Had this guy take over one of the infantry companies my company supported and let me tell you , guy was a baaadd dude. One of the absolute most humble and knowledge hungry people too though. Talked to him a few times and was always super nice and encouraging. Remember him talking about setting up a SDM class and I walked up and asked did I could possibly take it even though I was a mechanic. Remember him laughing and saying why not ? Said he believed everyone should keep trying to learn things when they could . Said if he was offered him an underwater basket weaving class he'd take it in a heartbeat. That and a bunch of other stuff he said still bounce around in my head alot. Great guy. Hope he's still out there kicking
Men with Hard Bark.
In October 2006, while in the Daychopan Valley of Afghanistan, the Taliban launched mortars and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at U.S. Army Sgt. Melson and his team, which included Army Green Berets. Melson was hit, and his eardrum ruptured. Dizzy and vomiting, he still managed to man a machine gun and helped repel the attack.
The following day, Melson was in the lead Humvee, behind three Afghan Army pickup trucks, when some 100 Taliban ambushed the convoy. The Afghans abandoned their trucks, blocking the Americans’ path and trapping them inside the kill zone. “Taliban were within 10–15 meters from us, and my turret was getting hit bad,” Melson says. “I just kept on engaging and knew if I stopped, the SF guys would be in a bad spot. The noise was deafening. I was so scared but wasn’t going to die without a fight.”
Suddenly, an A-10 swooped down, pounding the area with fire. “I had no idea this was coming,” Melson says. “I lost my breath. I looked back at my friend on the gun in the truck behind me, and he was screaming, ‘They can’t see us; pop smoke!’ Then suddenly, all the noise stopped. I was still being engaged by the Taliban, but the fear left me. All I could think about was not letting one of the SF guys die behind me. It was so surreal. I accepted dying, and [thought] dying fighting is how I would be remembered.” Melson kept firing. Although he was wounded by small-arms fire, he prevailed and was credited with helping turn back the attack that left 50 Taliban killed and 25 wounded. For his actions, Melson was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor and the Purple Heart.