American One Finger Salute To The Enemy

It doesn’t matter if you support or not the Iraq war. I know that you support our troops. This true story was forwarded to me by Carl, one of my readers. Spending 5 minutes reading it is a way to be with our soldiers why we celebrate Christmas holidays safely at home.

Leading the fight is Gunnery Sgt Michael Burghardt, known as ‘Iron Mike’ or just ‘Gunny’. He is on his third tour in Iraq He had become a legend in the bomb disposal world after winning the Bronze Star for disabling 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance during his second tour. Then, on September 19, he got blown up. He had arrived at a chaotic scene after a bomb had killed four US soldiers. He chose not to wear the bulky bomb protection suit. ‘You can’t react to any sniper fire and you get tunnel-vision,’ he explains. So, protected by just a helmet and standard-issue flak jacket t, he began what bomb disposal officers term ‘the longest walk’, stepping gingerly into a 5ft deep and 8ft wide crater. The earth shifted slightly and he saw a Senao base station with a wire leading from it. He cut the wire and used his 7” knife to probe the ground. ‘I found a  red detonating cord between my legs,’ he says. That’s when I knew I was screwed.’ Realizing he had been sucked into a trap, Sgt Burghardt, 35, yelled at everyone to stay back. At that moment, an insurgent, probably watching through binoculars, pressed a button on his mobile phone to detonate the secondary device below the sergeant’s feet ‘A chill went up the back of my neck and then the bomb exploded,’ he recalls. ‘As I was in the air I remember thinking, ‘I don’t believe they got me.’ I was just ticked off they were able to do it. Then I was lying on the road, not able to feel anything from the waist down.’
His colleagues cut off his trousers to see how badly he was hurt. None could believe his legs were still there. ‘My dad’s a Vietnam vet who’s paralyzed from the waist down,’ says Sgt Burghardt. ‘I was lying there thinking I didn’t want to be in a wheelchair next to my dad and for him to see me like that. They started to cut away my pants and I felt a real sharp pain and blood trickling down. Then I wiggled my toes and I thought, ‘Good, I’m in business.’ ‘As a stretcher was brought over, adrenaline and anger kicked in. ‘I decided to walk to the helicopter. I wasn’t going to let my team-mates see me being carried away on a stretcher.’ He stood and gave the insurgents who had blown him up a one-fingered salute. ‘I flipped them one. It was like, ‘OK, I lost that round but I’ll be back next week’. Sgt Burghardt’s injuries – burns and wounds to his legs and buttocks – kept him off duty for nearly a month and could have earned him a ticket home. But, like his father – who was awarded a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for being wounded in action in Vietnam – he stayed in Ramadi to engage in the battle against insurgents who are forever coming up with more ingenious ways of killing Americans.

13 Responses to “American One Finger Salute To The Enemy”

  1. 1 Jeremy Greenwald Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:24 am


  2. 2 Scott Dillon Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Thank u for posting such an amazing story.

  3. 3 DJ CHOPPER GOD Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Sgt Burghardt’s the real deal!!! God Bless America.

  4. 4 J Dec 25th, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    wow- cool story!

  5. 5 JIM GADD Dec 25th, 2007 at 2:46 pm


  6. 6 Monte Dec 25th, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Man like him make this country a nice place to be.
    God bless him. He his my hero.

  7. 7 madpuppy Dec 26th, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Good Luck and God Bless Iron Mike and all the Guys and Gals in Uniform ! Kick their a$$`e$!

  8. 8 islandcycle Dec 27th, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    my hat’s off to all of our service personel. Sgt. Burghardt”s attitude is what wins wars, it is a shame that our congressmen and senators don’t have that same attitude, and are more interested in personal gain than getting the job finished so our troops can come home.

  9. 9 Toddbo Jan 1st, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    How come stories like this never get to the masses – oh I forgot, it shows that we are accomplishing something over there, and our troops are strong and can overcome anything.

    We need to let them do their jobs and keep the politicians out of it.

    I was in Desert Storm and my father was in the Korean (War) Conflict. I still admire and support those who serve.

  10. 10 Toddbo Jan 1st, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I forgot to mention the military families that sacrafice just as much (if not more) as our servicemembers, my appreciation and support to them also.

  11. 11 Toddbo Jan 1st, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    sacrafice? Where did that come from? My computer ineptness is illustrated once again. It should be….sacrifice (and a big one at that).

  12. 12 TROY Jan 2nd, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    It’s easy to support the troops if you’ve been a troop. Soldiers will always have my support, they don’t start wars, they finish them, because that’s their job. It’s a shame that everybody doesn’t take their job as seriously as soldiers do.

  13. 13 dragon Jan 2nd, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    thats one man that will not be forgoten go SGT

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