Thursday, August 27, 2009


Jake Miraldi, a graduate of HHS and West Point, wrote from Afghanistan in mid-June. He sits at right in the top photo and at left in the bottom photo.

"The update is that my platoon and another from our battalion were picked to go far, far from our normal area of operations to retake a town from the Taliban.  The town had been completely overwhelmed and it was our task to retake the town and to reestablish the Afghan police and army in the area.  Long story short, we took the town back fairly easily but early evening on the night of the first day we were attacked from all the high ground literally surrounding the town by, our best guess, anywhere from 75-150 enemy.  In that first fight we sustained 3 casualties. One sergeant was wounded in the hand, I received fairly substantial shrapnel wounds from an RPG that exploded about 6 inches from me, and another one of my sergeants was killed by the same RPG.  The fire fight lasted around 2 hours.

"I am fine. I was helicoptered to a hospital, but I was able to walk and, with some effort, run during the fight and to the Medevac itself.  This was 12 days ago now and I am walking with a slight limp but am not in any real pain.  My soldier that was killed was buried today in his home town and I have spoken several times with his wife and tried as best I could to comfort her.  After they fixed me up I spent the next 2 days fighting anyone and everyone to go back because my platoon was still there.  After two days they relented and I limped myself to the bird to fly me back up to the village.  When I arrived I found that that the platoon had performed above and beyond what even I had expected.  We had two more guys slightly wounded by shrapnel, not so much that they needed to be Medevaced, and my platoon, along with our friendly Apache and Airforce pilots, had confirmed killed 63 Taliban.  We remained there for 3 more days and made it back to home base a couple of days ago.

"I tell you all about this fight in detail mostly because of the tragic loss of one of my soldiers and because I was wounded, which I figured someone would hear through the grapevine and I wanted to assure all of you that I am fine, walking around, running around, physically capable of doing all the things I need to do, though I will have trouble with metal detectors from here on out as they left all the shrapnel in my leg.  Again, given how much you all have done for us I figured an update as significant as this probably should make its way to you.

"Hope all is well with all of you.  I will write again soon."