Editorial Salute - 11/29/12

"Rangers lead the way."  Living that sacred motto, selflessly, every day, is United States Army Ranger, Staff Sergeant Austin McCall.  In Afghanistan, he and his patrol were on the trail of a suspected suicide bomber.  Sergeant McCall cautiously entered a dwelling, then, alone, moved out into the court-yard, coming face-to-face with the suspect who held two grenades.  McCall shot the individual the moment he tossed one grenade, while the other one then dropped to the floor.  The first failed to go off, but the second one did, sending shrapnel into the side of the Sergeant's face, severely injuring him.  Despite his wounds, he and his men continued to root out and eliminate other enemy on the premises.  Only then, would Sergeant McCall allow his wounds to be treated.

Stitched-up back at his base, he was soon flown to the states for further  treatment.   The Sergeant healed fast, and despite still having his speech impacted, and needing further jaw-bone surgery, after only a one-month absence, he requested to return to Afghanistan to resume leading his men.  A remarkable soldier, who joined the Army after 9/11, because (quote):  "I wanted to serve my country and take the fight to the enemy," Sergeant  McCall, stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, with the 2/75th Ranger Regiment, was presented with the Bronze Star with "V" for valor, and the Purple Heart.  With six war zone deployments, and still fighting for his country, and our freedom, Staff Sergeant Austin McCall is truly among the very best-of-our-best.