America in Uniform


The terrain was ideal for an ambush.

“To our west and to our east was high cliff faces,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Clouse. “To the south was the entrance to the canyon that we had come in through, and to the north there was a box canyon.”

It was June 26, 2008, and Clouse, a medic, was a Special Forces liaison to Marine Special Operations Company H, Special Operations Task Force – 73. He and his team would be caught in a four-hour firefight after which he was awarded the Silver Star for braving a tsunami of fire to treat wounded.

The team was on a patrol looking for a suspected insurgent location on the border of Farah and Herat provinces in Afghanistan that took them through the canyon with almost vertical walls. Suddenly, their path was blocked by a small truck with a flatbed and a disabled Toyota Land Cruiser.

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