Wednesday, January 30, 2013

De Oppresso Liber

Wounded Warrior Needs Your Help

In October of 2012, SFC Josh Gillette, a member of 5th Group, was conducting a dismounted patrol in the Helmand Province along with his ODA Team and his Explosives Detection K-9, Banan. Little did he know, that patrol would change his life in ways he hadn't imagined.

SFC Gillette and Banan were sweeping a structure atop a hill for IED's. Banan lead the way with Josh following behind as they began searching the rooms for devices. It wasn't long until his K-9 was alerted to a potential IED, and Josh was aware that he and Banan may have walked over the device several times without realizing it.

With Banan unable to locate its exact position, SFC Gillette turned around and began walking back over his own steps. With a prevalence of Pressure Plate Initiated Devices in Helmand, walking over ones own steps can typically ensure you avoid triggering the IED. Unfortunately however, that wasn't the case here.

The IED exploded sending SFC Gillette and Banan flying, and from the comments of his teammates, well over 50 feet into the air. Josh came to rest in a bush, his kit ripped in two, his weapon bent into a almost perfect V, and his ballistic plate concaved outwards. His FAST Helmet would later be found 100 meters away from where he landed.

With his teammates providing causality care to a severely wounded Gillette, Josh's primary concern was that of his dog. He would later be told that Banan had been killed in the blast. An event he is still distraught over.

SFC Gillette's face had been shattered in the explosion along with his right arm and most of his teeth. Frag had impacted his eyes. Skin from his thigh had to be used rebuild his face. His vision comes and goes but the doctors are optimistic as to his eyesight's recovery. At present, he has undergone more surgeries than I count with still more planned.

I spoke with Josh today via the phone who is recovering at Walter Reed. He is in remarkably good spirits and I'm confident he'll make a full recovery.

What he and his family need now is your help. A traumatic event like this not only takes a toll on your body and emotional state, but on that of your family, and their income as well. I'm hoping you guys will spread the word and possibly donate to help them out. Special thanks to Shain Gillette for reaching out and contacting me. I never would've know about Josh had he not done so.

FCN/ABC Story on Josh

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  1. Keep getting something in my eyes while reading this. Prayers and thoughts to this guy, and dollars too.

  2. What a stud... Best wishes to you and your family, heal fast and strong.

    Audentis Fortuna Iuvat

  3. I lost a man i loved very much this past year while he was serving in Afghanistan. He belonged to the EOD unit. He was killed by an IED. The road ahead will be long, but you still have your life. And you will overcome this because you are strong and have friends and family supporting you to help give you strength. Thank you for your service and sacrifice soldier!......From a mom and daughter in New Mexico.