• Today's Daily Devotion
Ambush at Roberts Ridge
Around three a.m. on March 4, 2002, Army Ranger Nate Self and his thirteen-man Quick Reaction Force were sent to recover a fallen Navy SEAL in Afghanistan, a place teeming ...

Ambush at Roberts Ridge

Capt. Nate Self, Army Ranger, Afghanistan (2002–2003); Iraq (2003–2004)

Around three a.m. on March 4, 2002, Army Ranger Nate Self and his thirteen-man Quick Reaction Force were sent to recover a fallen Navy SEAL in Afghanistan, a place teeming with hundreds of al-Qaeda fighters.

“There was no place on earth more hostile to U.S. soldiers and no place would my team rather be,” Self recalled. “We were there because we were Rangers, and we had a creed to uphold: Never leave a fallen comrade!”

Self and his team weren’t told that helicopters that had been sent to the mountain (later named Roberts Ridge) had come under fire. When the Chinook helicopter was shot down in an ambush, a fifteen-hour firefight ensued.

Bullets whizzed past Self, rocket-propelled grenades ripped through the air around him. Self began to plan a counterattack on the high-caliber machine-gun bunker, even though he was bleeding from a shrapnel wound in his leg.

Hours of fighting dragged on as Self and his men tried to stabilize the area enough for helicopters to come in and evacuate the wounded. In the meantime, fellow soldiers lay bleeding in the snow all around them as they fought off the enemy at such close range they could see their faces.

Self and his men found the fallen SEAL who had been killed with a shot to the head, and also located the body of a dead U.S. serviceman from the first failed rescue attempt. Three of Self’s men were killed in that daylong battle on the mountain. But if not for Self’s clear thinking and strong leadership, the casualties would have been even more.

Senior officers back at the base heaped praise upon Self and his team for being able to get off the mountain and kill the enemy without sustaining greater losses especially since they had been caught unaware.

For Self, the battle resulted in a Silver Star for valor, a Purple Heart, and later, a position of honor as President Bush’s guest for the 2003 State of the Union address. To those watching, Capt. Self represented strength, resolve, and success of the military.

But Self didn’t want to be honored. In fact, by 2004, he wanted to die.

Prayer:

Lord, when I feel ambushed by uncontrollable circumstances, give me wisdom and guidance to make the right decisions.


Other Items In The Battlefields and Blessings Series

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