Veterans’ Day Special: An Afghan War Casualty Looks Back and Wonders Why – Foreign Policy:
On August 18th of 2009, while leading my platoon on a patrol in Afghanistan I stepped on the trigger of a hidden IED. Following the explosion, I was still conscious — but just barely. I don’t have any visual memories of that moment but I remember some of my thoughts and some of what was said to me. Lying there on the ground I knew that both of my legs were gone and I knew that in all likelihood I was going to die, right there in the Afghan dirt, and pretty quickly. But I also knew that just hours earlier in the day, my soldier, Pfc. Jonathan Yanney, 20 years old and from Litchfield, Minnesota, had been killed right next to me. He too had stepped on a hidden IED and he had been killed instantly. Similarly, about one kilometer away, a sister platoon had also been patrolling and they had lost one of their soldiers, Sgt. Troy Tom, 21 years old and from Shiprock, New Mexico.