11/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

For Reporter, No Doubt: 'I'd Use The Rifle If I Had To'

GANJGAL, Afghanistan -- Getting separated from the others may have been a blessing in disguise.

As I lay in the dirt and rocks, the sharp needles of dry nettles pinching my palms and backside, three men in the group I'd been with were injured.

Marine Maj. Kevin Williams of Louisville, Ky., took a bullet in his left forearm. Marine 1st Sgt. Christopher Garza of Houston suffered a near total loss of hearing and a serious concussion from a rocket-propelled grenade explosion. U.S. Army Sgt. Kenneth W. Westbrook of Colorado Springs, Colo., was gravely wounded when a bullet gouged his right cheek and then tore into the base of his neck.

Had I bolted with them, I, too, might've been killed or wounded.

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