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Mike Day, Navy SEAL who survived being shot 27 times in Iraq, dies

Story by Max Hauptman • 5h ago

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Douglas “Mike” Day, a highly decorated U.S. Navy SEAL who survived being shot 27 times while deployed to Iraq, passed away earlier this week on March 27. Day served 21 years in the Navy and later worked as an author and an advocate for wounded military veterans.

Mike Day with his dog Herja (left) and during training on Pineros Island, Puerto Rico. Photos via @mikeday5326/Instagram.

Mike Day with his dog Herja (left) and during training on Pineros Island, Puerto Rico. Photos via @mikeday5326/Instagram.© Provided by Task & Purpose

On April 6, 2007, Day was nearing the end of a deployment to the Anbar province of Iraq, and leading his SEAL platoon on a raid against an al Qaeda cell in the city of Fallujah. With two Iraqi scouts behind him, Day breached the door of a room and was immediately struck with multiple bullets, knocking his rifle out of his hands.

“I took a left-hand turn and they just started shooting at me,” Day said on the Team Never Quit podcast in 2020.

Falling to the ground, Day transitioned to his pistol and shot one of the four terrorists in the room. As a second man pulled the pin on a grenade and began running towards the hallway, Day killed him as well. The grenade fell to the ground and detonated, wounding Day with the shrapnel. He briefly lost consciousness, but when he awoke he continued engaging the other men in the room, shooting them with his pistol even as he was struck yet again multiple times from less than 10 feet away with AK-47 fire.

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“After I realized that I actually was getting shot, my second thought was, ‘God get me home to my girls,’ and then extreme anger,” Day told Fox News in 2015. “Then I just went to work. It was muscle memory. I just did what I was trained to do.”

Though improbable, Day was still alive, directing several Iraqi scouts to guard a group of women and children who had been found in the building, and using the radio of fellow SEAL Joseph “Clark” Schwedler — who was killed during the raid — to make contact with the rest of his team.

It was only then that Day realized the extent of his injuries. Sixteen bullets had torn through his abdomen, arms, legs, groin, and buttocks. Another 11 had been stopped by his body armor.

“I didn’t even know how bad I was hurting until they came in and I saw the looks on their faces,” Day told Coffee or Die Magazine in 2020. “We all know that look.”

Day was soon evacuated from the battlefield, first to Baghdad, then to Landstuhl, Germany, and eventually to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, walking to the MEDEVAC helicopter without assistance.

“I wasn’t being macho, but I was afraid if they picked me up, it would just hurt more,” Day recounted to Coffee or Die Magazine.

Day later retired from the Navy in 2010, having been awarded the Navy Cross, two Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart. He later went on to work for seven years as a wounded warrior advocate for U.S. Special Operations Command. Day’s autobiography, “Perfectly Wounded” was published in 2020.

“When you go through something together, or similar, it’s a bond, even if you didn’t do it together,” Day told Coffee or Die Magazine in 2020. “The resiliency that’s built into people after they go through trauma is incredible.”


Superheroes walk among us.
May God rest his soul.


Sad, very, sad. Glad you shared.
A musical tribute if I may.
Heaven done called another warrior back home… ( I’m paraphrasing )




May God rest his soul and give his family peace. He was a true hero.


Prayers for strength for his friends and family. God speed to your reward.


:us: :us: :us: :us: :us:


Remains of retired U.S. Marine killed in Ukraine being repatriated

Story by Paulina Smolinski • 5h ago


The remains of a retired U.S. Marine who died in Ukraine after joining the fight against the Russian invasion will be coming home Friday.

Marine Capt. Grady Kurpasi (ret.), 50, went missing in April 2022 after taking small-arms fire in the Kherson region. He was located a year later by the global human rights advocacy group, the Weatherman Foundation.

Kurpasi’s remains are being repatriated through a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. His remains are expected to arrive in the U.S. Friday morning. There will be a brief ceremony at the airport before his body is flown by private plane to Wilmington, N.C., to be returned to his family.

Kurpasi’s disappearance

On the day of his disappearance, the 20-year veteran of the U.S. military left his position to investigate incoming fire in southern Ukraine with British citizen Andrew Hill, according to the Weatherman Foundation. Hill was captured by Russian-backed forces and has reportedly been charged with being a mercenary. Kurpasi did not make it back to his troops.

Investigators from the Weatherman Foundation, founded by Bess Weatherman and Andrew Duncan, spent nine months working to locate Kurpasi’s remains and ensure their safe passage to American soil.

Finding Kurpasi’s remains was like “finding a needle in a haystack” Duncan told CBS News.

