Rambo In Afghanistan

Everybody reading this has been the recipient of a multi-forwarded email or fifty. You know them on sight: the top line has some variation of “This is a great story, more people ought to read it!” There’s the one about how Captain Kangaroo was a decorated Marine in WWII, with the tag line about Mr. Rodgers being a deadly sniper. There’s the one about the Army general telling an NPR reporter how she’s equipped to be a prostitute.

There are many, many more, and unfortunately, most of them–including the two I’ve just recounted–are one hundred percent fiction. That’s why I was a little skeptical when the following tale hit my inbox yesterday, at the end of a long chain of “FW:” prefixes:

Hi everyone. I’m still alive but freezing my tail off. We got 8 inches of snow last week and it reached 5 degrees below zero that night. That’s not why I’m e-mailing though.

You may have heard about a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul last Thursday. It was at one of our FOB’s (Forward Observation Bases) about 27 miles from here.

But the real story is why no one was killed. We employ several thousand Afghans on our various bases. Not to mention the economy that is fed by the money these locals are making. Some are laborers and builders, but some are skilled workers. We even have one Afghan that just became OSHA qualified, the first ever. Some are skilled HVAC workers.

Anyway, there is this one Afghan that we call Rambo. We have actually given him a couple of sets of the new ACU uniforms (the new Army digital camouflage) with the name tag RAMBO on it. His entire family was killed by the Taliban and his home was where our base currently resides. So this guy really had nowhere else to go.

He has reached such a level of trust with US Forces that his job is to stand at the front gate and basically be the first security screening. Since he can’t have a weapon, he found a big red pipe. So he stands there at the front gate in his US Army ACU uniform with his red pipe. If a vehicle approaches the gate too fast or fails to stop he slams his pipe down on their hood… He’s like the first line of defense.

Last Thursday at 0930 hrs a Toyota Corolla packed with explosives and some Jack Ass that thinks he has 72 Virgins waiting for him approached the gate. When he saw Rambo he must have recognized him and known the gig was up. But he needed to get to the gate to detonate and take American lives. So he slams his foot on the gas which almost causes the metal gate to go up but mostly catches on the now broken windshield.

Rambo fearlessly ran to the vehicle, reached thru the window and jerked the suicide bomber out of the vehicle before he could detonate and commenced to putting some red pipe to his heathen ass. He detained the guy until the MP got there. The vehicle only exploded when they tried to push it off base with a robot but know one was hurt.

I’m still waiting for someone to give this guy a medal or something. Nothing less than instant US citizenship or something. A hat was passed around and a lot of money was given to him in thanks by both soldiers and civilians that are working over here.

I guess I just wanted to share this because I want people to know that it’s working over here. They have tasted freedom. This makes it worth it to me.

Now, that’s a great story. As soon as I read it, I wanted to post it up here. Problem was, I’d been burned enough times by feel-good emails that I wasn’t comfortably just doing a cut-and-paste without checking around a little.

So I send a copy to my brother-in-law, who spent a year in Afghanistan himself recently. He checked around and came up with the email address of the officer who’d signed the original mail (I’ve deleted his name from this post, but sent him a copy of the permalink; if he tells me he’d like to be identified here, I’ll be happy to do so). I dropped that officer a note, asking if he could confirm that he was the author and whether the “Rambo” story was true.

Boy, did he. Here’s his response:

It is very true. The President even mentioned it in his press conference last week.

That sent me scurrying to Google, and sure enough, Bush recounted the story in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute on February 15 (it’s towards the end of the transcript).

With two sources for confirmation, I hereby post with a clean conscience, plus a heartfelt “Bravo” to our friend Rambo and his big red pipe.


12 Responses to “Rambo In Afghanistan”

  1. Mike Hassinger Says:

    Glad to see you got this too. I went through a slightly different verification process and found a couple of pictures of the guy:


  2. Steve Skubinna Says:

    Like you, when I first saw this I thought “Great story, but too good to be true.” So I passed it by. But then, little bits of verification began filtering in so I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt, but still not to spread it around.

    So I am tickled that this “too good to be true” story is, in fact, apparently true. We’ll see if the left attempts to cast this one as a myth, as they did with the “spitting on returning veterans” stories.

    “I can confirm the spitting stories are fabricated! Why, just yesterday I watched a protestor not spit on a soldier! QED!”

  3. Dave Calder Says:

    The account you got sounds more interesting; leave it to the military news service to make this story as dry as your Martinis:


  4. jo5329 Says:

    My husband just returned from Afghanistan and knows Rambo. He told me about him when he got home and then this hit the net.

  5. bob burns Says:

    Things in the combat zones and generally around the world are looking pretty good. If we can just fend off the loony liberal left, the cowards, the ostridges and the back-stabbing, for-sale-at-any-price russians, we can knit the world together in a fairly healthy manner.

  6. rbj Says:

    You mean you actually fact checked? Obviously there is no place for you in the MSM.

    Thanks for verifying the story, and deep appreciation to Rambo.

  7. Rob Says:

    I met Rambo when I was over in Afghanistan doing some charity work last summer. When I read about the failed bombing in Kabul I just guessed it was because of him that it failed. And I was right.
    Of course the media missed this story pretty much.

    The key thing to remember, is that in the war on terror there are friends and allies of ours, outside the wire, who run towards danger not away. Not away like our current Congress, but into danger like our own firefighter – heros on 9/11.
    We need to honor, support and recognize those allies, not ignore and forget them.

    This is just another story like the ink stained fingers of the voters in Afghanistan and Iraq for that matter.
    These people, half a world away are supporting our vision of the future at the risk of their lives. What an example.
    I will be going over there again later this year. In a way, just to say thanks.

  8. Sherlock Says:

    The President mentioned it in a major address and it didn’t make the front page? Color me shocked. The media always loved thinking of itself as the 4th branch of government… now they think they are the ONLY branch of government.

  9. Greg D Says:

    So, where do we send our donations?

  10. Major John Says:


    Rambo was legendary already when I was over there in 2004-2005.

  11. ErikZ Says:

    Oh man.

    Looking at the picture Mike posted, Rambo salutes better than John Kerry.

  12. Pixelkiller Says:

    Read about this from “the source” about two weeks ago, (maybe longer). Go to: http://traversa.typepad.com/ and look in his archives.
    I further understand they had a ceremony and gave him a medal, (all unofficial), and everybody on the FOB now salutes him. He still has his red pipe and guards the front gate.
    There was a man like this, a native of the island of Gaudalcanal, way back in 1942, (Jacob Vouza), who did heroic stuff for the Marines and they later awarded him the MOH.
    As they say in baseball, “You can look it up”.

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