By Army Infantryman and Purple Heart recipient, Sgt. Omar Avila
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
In May 14, 2007 while conducting patrols in Iraq, my vehicle was struck by a 200lb deep buried IED where the diesel fuel tank is located. The 3-ton vehicle was thrown 5ft in the air with 5 of us inside. As the vehicle came down, my legs gave out and I fell on Spc. Hartge’s lap. The vehicle was on fire and I looked into Hartge’s eyes, they were white and I knew he was gone. As I looked to my left, I saw Sgt. Flemming and Spc. Catterton both jumping out of the truck on fire, as fast as they could. In my eyes everything played out in slow motion and I saw my brothers tackling Flemming and Cattetron to put out the fire.
I got up from his lap, manned my weapon, and I started shooting towards the enemy. I knew I had to give support by fire so that my brothers could get Campos out of the truck as his gear had melted onto the seat of the Humvee and was stuck. The second round that I fired from my .50 cal exploded inside the barrel from the heat of the fire, shortly after that a grenade cooked off too, and at that point I saw them pull out SSG. Campos was out. I knew I had to get out if I was going to survive. I started climbing out of the gunner’s hatch as I managed to grab my side weapon.
As I stood on top of the Humvee, I looked to jump onto the engine and trunk but the flames were so high it would have burned me alive. So I jumped to the left side of the Humvee and as I hit the ground I got compound fractures to both my femurs. I noticed I was still on fire also, so I did the stop, drop, and roll. I’m still looking for whoever invented the method, because it doesn’t work.
As I was on the ground burning alive, one of my brothers put me out with a fire extinguisher; he looked at me and said, “I’m going to go get the medic, I’ll be right back.” With all the chaos and about 35 insurgents coming to our location to kill us all, he forgot about me. I managed to push myself away from the fire and next to the door of a house closest to the Humvee.
There I was a 6’2, 220lb man, plus 40lbs of equipment, on the ground dying, when SSG. Nuñez was running by. He saw me, and asked if I could walk. There were about 35 insurgents coming our way trying to kill our whole platoon. He reached down without hesitation, picked me up, helped me walk to the next Humvee and placed me inside, so that the medic could start working on me. I suffered 75% 3rd and 4th degree burns to my body and lost my right foot, but he saved my life that day.
Now, I’m going to ask you the readers a simple question:
Do you think a female would have been able to carry me to safety? Weighing 260lbs, with both femurs broken, and burns all over my body?
Here are some of my issues with the army lowering the standards. A female wouldn’t have been able to save my life and they don’t belong on the front lines.
If the Obama administration wants to make history bad enough, let the female soldiers earn it like just those before them. Don’t just give it to them on a silver platter. It’s an injustice to them and the troops who will serve with them.
Imagine my scenario all over again, but this time my life is in the hands of a female soldier whose standards were lowered in order to graduate. I can honestly say that I would not here today if that was the case. During training, males carry a 200lb dummy and the females get a 100lb dummy, the task is to carry it 100 yards. Why the difference in weight? Because history, research and data has shown us that males are stronger and can perform better under any circumstance. We are wired differently and built differently – it’s the way gGd made us and that’s ok.
Now that the standards are lower and two females will graduate ranger school, the feminists are trying to push for females to be allowed in a combat infantry job and to fight on front lines. Why?
When 95% of those killed in combat are males, do they really want this number to be equal? Aren’t they supposed to protect their ow? Why would they want to see females in harms way?
I know a bunch of liberals are going to say that I am sexist and don’t see women as equals – but how are we equal when they get a helping hand to graduate from one of the hardest schools the Army has to offer?
The marines had a couple of females go through their school of infantry, they refused to lower the standards and got treated as equals. Guess how many graduated? I know a lot of different languages for how to say ‘none’, but plain ole English will work…NONE.
I want to ask the most important people, whose lives will be affected the most; dear wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and girlfriends: would you have enough confidence knowing there is female whose standards were lowered in order to graduate, and now your husband, son, brother, dad, or boyfriend’s life in their hands?