had to put down their weapons to carry him
out, but Sgt Major Kasal came out armed, ready to protect them if need be. Sgt
Major Kassel was later awarded a Navy Cross for his actions.

This book took me through Sgt
Maj. Kasal’s life, and the streets of Fallujah. I then   followed him into the ‘house of hell’ to
rescue his Marines who would have done the same for him. It also took me into
the mind of a leader of men, a warrior. One who epitomized all the values that
were instilled in us from the early days of boot camp. The part dealing with the
assault on Fallujah and his time in the ‘house of hell’ gives me chills with
how intense the situation was and how he took control of the situation and
motivated his men even in the most dire of circumstances. The book did an amazing
job of explaining who the enemy was and how they fight – and, how we as Marines
fought back and dominated the enemy on their own home turf. While it is graphic
and hard to read in some places, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to
know more about the battle for Fallujah as it is a moving description of what’s
known as the “tip of the spear” which men like Sgt Major Kasal and his Marines
are and what we should all aspire to be to keep our nation safe.


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