Your Stories - LCPL Teel
The date was July 19, 2006. I was a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps. My unit had been assigned with the task of running patrols in and around Fallujah to disrupt insurgent activity. This day we were doing vehicle patrols for the majority of the day. At around 2100 hours we were going to do one last patrol for the night and then head back to our forward operating base. I was in the lead vehicle as the turret gunner. As we were driving past a produce stand an IED detonated. I knew I was hit pretty bad but I wasn't sure just how bad it was. Once we were out of the kill zone we came to a stop and I spit out four of my teeth. My arm was hurting really bad and I couldn't see out of my left eye. The quick reaction force arrives just minutes later and I then realized my team leader was still trapped in the vehicle. The blast had blown the door inward and jammed it shut. We were all trying like mad to get him out because he was going in and out of consciousness. We finally got him out and were medevac'd by humvee to an Airforce base nearby. From there we were sent to Balad to a bigger field hospital. After that, they flew me to Germany and then back to the United States. I landed and was accidentally sent to Walter Reed Army hospital, being a Marine I should have been sent to Bethesda Navy Hospital. Once at Walter Reed, they cleaned my wounds some more and flushed the rest of the debris from my eyes. They put me up at the Fisher house for the night and I was transferred to Bethesda the next day. Here I am almost 12 years later and I am doing pretty well. I lost all vision in my left eye however and I was medically retired. My team leader had some bad injuries but he is also doing well and we still talk as often as possible. Thank you Vortex for all that you do for us Veterans. Keep up the great work!"