“We are not only bringing him home, but we spent months trying to find his remains,” says Duncan. “That was like a pet project for our organization because we feel very strongly that you never leave an American behind. Ever.”

Kurpasi intended to train soldiers and assist with evacuations

Kurpasi, a Purple Heart recipient, was known for “leading by example” and “consistently inspiring those around him with his dedication, strength, and unwavering loyalty” according to the veteran rescue and assistance non-profit Project Dynamo.

U.S. Marines Capt. Grady Kurpasi (ret.) is seen in a file photo from the U.S. Marine Corps website. A family friend told CBS News on June 16, 2022, that Kurpasi had not been heard from since taking small arms fire during combat alongside Ukrainian forces. / Credit: USMC

U.S. Marines Capt. Grady Kurpasi (ret.) is seen in a file photo from the U.S. Marine Corps website. A family friend told CBS News on June 16, 2022, that Kurpasi had not been heard from since taking small arms fire during combat alongside Ukrainian forces. / Credit: USMC© Provided by CBS News

After retiring from the Marine Corps, Kurpasi felt he had to assist Ukrainians defending their country against the Russians. He intended to train soldiers and assist with evacuations but eventually joined the Ukrainian Foreign Legion, according to the Weatherman Foundation. Kurapsi is survived by his wife, Heeson Kim, and his daughter.

Kurpasi was adopted from Korea and grew up in New York City before he joined the Marines. As a child he flew into JFK airport to meet his new family, and now, the same airport will receive his remains Friday.

At least 12 Americans have been killed fighting in Ukraine

The State Department warns Americans to not travel to fight in Ukraine, specifically citing the singling out of U.S. citizens in Ukraine by Russia’s security officials, but U.S. citizens continue to make up some of the foreign fighters supporting Ukrainian troops.

At least 12 Americans have been killed fighting in Ukraine since the war broke out, according to “Task and Purpose.” The State Department does not confirm the total number of U.S. citizens killed in Ukraine.

Two U.S. military veterans who disappeared while fighting Russia with Ukrainian forces were released in September after about three months in captivity, according to relatives.

Alex Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, disappeared in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border. Both had traveled to Ukraine on their own and became friends.

CBS News spoke to another former U.S. Marine who said he knew Huynh and Drueke and served with them in Ukraine before they went missing.

“We knew that by going over there and serving for the government of Ukraine, that little to no protections would be extended to us, and that the United States government would be powerless to help us,” said the veteran, who asked not to be identified.

It was witnessing the atrocities committed by Russian troops outside of Kyiv that motivated Kurpasi to stay and fight, Duncan said.

“These guys are heroes. They’re not doing this for any attention. They’re doing it knowing they don’t have any government support, and they’re still doing it,” Duncan said.

Margaret Brennan contributed to this report.


Former U.S. Special Forces Soldier Is Killed in Ukraine


Allison Quinn

Tue, May 16, 2023 at 1:14 PM CDT·3 min read

via Facebook

A former Green Beret who traveled to Ukraine to help train troops there has been killed in Bakhmut, his family has confirmed.

Nick Maimer, an Idaho man and 20-year military veteran, had been teaching English in Europe last year when Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s notorious Wagner Group on Monday boasted about killing Maimer in fierce fighting in Bakhmut, and his death was later confirmed by his family to The Idaho Statesman.

Maimer’s uncle, Paul, identified the body seen in a video shared by Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin as that of his nephew.

“He persevered through a lot in his life. I had the utmost respect for him. A lot of people can learn from who he was and what he had accomplished in his short life. In 45 years, he lived a lot. He went over there as a humanitarian trying to do good for this world,” Paul Maimer told the Statesman.

While watching the horror unfold during the first days of the war, Maimer told the Idaho Statesman he’d felt a “calling” to help Ukrainians defend themselves against one of “the most clear-cut unjust invasions in recent history.”

He arrived in Ukraine in May 2022, and according to a video he posted on Facebook, he set out not to take part in combat, but to help train Ukrainian troops.

“I was in Poland when the war started, and because I am a retired soldier with a lot of experience- I did over 20 years-I knew I could come help them. But I didn’t necessarily want to fight, because I have a lot of specific training on training foreign militaries,” he said in a video shared on Facebook.

In a later update on his work training Ukrainian troops, he said he was looking forward to “lots of good things, lots of good work to be done, hopefully saving lives.”

He cautioned against American indifference to the war, noting that the bloodshed and violence is “not happening to someone else, it’s happening to our fellow humans.”

