14 May 2009

Three Fort Carson Green Berets to be honored for valor in Iraq

Sgt. 1st Class Michael D. Lindsay, left, Capt. Matthew A. Chaney, center, and Staff Sgt. Jarion Halbison-Gibbs, right, stand for their photograph at Fort Carson, Colo., on Tuesday, May 12, 2009. On Thursday, the Army will give the Distinguished Service Cross, its second-highest medal for valor, to Halbisen-Gibbs, Capt. Matthew A. Chaney and Sgt. 1st Class Michael D. Lindsay, will get the Silver Star as a result of their actions in during a raid in Iraq. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski.

Sept. 10, 2007, during a raid on a rural compound in Samarra, Iraq:

With Halbisen-Gibbs in the lead, the three men stormed one of the buildings, detonating a grenade and firing their weapons. Inside, Chaney was shot in the pelvis and Lindsay in the throat, and the force of an enemy grenade sent those two flying back out through the doorway. The blast of that grenade threw Halbisen-Gibbs into a corner inside the building. ...

Shrapnel from the insurgents’ grenade had mangled the thumb on Halbisen-Gibbs’ firing hand. Dazed and unable to see through the smoke and dust, he went outside to look for Chaney and Lindsay. He began running to Lindsay when he was shot in the abdomen.

“I was so jacked up on adrenaline, I didn’t really feel it that much,” Halbisen-Gibbs said. “Honestly, my thumb hurt worse than anything else at the time.”

He shot and killed the insurgent who injured him, then rallied the Iraqi government troops to press on with the attack.

“It wasn’t until about 15 minutes later when shock really set in that I really, really started hurting,” he said.

With other soldiers wrapping up the attack and attending to Chaney and Lindsay, Halbisen-Gibbs told them, “ ‘Hey, I got shot, and I’m going to go take a knee now.’ At that point I was pretty much done.”

When the fighting ended twelve insurgents lay dead, including a high-value target responsible for masterminding extortion and kidnappings. None of the U.S. or Iraqi troops were killed.

Despite the serious injuries sustained in 2007 all three of the Green Berets are still on active duty: Chaney and Lindsay have served another tour in Iraq, and Halbisen-Gibbs is in training and ready for another deployment.


No comments: