By James G. Zumwalt
The Washington Times
February 3, 2008
The battle raged for 17 hours — from day, to night, into day again. Ammunition and water ran low as the platoon was pinned down. An Afghan soldier was wounded. Absent surgery, he would die.
In an act demonstrative not only of courage but also of respect for the life of an allied Muslim soldier, the American platoon commander, Lt. Sean McQuade, ordered 12 men to carry the wounded Afghan down a rocky mountain slope as the remaining 20 men provided covering fire.
During the downhill movement, the wounded man was occasionally exposed to enemy fire, prompting medic Sgt. Jose Rivas to shield him with his own body as he tended to the soldier’s wounds. Eventually, a Black Hawk helicopter swooped in, resupplying the 20 platoon members holding the high ground before then picking up the wounded Afghan. Sgt. Rivas’ mission accomplished, he returned to rejoin the fight ….