Maimer’s aunt, Cheri, told The Daily Beast the family supported his traveling to Ukraine to help them fend off Russian forces.

She said it had been difficult to keep in close touch with him given his location, but that the family had made a point to check his Facebook profile to make sure he was still active and alive.

Another aunt, Heidi Maimer, told The Daily Beast that he was a “great guy” who cared deeply about his community.

“I’m a teacher and the kids called him ‘snake guy’ because he had a lot of reptiles,” Heidi Maimer said. “He would bring his six foot snake boa constrictor to the classroom and he touched the lives of a lot of kids. He volunteered his time and always gave back to the community. He was a passionate human being and a great guy.”

Upon first arriving in Ukraine, Maimer had briefly linked up with the Mozart Group, a private military company made up of Western volunteers with military experience.

After that, Maimer began working with a nonprofit group offering help with evacuations and supplies for Ukraine, AFGFree. The founder of that group, Perry Blackburn, a retired lieutenant colonel, told the Statesman he’d reached out to Maimer to invite him to help with training for Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Force.

The two put together a training program they hoped Ukrainian commanders would soon begin implementing for new recruits, with Blackburn describing Maimer as the leader of that program last June.

Blackburn told the Statesman that Maimer had been providing “firsthand training” to Ukrainian troops when he “got caught behind enemy lines” in Bakhmut.

“It’s just a crazy, crazy time right now. And then having Nick die over there, it’s just brutal,” he said.


RIP :us: :us: :us: :us: :us: :us: :us:


RIP my heroes and the gates of heaven shall be wide open for the both of them. You will hear those words, Welcome home my good and faithful servant. Both will be missed. I thank the Lord for their families and pray for them to have comfort.


The other side of the coin. The next generation of warriors. :us:

A very long article, if you have time, it’s a good read. :+1:
National Guardsman raised in a three-Gold Star family named Soldier of the Year (msn.com)

Task & Purpose


National Guardsman raised in a three-Gold Star family named Soldier of the Year

Story by Matt White • 8h ago


National Guardsman raised in a three-Gold Star family named Soldier of the Year© Provided by Task & Purpose

Jake Evans broke the news to his family that he was going to enlist — and broke down crying as he did — at DJ’s Diner & Drive-in, the local pizza place in Eureka, Nevada.

It was 2019 and DJ’s was both a place to eat and a social hub for most of the 480 residents of Eureka. Jake’s dad, Jeff Evans, was the principal of the town’s high school, which meant he was well known among both the adults who came to DJ’s for dinner and among the teenagers who cruised their pickups in and out of the diner’s gravel parking lot off Route 50, the town’s central drag that Life Magazine, after a visit, once called “the loneliest road in America.”

Jake was in town before his final year at the University of Nevada-Reno. Between classes, he’d been working as a local EMT and soon realized that many in Reno’s first responder world — ambulance paramedics, firefighters, even some police — were also medics in the local National Guard unit, the 238th Aviation Regiment.

The 238th had a storied history as a ‘Dustoff’ medevac unit in Iraq. In a 2009 deployment, its patients saw a survival rate two-thirds above average after the 238th began flying with advanced, critical care-trained medics — many of whom were now Jake’s coworkers.

National Guardsman raised in a three-Gold Star family named Soldier of the Year

National Guardsman raised in a three-Gold Star family named Soldier of the Year© Provided by Task & Purpose

And Jake had decided to join them. After graduation, he planned to enlist as a “68-Whiskey” or combat medic, get his paramedic license during training, and, eventually, fly as a critical care flight medic.

But first, he had to tell his family.


A long interview but a good story from one that was there. :us:
Just a simple man who answered his country’s call to war.


New Proud Americans. :us:

Foreign-born service members sworn in as U.S. citizens (msn.com)


This was my father in 1943-44 prior to being deployed to the European theater, he served with the 97th army infantry division. He was awarded the Bronze Star and assisted liberating Flossenbürg concentration camp. He was 20-21, he passed away in 2012 at the age of 89.


Your father was a hero and I thank him for his service.


R wrote this book, it’s her dads letters from Basic Training thru Europe and back home. I never got to meet him so to me, he lives in his writtings.


My dad passed away 11 years ago its one of biggest regrets not asking him about the things he experienced during WWII. I only know about the things I’ve read about his division doing such as the liberation of Flossenberg. Plus I remember him mentioning liberating a concentration camp and how horrible it was, he mentioned it had the smell of death.


In Bobs letters he referred to a Concentration Camp One Time, he said “God will judge those that did this”.


:us: R.I.P. John. A life well lived. :us: