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CPL Jason Bogar

2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy
US Army

CPL Bogar's Act of Heroism

Jason was killed on July 13, 2008 in the battle of Wanat. Army command sent Jason’s elite unit of 38 paratroopers into a village called Wanat to set up a base. The soldiers were not happy about the mission. Their brutal deployment had already been overextended by six months. They were packing their bags for home when they received the orders.

The men had done patrols to Wanat; they realized they were being sent into a place with no established fortress—a football length space, at the bottom of a bowl of endless mountains. They would be completely exposed and surrounded by insurgent caves. Chosen Company also knew of intelligence reports warning that hundreds of Al-Qaida fighters were amassing in the area. The enemy would be waiting for them. One paratrooper called home to tell his father they were being sent on a suicide mission.

Chosen Company arrived in the village on July 9, 2008 and furiously began building their defenses. Jason was stationed in the Observation Post above the rudimentary base. On the early morning of July 12, the attack began. The insurgents knew if they could overrun the OP, they could swarm the base and kill every soldier on low ground. At 4:28AM, hundreds of RPG’s and mortars began to explode on top of the nine men.

Jason immediately manned a machine gun. As bombs and missiles burst inside the sandbagged perimeter, he stood and sprayed bullets back at the attackers who shot down onto him. Hundreds of Al-Quaida shot artillery from cliffs and trees directly above the men. Bullets whizzed past Jason’s head and popped into the sandbags next to him; he shot 600 rounds from his AK-47 until the barrel melted. In the mayhem, he stopped only once, to put a tourniquet on a friend’s arm.

Unbelievably, the nine paratroopers kept their attackers from over running the Observation Post. An hour into the battle, air support finally arrived. But as the Taliban evaporated into mountain caves, Jason and seven other men at the OP lay dead, only one was killed in the base below.

My Hero

Jason was a hero to me because when he reenlisted, he volunteered to go into the worst fighting. When he told me about what he had done I was very upset with him. But he said to me, "Mom, I don't have a wife or children and so, if I'm going to go, I want to take the place of some father."

Jason did what he set out to do: He gave his life so that soliders below, many young fathers, could come home to their wives and children.


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