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Nobody else could make entry.


Over the radio, assault team members were asked to give their status. Day was unresponsive.


The team evacuated the building and prepared for aircraft overhead to level the structure.


At 1:41 a.m. on the perimeter of the building, however, the platoon commander, Lt. Garth Weintraub, realized that only 16 of the 22 personnel were accounted for.


Among those missing was 27-year-old Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph “Clark” Schwedler, one of the best-liked SEALs in the platoon. The Michigan native had taken one shot to the neck and bled to death near the 12-by-12-foot room where Day was hit.


When Day awoke, he remembered, “I’m laying on my side, still got my pistol in my hand. The two [enemy] guys in the room are shooting at the guys [outside] leaving. So I re-engaged those two guys.”


Day was able to take them both out.


“At this point, I had no idea that I had been shot as many times as I had. I go to make comms with the rest of the platoon and find that my radio’s been destroyed.”


Day tried to unscrew Schwedler’s radio but his hand kept slipping. “I went to take off my left glove and realized it was the only thing holding my thumb on. It was barely hanging on at the knuckle.”


At 1:49 a.m., Day made radio contact saying the target was “secure.” Team members raced back to the building.


“They were going to carry me out,” Day said. “I didn’t want anybody to touch me. I thought they would hurt me. I was in shock; I wasn’t thinking straight. I walked a couple hundred yards” to the helicopter squadron.


Day flew out via medevac at 2:14 a.m. At the hospital in Baghdad, Day “got mobbed by like 10 people, rolling me over, calling out where all the gunshot wounds were. That’s probably the first time I’d realized I’d been hit so many times.”


Twenty-seven times, he was told.


His ceramic body armor took 11 rounds — including three to the chest at close range.


His body took the other 16.


“I got shot in both arms, both legs. One round,” Day said, “went in my lower right thigh and came out the upper right thigh” leaving him with nerve damage that makes it hard to distinguish sensations below the knee. (This summer, what Day thought was a bead of sweat running down his leg was actually the stings of five wasps.)


At the hospital in Baghdad, “I got mobbed by like 10 people, rolling me over, calling out where all the gunshot wounds were.”


 


 


About the cause
Former Navy SEAL Mike Day is raising money to support veterans with brain injuries at the Carrick Brain Center. Learn more at www.crowdrise.com/mikedaystrichallenge.


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