Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Face of Freedom ~ Army SFC Adin Salkanovic

Wounded Soldier Heals,
Returns to Unit in Iraq


Army Sgt. 1st Class Adin Salkanovic points out gunner positions to Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, on the roof of Patrol Base Shakarat in Iraq's Diyala province, June 20, 2007. Salkanovic, of the 1st Cavalry Division's Troop B, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, volunteered to rejoin his unit in Iraq after recovering from multiple gunshot wounds suffered in March.

BAGHDAD, June 25, 2007 -
Army Sgt. 1st Class Adin Salkanovic won't spend a full 15 months in Iraq like the rest of the soldiers in his unit. Still, he knows all too well about the sacrifices of war.

The platoon sergeant with 1st Cavalry Division's Troop B, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, volunteered to rejoin his unit in Iraq after recovering from multiple gunshot wounds suffered in Buhriz, Iraq, March 6.

Salkanovic, 27, was leading a dismounted, eight-man reconnaissance team when 15 to 20 insurgents wielding grenades, sniper rifles and AK-47s started attacking from three different directions.

Pinned down on the roof of a building, Salkanovic and his squad returned fire. In a span of 15 minutes, Salkanovic was struck by three enemy bullets: one to his left index finger and shoulder and one apiece to his right shoulder and bicep. Two more enemy rounds nearly struck Salkanovic, but were stopped by his body armor - "the two that would have killed me," he called them.

Salkanovic's team managed to fend off the attack, eventually killing two insurgents. If not for the actions of one of his soldiers, Cpl. Cory Walter, Salkanovic is sure he would have died that day, he said.

"Corporal Walter is pretty much responsible for me being alive right now."

Salkanovic, whose wounds caused him to lose two liters of blood, was evacuated to Germany and later moved to Fort Hood, Texas, to recover. After two months of healing and rehabilitation, he was ready to head back to Iraq. He rejoined his unit, which is based at Forward Operating Base Normandy, May 15.

"As soon as (my doctor) cleared me to come back, I was on the first flight out," said Salkanovic, a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Although returning to Iraq was entirely his choice, Salkanovic said, the decision was not up for debate. Rejoining his unit was his goal from the start.

"It's like a family - especially being a platoon sergeant. You get attached to the soldiers," he said.

(Photo and Story by Army Staff Sgt. Curt Cashour, who is assigned to Multinational Corps Iraq Public Affairs.)

6 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

Our hero, he is my kind of soldier.

Terri said...

I too had a post up about this amazing young man today over at ASM. I did some further digging and found out a lot of really incredible information about this young man. He's a truly amazing Soldier.

De'on Miller said...

Great man. I think so many are like him. Our troops are the best.

cjwalter said...

Heyyyy, we weren't on no rooftop! We were in a muddy ditch! And it didn't take no 15 minutes for him to get shot. He got shot one time after the other in a matter of like 3 minutes. I was right next to him! Check out my blog http://diyalawarstories.blogspot.com/
I've got the whole story of what happened that day under the post titled "The Long Crawl Backwards".

Flag Gazer said...

CJ -
Your post is quite the read - too bad the DOD didn't have you write this release!

Anonymous said...

Well I deployed twice with man and now we are both Currently stationed in Germany....let's just say he is the "Real Deal" point blank.