Michael's Dispatches

Purple Heart


image001-1000PFC Leah Bartlett awarded Purple Heart

09 March 2012

Reaction to the recent Koran burnings led to dozens of killings.  Some of the attacks were obviously related to the burnings, while others may have been normal background noise of war.  Whatever the specific motivations, bombs still explode hard, and bullets still fly fast.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a blast in Nangarhar Province:

Afghan Taliban set off car   bomb at Jalalabad airport

“A Taliban suicide car bomber has killed at least nine   people and wounded 10 others in an attack at Jalalabad airport in eastern Afghanistan.

“The insurgents said the bombing was in revenge for a Koran-burning incident at a US air base near Kabul a week ago.

“The burning, which the US says was unintentional, has sparked violent protests across the country.”

PFC Bartlett was among the wounded.  Her father, veteran Randy Bartlett emailed:

“Just talked to her Mom. She's been evac'd to Bagram to the CSH [Combat Support Hospital].  She was in the turret of the MRAP when a black SUV popped out of traffic and went barreling toward the gate.  Before anyone could do anything, it detonated.  She was blown backward into the rear of the turret and injured her back as well as having both eardrums blown out.  Another kid, just arrived, was with her.  He took some fragments but will be OK.  Said she woke up on the ground and the gate was gone.  Apparently they secured it quickly enough that there was no further drama.

“Her Mom said she sounded as good as can be expected. She'll be there a couple of weeks then back to her unit to redeploy.”

PFC Bartlett and her buddies have earned their Purple Hearts, but there is a joke among the troops: “I don’t want the free fishing license, or the free license plate, or any scars to brag about.”

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    karen · 10 years ago
    Good work.... GOD bless
  • This commment is unpublished.
    okiquit · 10 years ago
    PH citation is useful when applying for disability.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tim Lum · 10 years ago
    Whew!! Close One. Hurry Back to your Family and get well quickly.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Randy · 10 years ago
    That's my grrl. (sic) Love you kid.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Matt Redmond · 9 years ago
      Mike, Thanks for posting this picture. I know Randi must be very proud of his daughter. keep up the good work, Matt
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Mark b · 10 years ago
      [quote name="Randy"]That's my grrl. (sic) Love you kid.[/quote]

      God bless you and yours. Thank you for your family's service to our country.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tommy Barrios · 10 years ago
    Michael is that your photo?

    Don't see your usual copyright bug in the frame?

    Nice to give credit where credit is due if it is not yours;-)
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Michael Yon author · 10 years ago

      That's a good question. It might be from PAO or combat camera but something tells me not. (Maybe PAO but probably not combat camera.) I got it from Leah's dad. I emailed to ask.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chuck Bennett · 10 years ago
    Words fail. Bless them all. They give so much for us.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John - Capt in ANG · 10 years ago
    Keep in mind, a willing body is a filled position. So although the person snapping isn't necessarily a photographer by training, I'd bet a 2* handing PHs out will very def have a PAO rep there. With him going down the line, I doubt people were pulling out their personal cameras and asking for 2nd pics. I'm guessing though.

    I was supposed to fly into Kabul the day after this happened to them. I saw the headline, "Airport bombed in Afghanistan," appear on the in-flight news on my LAX to Dubai flight. It was mixed feelings when I found out where it was. Glad my comrades in KAIA were ok, but hated to hear so many were hit.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Robert · 10 years ago
    Bless you ma'am. Bless you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tammy · 10 years ago
    Thank you for your sevice - God Bless.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike Barnett · 9 years ago
    PFC Leah Bartlett, I thank you for your service and your sacrifice. And I'm glad you were on your own two feet and looking good when you received the symbol of gratitude from your country. Stay safe!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leah Bartlett · 9 years ago
    It's weird reading this now that it's been months.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Randy Bartlett · 3 years ago
    Just ran across this again. Leah has graduated from Marshall University and is doing well. Couple of follow on surgeries and hearing aids and she drives on. One brother still serving, and one is a contractor. Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes.

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