Alhaji followed him into the ‘house of hell’

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Last updated: May 14, 2019

Alhaji IJalloh    MCRD SDFinance                                                                                                    October 13, 2016                                                    My Men Are My HeroesOne of the most iconic imagesof the Battle of Fallujah is that of Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal beingassisted out of a house, extremely wounded, and still holding a 9mm pistol inhis right hand. That photo, taken by Lucian M Reed, an AP photographer hasbecome a symbol of the perseverance, heroism, and fortitude of the UnitedStates Marine Corps. Sgt Maj. Kasal’s heroic act and the ongoing Battle ofFallujah is described over several chapters. One gets a feel of just what thefighting in Fallujah was like and the events of Nov 13 are reviewed with SgtMajor Kasel’s humble account of what he did that day. When Sgt Major Kasal wascarried out of the ‘house of hell’ in Fallujah by LCpl Chris Marquez and LCplDan Shaffer, on Nov 13, 2004, he had lost over 60 percent of his blood and had40 shrapnel wounds from when he used his body toshield a fellow Marine lying next to him from an enemy grenade and seven 7.

62mmAK-47 rounds. The men holding him up had to put down their weapons to carry himout, but Sgt Major Kasal came out armed, ready to protect them if need be. SgtMajor Kassel was later awarded a Navy Cross for his actions. This book took me through SgtMaj. Kasal’s life, and the streets of Fallujah.

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I then   followed him into the ‘house of hell’ torescue his Marines who would have done the same for him. It also took me intothe mind of a leader of men, a warrior. One who epitomized all the values thatwere instilled in us from the early days of boot camp. The part dealing with theassault on Fallujah and his time in the ‘house of hell’ gives me chills withhow intense the situation was and how he took control of the situation andmotivated his men even in the most dire of circumstances. The book did an amazingjob of explaining who the enemy was and how they fight – and, how we as Marinesfought back and dominated the enemy on their own home turf.

While it is graphicand hard to read in some places, I recommend this book to anyone who wants toknow more about the battle for Fallujah as it is a moving description of what’sknown as the “tip of the spear” which men like Sgt Major Kasal and his Marinesare and what we should all aspire to be to keep our nation safe.

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