Eighth anniversary of Battle of COP Keating
Today is the eighth anniversary of the Battle for COP Keating, which long time readers of the Burn Pit are familiar with. If you aren't, you can read my Magazine article on the battle and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Clint Romesha's role in it BY CLICKING HERE:
The Battle for COP Keating produced a constellation of medals: 27 Purple Hearts, 37 Army Commendation Medals with “V” devices for valor, three Bronze Stars, 18 Bronze Stars with “V” devices, and nine Silver Stars. Staff Sgt. Clinton “Clint” Romesha recently received the Medal of Honor for his actions that day, and another soldier, Sgt. Ty Carter, has been recommended for one. [Editor's note: Ty would later receive his Medal of Honor.]
The enemy death toll is estimated at between 150 and 200. Eight U.S. soldiers paid the ultimate price that day: Justin T. Gallegos of Tucson, Ariz.; Christopher Griffin of Kincheloe, Mich.; Kevin C. Thomson of Reno, Nev.; Michael P. Scusa of Villas, N.J.; Vernon W. Martin of Savannah, Ga.; Stephan L. Mace of Lovettsville, Va.; Joshua J. Kirk of South Portland, Maine; and Joshua M. Hardt of Applegate, Calif.
The video with Clint from CBS Sunday Morning is perhaps my favorite one of all time, because he really is this humble:
COP Keating coincided with my becoming a blogger here for The American Legion, and we leapt into action as soon as we heard that their stuff had been destroyed. By the end of our fundraiser we received roughly $250,000 in goods and monetary donations. You can read the original post HERE, but because of changes in the blog the formatting looks pretty weird. Nonetheless, an article put on the Legion website at the time discusses it:
Soldiers attacked by enemy forces at Command Outpost Keating in Afghanistan are reaping the benefits of an American Legion-inspired fundraising campaign that brought in more than $100,000 in donations.
The money has been used to buy comfort items for the soldiers, who survived an onslaught from about 300 enemy insurgents. When COP Keating came under attack Oct. 3, members of Bravo Troop 3-61 Cavalry from Fort Carson, Colo., had to call in an air strike on their own position that destroyed their personal possessions.
Most of the 56 survivors left the region with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and their weapons. Lost were all their personal items, including computers, cameras, books, video games and other comfort items that brought some respite from the war.
Soon after the attack, one of the soldiers e-mailed The American Legion and expressed concern that no one at home knew what they were doing in Afghanistan, and that no one really cared. The soldier’s words were posted on The Burn Pit (www.burnpit.legion.org), and the Legion’s COP Keating Relief Fund was born. In less than a week, more than $50,000 poured in. Computer Science Corp. offered laptop computers, Target matched the $50,000 with gift cards and merchandise, and Legionnaires in three cities rallied to the cause.
The American Legion also got videos with both TY and Clint:
Proud to know both Ty and Clint, and even more proud that the Legion could step up and help them when they needed it.