Once upon a time, a small contingent of American soldiers was assigned to man Combat Outpost Keating, situated in a hostile-section of eastern Afghanistan, made all the more dangerous because the outpost was ordered-established, deep in a valley, surrounded by mountains, making our troops vulnerable to higher-ground-attack from day one. That inevitable, culminating-battle finally came in early October, 2009, when mortar-fire and an enemy force of over 300 rained-down on our isolated troops and a few Afghan Army colleagues. An intense firefight ensued, throughout which our steadfast-soldiers displayed extraordinary courage, determined not to be over-run, despite being severely outnumbered. When the firing stopped, and the Taliban-insurgents were dispatched, either to home or hell, eight brave Americans had perished, and many more wounded. Nine soldiers were awarded the Silver Star for combat valor that day.